Community Solar

Community Solar (also referred to as community distributed generation, or CDG) provides opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses to join together to set up community solar. This program enables those who cannot put solar panels on their properties to receive a subscription of the solar production from off site panels as a credit on their monthly utility bill.

Community Solar Sponsors and Subscribers

  • Anyone can become a subscriber of a Community Solar project.
    • Each individual subscriber’s portion of the production appears as a credit on their monthly utility bill.
    • Any utility customer may be a subscriber of a project in the same utility and NYISO zone.
    • Community Solar projects are eligible for the NY-Sun Incentive Program through a NY-Sun Installer.
  • Each Community Solar project must have a sponsor who owns or operates the project, organizes the subscriptions, and interfaces with the utility.
    • The sponsor may be the project developer, a private company, or other entity.
    • The sponsor provides the utility with a list of subscribers and their percent allocation of the project’s net metering credits prior to interconnection and may update the list on a monthly basis.
    • Each project must have a least 10 subscribers (with the exception of projects sited on multifamily buildings whose subscribers are all residents), and each subscriber must be allocated at least 1,000kWh per year (not to exceed their historic average annual consumption). No more than 40% of the Community Solar host’s excess generation may serve subscribers with an average monthly peak demand of 25kW or greater.

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

How community solar works

Community Solar Project Developers

  • Project developers can participate in NYSERDA programs for the relevant technology.
  • Solar electric projects using Community Solar may participate in either the Small Commercial or the Commercial and Industrial MW Block, based 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

Additional Community Solar Resources: