Perspectives

White Paper

Introduction to Community Solar

Community solar has emerged as a compelling alternative to rooftop solar and uniquely enables utilities to participate in the solarphotovoltaic (PV) space. Community solar systems allow customers to benefit from solar output remotely through billing mechanisms; A customer can purchase or subscribe to a portion of the solar PV system and then receive bill credits based on production levels.

From the customer perspective, community solar is easy to use, does not change the home’s appearance, and should be less expensive than rooftop. Like rooftop solar, community solar can also offer predictable electricity prices to customers. From the utility perspective, community solar can enable profitable participation, maximized solar production, improved grid integration, and broad customer participation.

Bridge Strategy Group views community solar as a way for utilities to profitably participate in the solar PV market. Looking forward, we expect to see more utilities enter this space, given its competitive position relative to traditional rooftop solar PV solutions as well as its larger market size. As the electric industry evolves over the next decade, utilities with well-developed community solar programs will be advantaged in transitioning into a world characterized by widespread distributed generation.

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