One solar sector that has the potential for significant growth in the 2017 -2018 time frame is “Community Solar” in select states in the U.S. According to a recent Green Tech Media report while there are only 80MWs of community solar projects in operation there are 2.5GWs of projects in the development pipeline. There is however a very select number of states that have the regulatory processes and utility commission approvals of viable programs where this activity will be concentrated. Those states are:
- New York
It is also true that the promise of “Utility Scale” Community Solar(i.e. 10MW or greater) is not developing due to the requirement in most instances of a least one large corporate customer to account for 40%-50% of the output of the solar project.
Rural Electric Co-ops account for the largest number of programs online and in development, but the small customer bases limit the scale of these programs.
Navigating the specific regulations of each state, city, and program takes dedicated effort to succeed in this exciting growth segment for solar.