More solar panels are popping up around the country — on top of office buildings, homes, or out on a field. You may have even seen small solar panels powering your traffic lights and stop signs. Most people think “going solar” means putting solar panels on the roof to service their own individual needs. Interestingly, when we asked around, most people are in the dark about community solar — in fact, 45% of respondents have never heard of “community solar”[1].

Let’s back up.

In generation 1.0 of renewable solar, rooftop solutions became extremely popular. Homeowners leaped at the chance to save money on utility bills all while reducing their carbon footprint. Many states offered tax write-offs. Who wouldn’t be on board?   Well, how about those who are ill-suited for solar on their roof?

The big challenge with rooftop solar is only 1 out of every 3 residential households in the U.S. that want to go solar actually have an eligible roof.[2]

Meet generation 2.0. Community solar is a possible solution to the 65% left in the dark, that are not optimal candidates for rooftop solar. Community solar offers the benefits of solar without requiring solar panels on top of homes and businesses. It has become, for many, not simply a backup solution, but a preferred renewable option.

Community solar is expected to benefit from “pent-up demand in markets that have dealt with sluggish regulatory proceedings”, on the “cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth”, according to Greentech Media.

Passion is why we do what we do.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that community solar could make up half of the locally consumed solar market in 2020 — creating thousands of new jobs all while making our planet a better place for future generations.

We all have a place on this planet and each of us has a vested interest in its future. And the future is certainly bright with community solar.

Community solar will only grow if everyone gets involved.

The word community is critical. Without individuals and businesses saying “Yes, I want community solar”, the industry will grow much more slowly. We find that communities around the country want to take an active role in shaping their future with community solar. Why? Because this is what community solar offers:

Community solar …

  • Is a solution accessible to more Americans than other renewable offerings
  • Could make it cheaper for you to benefit from renewable energy
  • Will create jobs for contractors, solar panel manufacturers, and solar farm operators
  • Is an infrastructure project and a long-term investment in the future of US energy
  • Is driving more innovation in technology, finance, policy, and consumer products
  • Is not a fad and is here to stay

Building what is best for our customers

In 2014 NRG started its first community solar project in Freetown, Massachusetts. Today we manage a growing portfolio of community solar farms in CO, MA, MN, and NY.

NRG, simply put, is building larger scale community solar projects around the country to provide a sustainable solution for the general public. We do this by carefully working with partners to balance the number of customers who want community solar and the best locations to build the solar farm. We try to offer something meaningful to our customers — whether in terms of financial savings, environmental impact, or a hassle-free customer solution. Our experience in consumer retail energy has taught us, that the seamless solution is the solution that works for all.

So while you may associate NRG with the last location of the Super Bowl, the NRG family of companies is actually powering up your communities, your stadiums, and your businesses. With over 8,500 innovative employees around the US, NRG harnesses its resources to move the US forward in how we generate and consume electric power.

Specifically, NRG is obsessed with driving choice through an independent power producer model that allows us to expand our energy offerings for families and businesses in the US to work on large-scale renewable innovation.

In the world full of choices, we hope you find NRG Community Solar to be a choice you and your family can be excited about. Stay tuned by signing up for email updates as we share with you how we are directly contributing to the future of community solar and how you can be a part of this growth.


Resources

Greentech Media
UtilityDIVE. Trabish, Herman K. “Inside New York’s aggressive new community shared renewables program“.
American Planning Association’s Planning Magazine. Thurston, Charles W. “Here Comes the Sun”

[1] Smart Electric Power Alliance. What the Community Solar Customer Wants (Free Research)
[2] National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation.

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