While SunCommon has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar, about half of all homes can’t host solar because they don’t face the sun, or are shaded by trees or chimneys. We didn’t want those barriers to get in the way, so we created a new solar solution available to every Vermonter: Community Solar Array (CSA).
A CSA can provide for about 30 homes with no upfront cost and savings every year compared to your annual utility cost of electricity. By joining our CSA you’ve joined a new, renewables-driven community helping to build our clean energy future.
Landowners with just an acre of available land can help others in their community support solar by hosting a Community Solar Array. SunCommon handles the permitting and logistics and assembles the membership through our community outreach model.
What are RECs?
Renewable Energy Certificates document the environmental attributes produced by renewable energy sources, and can be sold to contribute funds needed to build a solar project like a CSA. Currently, Vermont does not have a renewable portfolio standard that provides a market to buy or sell RECs within Vermont. So, the RECs may be sold to utilities in neighboring states. Where SunCommon sells RECs associated with a CSA, the buyer of the Renewable Energy Credits may claim the environmental attributes. Given the way electrons flow, the power from the solar array typically flows to neighbors of the array. A CSA Member does not receive solar energy, but receives solar credits in the form of cash on her/his utility bill.
RECs are one of the financial attributes that are bundled together to make it possible to offer CSA membership at a low monthly payment and guaranteed savings. We expect Vermont to adopt our own renewable portfolio standard in 2017, after which the RECs associated with the electricity generated by CSAs will support Vermont’s clean energy goals.