Community Solar Information Hub

Welcome to the Community Solar Information Hub, where you will find out more about community solar in New York City, how to save money with community solar, and how you can join a community solar project with Solar One. Here's what you'll find on this page:

Benefits of Community Solar

Growth of Community Solar

Milestones of Community Solar in New York

Joining a Community Solar Project

Solar One’s Community Solar Projects

Community Solar allows New Yorkers to share a solar energy system and reduce energy bills through solar credits. It allows households and businesses to go solar without installing solar energy on their own roof.

We know that solar energy is good for the environment, reduces energy bills, and can improve community health. Though solar energy on homes and businesses has been growing rapidly, the vast majority of New Yorkers cannot access solar power.

Issues of access are disproportionally higher in communities of color, low-income communities, and environmental justice communities, that arguably need clean, renewable energy access the most.

Community Solar can help your organization provide an opportunity for local ownership and decision-making into project development, jobs within the green workforce, and long-term revenue for your organization through the sale of discounted solar energy credits.

If you are a community-based organization interested in Community Solar, please contact Juan Parra, Director of Community Solar at juan@solar1.org to get started!

Glenwood
NYCHA workforce trainees installing solar panels at Glenwood Houses

Benefits of Community Solar

Developing Community Solar projects have a wide range of different environmental, economic, and equitable benefits:

  • Utilizes unused roof space, typically on larger buildings such as warehouses
  • Lowers GHG emissions – solar is a renewable energy source that does not use fossil fuels
  • Increases reliability of the Con Edison grid by distributing the energy that’s sent to the grid throughout the city
  • Reduces reliance and environmental burdens caused by polluting fossil fuel energy generation sources
  • Solar system installations placed on a large rooftop – participants can get solar energy without installing anything on their roof
  • Increase access for renters previously excluded from participating in solar energy. Anyone that pays a utility bill can access, not just homeowners
  • Typically, there are no upfront costs to participate in community solar – Participants no longer need to invest funds into a solar energy system
  • Allows for all communities to become more sustainable within their energy uses
  • Participants save money on their energy bills
  • Guaranteed savings due to subscription model
  • Subscription Model Rates vary by project, but typically a 10% discount
  • Supports the local economy
  • New York’s increasing limits on GHG emissions from buildings seeks a demand for a “green” workforce and workforce development programs
  • Solar One’s Green Workforce Training Program offers under and unemployed individuals with hands-on knowledge in construction and sustainability and industry recognized certifications
  • Local control of energy infrastructure, many projects are sponsored by community-based groups
  • Provides an opportunity for local ownership and decision-making into project development and benefits
  • Solar projects are installed in New York City, so participants are close to where the projects are located
  • Training and employment opportunities for local residents

Growth of Community Solar

Community Solar can reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help the State and City meet its renewable energy mandates, including:

Local renewable energy projects provide a range of benefits: lower energy costs, improve air quality, and the creation of new jobs.

Prioritizing the development of community solar projects in historically marginalized communities can also ensure that no one is being left out of the Just Transition, and benefits are being provided to communities that need them the most.

Milestones of Community Solar in New York

New York passed Legislation enacting Community Solar

New York City’s first community solar array is built

  • Achieved 50 MW of Community Solar in NYC
  • New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), passed
    which sets targets for distributed solar deployment (6 GW by 2025)
  • 371 community solar projects were operational in New York, comprising 497 MW of capacity
    • That’s enough to power approximately 100,000 homes!
  • Nearly 90 percent of that capacity was installed in 2019 and 2020, reflecting the successful launch and scaling up of the industry.
  • Roughly 63 percent of all solar capacity installed in New York in 2020 was part of the community solar program.
  • At the national level New York was the largest state community solar market in terms of 2020 installations

Joining a Community Solar Project

Most households in NYC are eligible to join a community solar project. “Joining” a project usually means that you will select a project to sign up, receive a portion of the credits, then pay for the credits at a discount, usually 10-20%. 

Right now, the community solar payment occurs on a separate bill, but most projects will be eliminating the second bill starting later this year.

Most community solar programs save you $5-$10/month, which adds up over the course of a year. The best part with community solar is that you are always saving money, and you never pay more for participating in a project.

Here’s a map of projects around the State, courtesy of NYERSDA.

Ready to sign up? Fill out this form to get started!

Solar One's Community Solar Projects

The Here Comes Solar Team is currently working with non-profit organizations, consumer-owned energy cooperatives, and solar installers to complete the following community solar projects below:

Sunset Park Solar is a cooperatively-managed community solar project under development in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Roughly 200 households—mostly in Sunset Park—will share a solar array being installed on the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Community Power is a cooperatively-managed community solar project exclusively available to 350 local low-to-moderate income households throughout New York City. Households will share solar arrays currently being installed on NYCHA developments located in Upper Manhattan and Central Brooklyn.

New Yorkers’ participation in Community Solar helps make locally-owned solar energy possible in our city and support a Just Transition to renewable energy

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