We’ve talked extensively about community solar gardens in the past. Instead of financing and installing a photovoltaic (PV) installation on your own property, you can buy into a “shared” solar PV system installed somewhere else.
Basically, anyone in the community can pool their resources together to finance and build these off-site solar installations. And each participant receives credits on their utility bill for every kilowatt-hour of solar electricity that the shared PV installation generates.
This concept is really taking off across the country. But not every state currently offers community solar gardens. That’s because regulators have to figure out exactly how utility compensation works in each market. If you invest in a shared solar garden on the other side of the country, you won’t necessarily receive any credits on your own monthly electricity bill.
But a new startup, Arcadia Power, is hoping to change that.
How Remote Community Solar Gardens Could Transform the Industry
Arcadia Power is trying to build a nationwide platform for remote community solar gardens. You can invest in a shared solar garden anywhere in the country. And no matter what utility market you live in, you’ll receive a credit on your monthly statement.
Arcadia’s platform will automatically calculate how much electricity your “remote” solar panels are generating. And then it partners with your local utility provider to determine the most appropriate credit.
This truly is a novel approach. And if it succeeds, America’s solar industry could really take off. And here’s why:
- According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, only 25% of residential properties across the country are suitable for solar. Many homes are disqualified due to shading, orientation, or limited roof space.
- There are also a lot of people who can’t go solar because they rent their properties. In order to install panels, you need the landlord’s permission first. And this creates significant barriers for apartment dwellers and commercial lessees.
- Community solar gardens are designed to address the above challenges. But as already mentioned, shared solar doesn’t exist nationwide. Access is provided on a state-by-state basis.
But with remote access, anyone can participate – regardless of geography. You can live in Alaska and become a partial owner of a solar PV installation in San Diego. And the entire platform is set up so that you can buy however much solar electricity you desire. You can finance 1 watt or 1 megawatt. The choice is yours.
We really hope that Arcadia Power succeeds with this project. In fact, we hope that this initiative attracts a lot of competition so that community solar gardens become truly mainstream nationwide.
To learn more about community solar, contact us today for a free consultation.