The Community Solar for the Southeast project aims to accelerate the installation of community solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at municipal and cooperative electric utilities across the southeast. Community solar projects are ground-mounted PV systems that are generally smaller than other utility-scale solar projects. They are large enough to provide low-cost solar electricity, yet they are small enough to be more flexible about where they can be located, allowing the utility to better take advantage of localized benefits that they can provide.

A community solar program allows utility customers to sign up to receive a portion of the output of the system. Some programs require an upfront purchase of a share of the PV system but many others offer a no-obligation monthly subscription in discrete sized blocks of solar power. In some cases, the utility may find that solar electricity is the lowest cost electricity available, and then decide to provide the cost savings to all of the utilities’ customers.

The project uses a stakeholder engagement process during Phase I to set goals for community solar programs and to develop a Guide to Designing and Implementing Community Solar Projects at Public Power Utilities in the Southeast. Phase II will involve targeted outreach to all cooperative and municipal utilities in the southeast, and personalized technical assistance using the Guide developed in Phase I to help develop and implement community solar programs.

This project is funded as a part the SunShot grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Project Partners:

North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Savannah River National Laboratory, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Roanoke Electric Cooperative, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Electricities, Rocky Mountain Institute, Strata Solar, Geenex and GreenLink

Contact Info:

To learn how to start a solar project in your community, please reach us as at

Technical Resources

Fayetteville Public Works Commission Community Solar in Practice Case Study 
Community Solar for the Southeast Implementation Guide
Community Solar Economic Model
Community Solar Program Design for Fayetteville Public Works Commission
Technical Services Offerings for the electric municipal utilities and electric cooperatives

Policy Resources:

Community Solar Opportunities for Low to Moderate Income Households in the Southeast
Literature Review: Community Solar in the Southeast
Project Handbook: Community Solar in the Southeast
State Profiles: Community Solar in the Southeast
Working Group Plan
Community Solar in the Southeast: Gap Analysis Report (working draft)

Webinar 1: Resource Assessment (August 10, 2017)

Community Solar for the Southeast: Resource Assessment (Video)
Got Community Solar? (PPT)
Community Solar Technical Assistance (PPT)
Solar Made Easy (PPT)

Webinar 2: Gap Analysis and Working Group Launch (September 19, 2017)

Community Solar for the Southeast: Gap Analysis (Video)
Gaps and Challenges for Community Solar in the Southeast (PDF)
Rocky Mountain Institute Shine Project overview (PDF)

Workshop: Barriers & Opportunities for Low Income Community Solar in the Southeast ( December 11, 2017)

Introduction (Anne Tazewell, NC Clean Energy Technology Center)
Community Solar for Low Income Benefits & Barriers (Laurel Passera, EQ Research)
Solar Project Economics (Dave Scoglio, Strata Solar)
Community Solar in the Southeast Low Income Customer Program Design (Alfred Ripley, NC Justice Center)
Value of Community Solar (Achyut Shrestha, NC Clean Energy Technology Center)

Get Involved


Keep up with the Center’s work and with industry news, by receiving one or all of our newsletters. The Center newsletter provides an overview in all areas, while program area specific newsletters dive a little deeper into their respective areas. Sign up today to stay in the loop!


Sign Up


Enhance your skills or begin a career change with one of our training classes!  The Center offers several training opportunities for professional development and the highest level of continuing education in renewable energy technologies.  Get started today. 

Learn More