The Community Solar Array (CSA) Program has been coordinated in Vermont as a way to cost-effectively offer solar power to a wider audience.
Approximately 50 projects averaging 200 kW each will enable consumers to virtually purchase about 13 MW of solar power without installing individual rooftop systems.
The CSA Program is a group effort coordinated by Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure, an impact investment firm and principal sponsor; Kyocera, a solar manufacturer providing solar panels and additional capital; and SunCommon, Vermont's largest residential solar company heading project development and ongoing support, as well as engineering, procurement and construction services.
Under the new CSA Program, landowners within an electrical service territory can arrange to dedicate a portion of their property to generating clean energy – a new"cash crop," helping farmers and Vermont landowners stay on their land. Each acre of solar panels generates enough electricity to power about 30 homes.
Participants enroll to virtually purchase power generated by solar arrays within their service territories. Solar power is fed into the grid, and participants purchase an amount of grid power equal to that generated by the arrays.
The partnership expects to construct 50 CSAs, with nearly a dozen online or expected to be operational by year-end and the remainder in 2016.
"This Community Solar Array Program offers a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to benefit from solar energy, even if their rooftops don't provide ideal conditions," says Hitoshi Atari, president of Kyocera Solar." With our partners, we're able to implement best practices, including integration of residential solar, flexible participation terms and deep community engagement."