The idea of community solar has been around a long time! Here's the news from 1981...
Imagine a wafer-thin sheet of pure sand that's capable of converting sunlight directly into electricity and you can begin to appreciate the excitement—and, perhaps, a bit of the confusion—that's caused by each new development in the photovoltaic industry.
The phenomenon of solar-generated electricity has been investigated for decades, but the necessary cost has limited its use in the ordinary home. Recently, however, advances in the production of solar cells (the layers of silicon that convert sunlight into electricity) have dramatically dropped the prices of these "miniature powerplants," rapidly making the solar panels a more and more economically feasible alternative to conventional sources of electricity.
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com