With a record breaking 14.8 gigawatts of solar projects installed last year, 2016 marked solar’s biggest year ever, proving that solar energy is here to stay. Installed solar power production capacity in 2016 increased 97% over the previous year, resulting in the highest installed capacity totals we have ever seen. In fact, Q4 was the largest quarter on record for solar, sending the industry into 2017 with a full head of steam. Despite some recent setbacks at the federal level (EPA budget cuts, the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, etc.), solar is still poised for massive growth this year.
If your local utility has yet to invest in large-scale solar plants and/or you aren’t able to install solar panels at your residence, you may be feeling a bit left out. Never fear! Community solar is one of the industry’s fastest growing segments and is helping the nearly 80% of Americans who aren’t able to install their own panels to experience the many benefits of solar power.
For those unfamiliar with community solar, the term “refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced.” These off-site arrays allow subscribers the opportunity to benefit from solar without installing panels on their roofs or properties.
If you are among the many Americans interested in saving money and limiting your carbon footprint, look no further. Since the beginning of 2015, our Nexamp Community Solar Team has been providing the benefits of solar energy to communities across the state of Massachusetts, and 2017 is likely to be our busiest year yet as we expand our community solar operations into New York state and beyond.
While a variety of community solar models have made solar accessible to the previously underserved (like renters, condo owners, and lower and middle income residents), the Nexamp Solarize My Bill™ program offers a number of key advantages over its peers.
Unlike other community solar programs that require high upfront costs, Solarize My Bill requires no sign-up costs and no large upfront investment. This means that Solarize My Bill participants will start experiencing savings without waiting several years to recoup the initial investment that other community solar programs require. Similarly, while competing programs often charge cancellation fees for terminating an agreement prematurely, Nexamp has no cancellation costs and will work with you should you choose to move residences within your utility’s service area.
Perhaps most uniquely, Nexamp’s vertically integrated structure allows us to maintain the highest industry standards throughout the entire lifecycle of the project - from development, design and construction, through financing, operations and maintenance. Nexamp solar arrays are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ensuring that our solar panels are operating at peak capacity. In fact, 99% of the equipment at our projects is consistently available for production, a rate significantly higher than the industry average. For the community solar program, this means our customers can be assured that their share of the community project is firing on all cylinders and maximizing their energy production.
Widely hailed as the “democratization” of solar energy”, community solar will only continue to expand access to lower electricity costs, and clean, renewable energy in the future.