The world of solar energy has changed a lot over the last decade. Most people think of rooftop systems when they think of solar. Unfortunately, that can be an expensive option if it’s an option at all for people who want to help save the environment. But now, with the expansion of Community Solar in the United States, there are more and more solar farms being created and everyone can participate in the adoption of solar energy. Solar farms are typically built on several acres of land and consist of ground-mounted photovoltaic panels (PV) or solar panels. These solar panels collect solar energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.
How they work
Solar farms are usually located in rural areas but do not have to be. In more populated areas solar “farms” are installed on rooftops of large buildings such as big box stores or warehouses. The key is having locations that are not shaded by trees or other obstacles. Building a solar farm is a multi-step process. First, a developer must obtain the proper permits and permissions from all stakeholders. Once the permits are in place and the site is secured the construction phase begins. Then, the solar farm developer works with the utility to connect the farm to the electric grid. In some cases, the process can take years.
Commercial and residential
Both business owners and residential customers can benefit from solar farms that are designated as community solar. With community solar, you don’t have to own the building your business is in or your home to participate. All you need to do is reside in an area (utility zone) that provides community solar and meets minimum requirements to qualify.
Rooftop Solar vs. Community Solar
The biggest difference between community solar and rooftop solar is the need for a rooftop! With community solar, the solar farm is installed at a nearby location. The other key difference is the cost; rooftop solar can be expensive vs. community solar that is offered to you with no out of pocket expense or maintenance.
Community solar and solar farms have changed the solar industry. You are now able to go green, help the environment, and save money on your utility bill without breaking the bank! Find out more about community solar today!