Thursday, February 13, 2014

Community solar farms and storage |

While a number of local residents, businesses and institutions have installed solar panels on their roofs or elsewhere to reduce electrical costs and CO2 emissions, many others do not have the correct roof orientation or size required.

   In addition, because a number of business and residential properties are rented, the occupants do not have the solar panel option.

   And finally, because many properties benefit from tall, shading trees that provide cooling and temperature moderation during the warm months, they are not suitable for solar panels.

   But there are alternatives. One is solar panel farms, an arrangement in which families, neighbors or communities share the installation costs, or investment, and share the profits from generating electricity for the grid. These arrays can be placed on parking lots, buildings or non-arable or “gray” lands. The advantage of this approach is that it accepts capital from investors, and provides credit for the output as well as tax benefits to investors, be they private groups or communal ones.

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