Going Solar: How Can You Do It?
Last week’s post was dedicated to addressing the increasing ways consumers can go solar in New York while noting some of the various roadblocks that can occur. In keeping with that theme, this week’s goal is to highlight how those with lower incomes, those who don’t own a home, or those who’re interested in going solar but currently lack the resources may convert their homes or communities to solar.
As a part of Govern Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative, “Community Solar Gardens” are being constructed that would allow tenants, businesses, and others that do not have access to rooftop space or cannot properly install solar panels on their roofs to gain access to solar power. Known as Community Shared Solar, these community solar gardens allow access to solar energy for those that cannot or would not normally be able to invest in it.
This project is important for a number of reasons. First, without programs like Community Shared Solar, it would be difficult for New York State to achieve its goals of garnering fifty percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Second, this program allows for those who could not access solar normally to benefit from the projected 3 gigawatts of solar energy projected to be created within the next five to ten years. This means that lower income families or those without access to roof space may partake in the solar revolution without having to front the full costs of transitioning to solar and without needing to own a home or building in the city. Beyond the obvious environmental benefits of cleaner air, stable and resilient energy systems, and more affordable energy access, this program would allow for those typically left out of energy markets to experience a financial gain through smaller investments. As the market for solar increases, these investments could reap significant returns for families in both the short and long term.
If you or someone you know is interested in going solar for environmental or financial reasons but lack the capacity to do so, look into Community Shared Solar as an opportunity to achieve both goals!