Community solar is a game changer. ‘Til now, nearly 50% of Americans haven’t been able to switch to solar because they don’t own their roof, don’t have a roof in the right location, or are struggling financially and can’t qualify for financing even if it could help lower their energy bill. Community solar radically expands access to affordable clean energy by allowing anyone to purchase solar power produced close to home.
Today, there are only about 100 community solar projects in operation around the country, but that number is about to boom. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, community solar is on its way to becoming the single largest source of distributed renewable energy in America – outpacing rooftop solar and providing as much as 8 gigawatts of clean power. That means that the market could grow from about 100 projects to up to 5,000 in just five years.
That’s all great. But for the community solar boom to fulfill its promise to give working families access to affordable clean power, it’s time to take action to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table so no one is left waiting on the crumbs. And to be clear, a seat at the table means affordable clean power, solar jobs, and community wealth created by the market’s growth.
Clean energy is not a luxury good, and we can’t afford the social cost of leaving our friends and neighbors behind. That’s why we’ve partnered with Sustainable Capital Advisors to create an equitable community solar model that delivers on that promise. We’re working in Maryland, which is among the vanguard of states that have enabled community solar through legislation, and we’re focusing on Baltimore.
Our team is passionate about economic and social equity in energy, and we are grateful to have the opportunity through this newsletter to share our work, our stories, and what we’re learning with you. Groundswell is building community power, and we’re all in this together.