ELPC Press Release
September 30, 2022
Community-owned community solar promotes a more equitable, decentralized, clean energy transition. Communities can produce electricity rather than purchasing it from large utilities or meeting the requirements for rooftop solar.
This report is a resource for both advocates interested in furthering beneficial policies and for community organizations who are potentially interested in investing in community-owned community solar projects.
As the devastation of climate change and other negative effects of fossil fuel consumption become more visible than ever, communities are pushing for a transition to low- and zero-carbon energy sources, including solar. However, despite its widespread societal and environmental benefits, renewable energy does not inherently promote equity. Traditionally, solar energy has been owned by either wealthy individuals or utility monopolies. Now is the
time to think creatively about improving the energy system more holistically, rather than just replicating long-standing problems with new technology.
This report examines ownership models, benefits and their distribution, and barriers for building community-owned community solar. It draws on research and interviews with representatives from groups including People Power Solar Cooperative (CA), Cooperative Energy Futures (MN), Hough Block Club (OH), Co-Op Power (MA), and University Park Community Solar (MD).