Forbes reports that a new type of solar financing has emerged that could provide an answer for this group. So-called solar gardens take the recent idea of group financing for solar projects and condenses it into a single project. Whereas solar leasing offers homeowners the opportunity to own a solar installation at low cost, solar gardens instead offer just the solar electricity.
The solar installer will build a large solar system on otherwise unused public property, potentially making use of undesirable lands such as landfills, and then sells limited shares in the plant panel-by-panel, similar to the way in which some communities have come to support local farms through co-ops.
While traditionally solar panels have helped reduce electricity bills through net metering, in which the power used by a home or business is offset by the power produced by the solar installation, solar farms instead rely on virtual net metering. In this system, the production of the solar farm is divided by the number of shares and the output in a month is divvied between members based on the number of shares they hold on the account itself.
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com