NYC Community Solar

aeonsolarcityviewWhy Solar? NYC solar energy benefits all New Yorkers. Every kilowatt of solar in NYC helps improve air quality, reduces electric grid congestion and creates green workforce jobs that power the local economy. Sustainable CUNY Wins EPA’s Highest Award

What is Community Solar? Community Solar can be defined as a solar-electric system that is funded through a voluntary donation or investment program that provides power and/or financial benefit to a community or to a host site. Normally an individual (or business) owns the solar array. Community solar is a community shared or funded solar array or one with a public benefit. There are a wide variety of Community Solar models across the country.

Why Community Solar in NYC? Community Solar programs are ideal in areas with low home ownership or for interested parties who have no control over their own roof space. Community Solar also offers low cost options for those interested in solar for a wide variety of reasons such as environmental concerns, as a renewable energy source, as an investment, or as a way of supporting schools, community facilities, churches or other not-for profit entities who wish to install solar.

Creating a NYC Community Solar Program: Sustainable CUNY is leading the development of NYC Community Solar models in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program. The Partnership’s goal is to make solar energy affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers. The Partnership has already shown solar energy’s practical potential through the NYC Solar America City initiative and the NYC Solar Map. Community Solar continues this success by helping NYC residents overcome the financial and logistical hurdles of installing solar power.

As an initial phase of the NYC Community Solar effort, Sustainable CUNY has created a donation model known as a Solar Development Fund. This fund is a donation model that enables tax-exempt entities, such as non-profits, community groups, and colleges and universities to install solar. NYC Community Solar Report <pdf>