Community Solar Info Hub

The Community Solar Info Hub is a resource for anyone interested in learning more about community solar in NYC.

What is Community Solar?

Community Solar allows any New Yorker who pays an electric bill to participate in a solar project by subscribing to a shared solar energy system. In return, subscribers receive a solar credit that helps reduce their energy bills without having to install solar panels where they live. Traditional rooftop solar requires homeownership with sufficient roof space and typically requires homeowners to pay for the solar project. Community solar provides solar energy access to households, businesses, and apartments that can’t install rooftop solar.

The Problem

Individual rooftop solar installations have certain limitations:

  • Lack of Homeownership
  • Unsuitable to install systems onsite
  • Seen as expensive and limited to the wealthy

The Solution

Community Solar is a way of providing solar energy to apartments and small businesses by allowing them to share a single solar energy system, and reducing their energy bill through solar credits

Why is it important?

We know that solar energy is good for the environment, reduces energy bills, and can improve community health. Though solar energy on homes and businesses has been growing rapidly, the vast majority of New Yorkers cannot access solar power.

Issues of access are disproportionally higher in communities of color, low-income communities, and environmental justice communities, that arguably need clean, renewable energy access the most.


Developing Community Solar projects have a wide range of different environmental, economic, and equitable benefits:

More Solar

  • Utilizes unused roof space, typically on larger buildings such as warehouses
  • Lowers GHG emissions – solar is a renewable energy source that does not use fossil fuels
  • Increases reliability of the Con Edison grid by distributing the energy that’s sent to the grid throughout the city
  • Reduces reliance and environmental burdens caused by polluting fossil fuel energy generation sources


  • Solar system installations placed on a large rooftop – participants can get solar energy without installing anything on their roof
  • Increase access for renters previously excluded from participating in solar energy. Anyone that pays a utility bill can access, not just homeowners
  • Typically, there are no upfront costs to participate in community solar – Participants no longer need to invest funds into a solar energy system
  • Allows for all communities to become more sustainable within their energy uses


  • Participants save money on their energy bills
  • Guaranteed savings due to subscription model
  • Subscription Model Rates vary by project, but typically a 10% discount


  • Supports the local economy
  • New York’s increasing limits on GHG emissions from buildings seeks a demand for a “green” workforce and workforce development programs
  • Solar One’s Green Workforce Training Program offers under and unemployed individuals with hands-on knowledge in construction and sustainability and industry recognized certifications

Energy Democracy

  • Local control of energy infrastructure, many projects are sponsored by community-based groups
  • Provides an opportunity for local ownership and decision-making into project development and benefits
  • Solar projects are installed in New York City, so participants are close to where the projects are located
  • Training and employment opportunities for local residents


Community Solar can reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help the State and City meet its renewable energy mandates, including:

State Targets

  • 100 percent clean, carbon-free electricity in New York State by 2040
  • Distributed solar deployment of 6,000 megawatts by 2025
  • Increasing New York’s Clean Energy Standard mandate to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030

City Targets

  • Installing 350 MW of solar in NYC by 2025
  • NYCHA has committed to installing 30 megawatts (MW) of clean energy capacity with solar power on its properties by 2026
  • Expand distributed solar energy and install 1,000 MW of solar capacity by 2030

Local renewable energy projects provide a range of benefits: lower energy costs, improve air quality, and the creation of new jobs.

Prioritizing the development of community solar projects in historically marginalized communities can also ensure that no one is being left out of the Just Transition, and benefits are being provided to communities that need them the most.

Milestones in NY


New York passed Legislation enacting Community Solar


New York City’s first community solar array is built


  • Achieved 50 MW of Community Solar in NYC
  • New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), passed
    which sets targets for distributed solar deployment (6 GW by 2025)


  • 371 community solar projects were operational in New York, comprising 497 MW of capacity
    • That’s enough to power approximately 100,000 homes!
  • Nearly 90 percent of that capacity was installed in 2019 and 2020, reflecting the successful launch and scaling up of the industry.
  • Roughly 63 percent of all solar capacity installed in New York in 2020 was part of the community solar program.
  • At the national level New York was the largest state community solar market in terms of 2020 installations

Start your own project

Community Solar can help your organization provide an opportunity for local ownership and decision-making into project development, jobs within the green workforce, and long-term revenue for your organization through the sale of discounted solar energy credits.

If you are a community-based organization interested in Community Solar, please contact Gretchen Bradley, Director, Community Solar, at to get started!

Join a project

Most households in NYC are eligible to join a community solar project. “Joining” a project mean that you become a subscriber to a project located in NYC and receive a discount on your electric bill.

Most community solar programs save you $5-$10/month, which adds up over the course of a year. The best part with community solar is that you are always saving money, and you never pay more for participating in a project.

Fill out our contact form if you’re intersted in joinng a project. A Solar One team member will follow up with next steps.

If you’d like additional information about community solar check out NYSERDA’s Community Solar page.

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