Community Solar for Contractors

Community Solar Overview

Community solar (also called shared solar, solar farms, or community distributed generation) has brought solar access to more consumers than was previously possible. Renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses can now receive solar energy even if they were previously denied.

Anyone in the area can subscribe and access the energy produced by the solar panels and get credits toward their monthly utility bills, as long as the project is in the same utility and New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) zone. Community solar projects are eligible for the NY-Sun Incentive Program through a NY-Sun Participating Contractor.

The terms of subscription, including payment structure and provisions for cancellation, are set by the agreement between the subscriber and the sponsor.

How community solar works

Community Solar Sponsors

Each community solar project must have a sponsor who owns and operates the project, organizes subscriptions, and interfaces with the utility. The sponsor could be a contractor, a project developer, a management company, or another entity. Prior to interconnection, the sponsor provides the utility with a list of subscribers and their percentage allocations of the credits generated by the project. The sponsor may update the list of subscribers on a monthly basis.

Each project must have at least 10 subscribers (excluding projects sited on multifamily buildings whose subscribers are all residents). Each subscriber must be allocated at least 1,000 kWh per year (not to exceed his or her historic average annual consumption). No more than 40% of the generation may serve large demand-metered (25 kW or greater) subscribers.

Each utility has posted a complete set of procedures and documentation for community distributed generation projects on its website. 

Community Solar Incentives

Community solar projects are eligible for NY-Sun incentives through a NY-Sun Participating Contractor and may participate in either the Residential and Small Commercial [PDF] or the Commercial and Industrial [PDF] Program, depending on project size. Project developers should always refer to the operating procedures of the relevant utility and the NY-Sun Program Manual when planning a project.

Want to become a NY-Sun participating contractor? Apply today.

If you want to dive deeper into the regulation in New York State regarding community solar, download the Public Service Commission OrderLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF].

Stay up-to-date with the latest information from NY-Sun. Join our community solar email list for contractors.