As renewable energy makes a growing contribution to our energy mix, many people are looking for ways to reduce their own carbon footprint and support cleaner energy sources. While solar panels have become increasingly popular in recent years, not everyone is able to install them on their own roofs. That’s where community solar comes in. Community solar allows customers to support renewable energy without having to install panels on their own roofs, while still receiving on-bill utility credits. A community solar park is developed in a location optimally positioned for solar exposure. Participants lease panels and receive a utility bill credit that is equal to the amount of energy their lease produces.
Community solar projects are popping up all over the country, and we’re proud to say that we’ve helped bring two of them online in Michigan: one in East Lansing and one in Marquette, with more to come. In East Lansing, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), City of East Lansing, Pivot Energy, and Community Energy Options LLC partnered on the project. Participating BWL customers are able to support solar power by leasing panels for 25 years. The park has 1,000 345-watt solar panels and is located at Burcham Park, a capped landfill, where we will restore the habitat with native wildflowers and grasses. To help subscribers track their monthly and lifetime solar energy production and dollar savings, we’ve partnered with Pivot Energy to launch an online dashboard. We’ve also partnered with Meteocontrol NA for precise system monitoring of the solar park’s performance and daily operations.
Community solar parks allow residents and businesses to support renewable energy that is located at sites in the community, without having to worry about the logistics of installation. We’re committed to bringing more community solar projects online in Michigan and beyond. We believe that everyone should have access to clean, renewable energy, and we’re working hard to make that a reality. So if you’re interested in supporting solar power but can’t install panels on your own roof, consider leasing panels in a community solar project near you. Together, we can make a difference for the planet and for future generations.