Renewable Energy: Community solar

What is community solar?

Community solar can take a variety of forms, but often employs a shared solar model, with a local solar facility that is shared by multiple community members who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar expands solar access to those typically lacking such access including those whose roof exposure is not suitable, renters, those in multi-tenant buildings, and low-income communities. Read more here.

What are some benefits of community solar?

  • Increase energy independence
  • Protect against rising fuel costs
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Provide local jobs

Who is doing community solar near me?

  • Solar ArraySolarize Albany is a nonprofit organization that serves the Capital Region. They promote the use of renewable energy (both rooftop and community solar) by providing you with knowledge of how renewable energy will benefit your life and lower cost options through their bulk purchase model.
  • Solar for All: A NYSERDA program and NY-Sun initiative, Solar for All will help low income NewYorkers receive the benefits of solar power with no upfront costs, fees or payments. Check out this link to learn more and see if you qualify to save
    money on your electric bill today! Solar for All is a NYSERDA program

    • Program participants save money through a free community solar subscription
    • Participants gain access to solar whether they are a renter or a homeowner
    • No upfront cost, fees, or payments to participate

What projects can I join?

For a complete list of community solar projects in the area, see NYSERDA’s community solar map.

  • The Halfmoon Community Solar Project allows more than 100 residential customers to purchase individual solar panels in the Halfmoon array and receive credit for the power production directly on their monthly electric bills, as if the panels were located on their own roof. The solar installation generates an estimated 741,230 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, roughly the power used by 103 average-sized homes in New York.
  • High Peaks Solar is building the Hope Solar Farm in Troy, New York. The project is open to anyone located in NYISO Load Zone F who has National Grid as their utility provider. There are both opt-in options that require no upfront payment and those that do. The project is 60% filled and still accepting community members. Read more here.
  • Nexamp is building a community solar farm on Brick Church Road in Brunswick, NY, that all local National Grid customers are eligible to join. Nexamp offers a subscription, or pay-as-you-go, program, with no upfront cost. Click here to find out more.

Solar Energy in Saratoga

  • Sustainable Saratoga’s Climate and Energy Committee was instrumental in initiating the Solarize Saratoga program. We worked with the City’s Climate Smart Committee, which was the lead agency, serving as a community partner through promoting and supporting the program. About 30 installations were completed as part of this initiative, which is no longer active.
  • To learn more about Solarize programs, click here to view the Solarize Guidebook from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Spa Solar Park - Aerial View

    Aerial view of the Spa Solar Park on Weibel Avenue

    Spa Solar Park on Weibel Avenue. With the assistance of Sustainable Saratoga, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Onyx Renewable Partners completed a 2.5 megawatt solar installation at Saratoga Springs’ Weibel Avenue landfill. As of July 2018, the 7,992-panel solar installation has generated 1,788 MWh of electricity. Its capacity factor—the ratio of energy generated over a time period divided by the installed capacity—is currently 10.5%, up from 3.4% when it began generating electricity in 2017. For the most recent data on this solar installation, check here. The project offsets Saratoga’s municipal electricity use and is expected to eventually meet approximately 40% of the municipality’s power needs, while additionally offsetting more than 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Read more here.