Today’s Solutions: December 03, 2021

Even if many New Yorkers would like to power their homes with solar energy, they wouldn’t be able to—unless they own a building and put solar panels on the roof themselves. But as the city pushes for 100 renewables, providing the opportunity for everyday New Yorkers to get involved in solar projects could accelerate the transition to clean energy. That’s where community solar projects come into play. In one of the city’s first community solar projects in the Bronx, power generation is centralized on the rooftop of this self-storage company, which gets paid for hosting the panels. But 150 New Yorkers who subscribed to the program benefit from the power generated here—all without upfront costs or equipment installation—and see a 5 to 10 percent discount on their electricity bills. Currently, 17 such projects are operating in the city, with 27 additional community solar installations in the pipeline, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. If every available building was outfitted with solar panels, the city could produce enough clean electricity to power 1.2 million homes. Community solar could help make such a thing happen.

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