Multifamily Community Shared Solar

NYSolar Smart Multifamily Community Solar is a partnership of CUNY, NYC Economic Development Corporation, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, as part of a broad program supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II.

a solar program for residents of multifamily buildings

NYSolar Smart Multifamily Community Shared Solar is a pilot program for New Yorkers that aims to expand access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar to residents of multifamily buildings. Communities across the country are experimenting with different models for group ownership and investment in solar power. NYSolar Smart Multifamily Community Shared Solar will utilize an innovative mechanism to allow the residents of a master-metered multifamily building to contribute to the cost of a solar array on the building’s roof and share its benefits. The program targets master-metered buildings because a single utility meter allows the economic benefits of solar to be shared among residents using the building’s current energy billing system, whether through a flat monthly maintenance charge or sub-metering. In a typical community shared solar model, residents pay an upfront surcharge to “opt in” to a special “solar rate” that is lower than normal monthly charges. The upfront cost is recouped over time and after that residents see a return on their investment.

how it works

Residents or building managers who are interested in participating in NYSolar Smart Multifamily Community Shared solar can begin by filling out the Multifamily Community Shared Solar Form. The NYSolar Smart team will evaluate buildings based on building ownership structure, electricity load, solar potential, and other criteria. One or more buildings will be chosen for the pilot in April, 2014. Once a building is selected, NYSolar Smart will work with the building’s ownership and management to draft contracts formalizing the relationship between tenants and owners to finance the project and share the benefits of the solar array. A solar installer will be chosen through a competitive bid process after NYSolar Smart assists building management in issuing a publicly available request for proposals (RFP) to installers. NYSolar Smart will provide support in evaluating project bids, and building ownership will contract directly with the chosen installer. NYSolar Smart aims for permitting and installation of the solar system to begin in the period from October-December 2014.