There are different options for going solar, and they’re all good ones. Utility-scale solar offers the lowest electricity prices on the planet. Rooftop solar offers use of existing roofs, an individual alternative to retail electricity prices from a utility, and perhaps even complete energy independence (especially if that rooftop solar panel system powers an electric car). Community solar, though — that might be my favorite.
Community solar offers some of that energy independence, but it offers it to people without roofs, renters, apartment dwellers, etc. It also provides that kind of “we’re stronger together than on our own” feelgood community edge to it. With enough membership, similar to utility-scale solar but not to the same degree, the bigger-than-a-rooftop solar projects can also provide economies of scale and a lower price.
Now, Arcadia Power, a leader in community solar power, has expanded into Colorado and partnered with Xcel Energy, a major utility in the state (and beyond), and Pivot Energy, a community solar developer in Colorado. Whether a homeowner or a renter, residents who get electricity from Xcel Energy can now sign up for community solar instead of conventional energy. “Arcadia will subscribe a portion of Pivot’s community solar projects with its residential customers, while Pivot will handle unique residential, commercial and industrial subscriptions, as well as solar development and administration.”
Arcadia Power hammers home what this means: “Currently, as many as 66% of American households are not candidates for rooftop solar for reasons including they are multi-family homes, are located in shaded areas, are structurally unsound, or the residents are unable to get a loan due to a low credit score. Community solar makes it possible for everyone, not just those with the ideal financial circumstances, to access affordable clean energy.”
“The future of energy is people-powered, and we look forward to bringing Colorado households hassle-free guaranteed solar savings,” said Kiran Bhatraju, CEO of Arcadia Power. “Community solar can, and should, be easy to access for everyone in the state of Colorado.”
Indeed. As it should across the world.