What is community energy?
“Community Energy” is a revenue model where multiple households share the revenue from a renewable energy resource, like a solar farm. That solar farm is usually located near those households but is not physically connected to their homes. The shared solar panels can cover anywhere from 1 acre to over 50 acres of land, which would generate anywhere from 1/4 of a Megawatt (MW) to 10 MW, respectively. Each household owns a fraction of the farm that is about the same size of a solar system they would put on their roof to power their home.

 

So why not just put solar on your roof? 

Great point, if you own your home and have enough money to buy or lease the rooftop system, you can. But community solar makes saving money on your electricity bill accessible to everyone, not just those who meet the criteria to build a rooftop system. Our community solar farms serve renters, families who support themselves on a tight budget, and even homeowners whose roofs are shaded or unable to support solar panels on them. 

 

So how does it work? 

We’re so glad you asked! Different states like Minnesota and Illinois have their own model, but in California this is how it works: You and your neighbors express interest in hosting a community solar project in your neighborhood. We work with your community to co-design where the solar farm will go, how big it should be, what it should look like and what else could happen on the lot (for example a community garden, a playground, a glow in the dark putt-putt course). We then build the farm together, training and employing the local workforce. Once the solar farm is connected and sending energy onto the grid, you and your neighbors can sign up to save money on your electricity bill. Depending on the size of the solar farm we build, a couple hundred households can sign up and save 20% on their electricity bill. 

 

If this sounds as great to you as it does to us, please express your interest by reaching out to us on our sign up page and please share this page with your neighbors so they can participate too!

Reach Out

© 2020 by Shake Energy Collaborative.

Are you a community organizer looking for help to enable your community to actively pursue renewable energy development? Contact us here!

Are you a renewable energy developer looking to partner to engage communities in a meaningful and beneficial way? Contact us here!

Are you interested in community energy, human-centered design, or also really enjoy electricity puns? Contact us here!