Community Generation Helps ...
- Low Income Families
- Those Who Plan to Move
- Windy Communities
What Is Community Generation
Do you wish to participate in the clean energy revolution, but you’re unable to?
- Perhaps you’d really like to install solar, but you rent or live on a tree lined street?
- Maybe you have a twenty year old roof that you need to replace before it makes sense to put on the solar panels?
- Do you have a roofing material that makes it expensive to install solar panels?
- Maybe wind is the technology of choice for your community, but that smaller residential turbine in your backyard has you worried about maintenance or perhaps you don’t have the wind exposure because you are sheltered by your neighbor’s house or tree.
- Do you want wind, but the economics don't make sense with a small turbine?
If you want to participate but can’t, Community Generation is the answer.
Community generation allows a community to get together and do something that an individual may not be able to do by himself. They share in the benefits of a community generation facility including improved access to renewable energy resources, professional management, and no headaches with having to learn about the technology. All energy generated by this community generation is shared and allocated to members of the community and offsets their energy demands, just as if it was located directly on their own property. They also share in the costs of the community generation, but can often take advantage of economies of scale and improved financing that comes from doing a really big installation instead of a lot of smaller ones.
Community Generation Helps … Communities
A community in northern California has proposed community generation for a firebreak around their subdivision. This unlocks the value of some dormant land, adds marketing “cache” (and increased home prices!) as a clean-energy community, avoids costly installation on their ceramic tile roofs (which they need because of the fire hazard), and offsets their energy costs. Individuals also don’t have to become experts on the rapidly changing solar market, which allows them to participate without the risk!
Community generation also provides financial benefits to many communities and municipalities that might not otherwise be able to take advantage of federal and state tax credits. By aggregating the tax appetite of a community, substantial savings may be possible on a project.
Community Generation Helps … Low-Income Families
The new California Solar Initiative (CSI) Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program is a community generation project that brings solar to low income families and multi-family dwellings. This electric tariff will allow MASH program participants to apply the credits from a single solar system to multiple low income families that are part of this larger community.
Community Generation Helps … Renters
33% of households are renter-occupied across the US; in some states such as California, Nevada, Hawaii and New York, well over 40% of households are renter-occupied. Renters here pay the electric bill, but they don’t own the house where they live; they won’t participate in solar energy, even though they may have some of the best solar exposure in the US! With community generation, these people can invest in renewable resources now, without having to buy a home in order to do it!
Community Generation Helps … Those Who Plan to Move
About 15% of people move each year in the US according to the US Census Bureau. Many of these people hesitate making a serious investment in renewable energy if they think that it will make their home unaffordable to a potential buyer. By investing in community generation, they have their renewable energy investment pay off for them, regardless of where they live in the community.
Community Generation Helps … Cities
A community in northern California has gone through rapid growth, but their electric transmission capacity hasn’t; in California, transmission upgrades are slow and expensive, and this challenge is now impacting the city’s ambitious growth plans. By allowing the community to build community generation, the city will generate more energy locally, extend the usefulness of their transmission infrastructure and can keep up its rapid growth!
Community Generation Helps … Windy Communities
Wind communities and cooperatives are catching big wind in Oregon, Washington, and many parts of the US. This is because larger wind turbines can capture stronger winds that are above the surface, making them much more cost effective, despite their higher cost. No longer do individuals have to worry about maintaining and operating these wind turbines either, as the O&M is taken care of by the community.
In rural Midwestern states, community wind is seen as a way to help supplement and stabilize farmer income, and thereby contribute to the preservation of farming communities and the rural landscapes and values they create.
Community Generation Helps … Businesses
Much like the renter, a business won’t usually make an investment in renewable energy if they don’t own the building. And for many small businesses that expect to grow out of their current building, community generation allows them to invest in technology that can help their bottom line, while still giving them the flexibility to grow.
Community Generation Helps … Developers
By creating a development for a community, a number of benefits are realized for developers, PPA providers, and solar financing organizations. In addition to obvious economies of scale advantages that can be shared with the customer, there is decreased development and financial risk. In the event that the financial situation changes for a member of the community (for example, a foreclosure or bankrupcy), that portion of the project can be fluidly sold and/or allocated to other members of the community relatively easily which provides additional security to your investment.
Click here to find out how community generation helps utilities.
Contact Us if you are interested in community generation for your community and/or let us know how Community Generation can help you!