Solar Energy Basics
About Community Solar
The U.S. Department of Energy defines community solar as any solar project or purchasing program, within a geographic area, in which the benefits of a solar project flow to multiple customers such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups. In most cases, customers are benefitting from energy generated by solar panels at an off-site array.
Community solar customers can either buy or lease a portion of the solar panels in the array, and they typically receive an electric bill credit for electricity generated by their share of the community solar system—similar to someone who has rooftop panels installed on their home.
Community solar can be a great option for people who are unable to install solar panels on their roofs because they don’t own their homes, have insufficient solar resources, or roof conditions to support a rooftop PV system due to shading, roof size, or other factors, or for financial/other reasons.
Community solar allows “subscribers” to receive net metering credits on their electricity bill and support the development of new renewable energy resources without needing to install equipment on their property. A community solar project is a single-site solar installation shared by multiple subscribers. Community solar projects in Illinois are defined as no larger than 2,000 kW in peak capacity per site.