Buying Into Solar Power, No Roof Access Needed; NY Times
Consumers who have previously been unable to take advantage of the savings of renewable energy, due to inadequate roof exposure or apartment living, may now get the opportunity thanks to the unique concept of a solar garden. A solar garden allows consumers to purchase a solar panel that is part of an array which has been built remotely, allowing them to receive the credit for the energy their panel produces without having the panel physically located on their property.
- Community solar arrays create a new market out of the approximately 85% of consumers who cannot install solar panels on their homes due to location or because they rent.
- The idea of solar gardens began in Colorado but is spreading throughout the country.
- To make the practice work a developer can build a solar farm as small as a rooftop or as large as hundreds of acres, then sell the electrical output of a set number of panels to customers, who will receive a credit for the power and see that then deducted from their energy bill.
- Costs per panel in the solar gardens can vary, typically from $500 to $1400 a panel, and the details involving taxes, rebates and utility companies vary from state to state.