While the benefits of solar power are well known, the main challenge that people face is accessibility. Indeed, the upfront cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be quite high. So how can you harness the benefits of this renewable energy source if you're having trouble making the initial investment?
Solar communities are the answer. A solar community is essentially a type of solar farm where multiple homes and businesses can cooperate to install and use solar panels. In this way, shared resources can be dedicated towards procuring, installing and harnessing the power generated by multiple solar panels in the area. But how does this framework apply to your neighbourhood, and is it worth the investment?
The working mechanism of solar communities
Solar communities are essentially projects where many different homes or businesses come together to install a solar farm. By definition, a solar farm is a dedicated area where multiple solar panels are installed. Depending on the size of each project, a significant amount of power can be generated at any given time. You may have heard of these solar panels springing up throughout the country. And if your neighbourhood has adequate sun exposure, you might think about installing one for yourselves.
A solar community can make solar power more affordable and accessible for you and your neighbours. Furthermore, the scope of the project can be whatever you want it to be. From a few solar panels in the common area to an expansive solar farm that connects homes throughout the municipality, every homeowner stands to benefit from solar communities. Think of it as a power plant that's located remotely while still delivering clean and efficient energy into your home.
Benefits of solar communities
A solar community in your area will come with the following benefits:
1. Consistent energy production
One of the biggest concerns regarding solar communities is that you can't track exactly how much energy your own solar panels produce. But through net metering, such calculations won't matter. Your municipality and local utility company will likely offer each connected home utility bill credits for investing in solar. This means that because the solar farm adds energy to the grid, electric bill credits are given to homeowners as an incentive for using clean energy (and helping the city save on energy costs).
2. Reduced costs
You will also be able to save money by cutting down on total energy consumption. Because solar energy is cheaper and reliable to use, homes and businesses often report significant reductions in overall utility bills. Your municipality may also offer incentives (such as tax-based incentives) that can help you put more money in your pocket.