Coalition for Community Solar Access First Anniversary Marks Growing Membership, Key Policy Advancements

March 6th, 2017

The Nation’s First Community Solar Trade Association Has Worked in Partnership Across the Industry to Expand Solar Access Nationwide

Washington, DC (March 6, 2017) – The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) marked its one-year anniversary last month with the addition of nine new members. The nation’s first and only trade association for community solar now represents an even-larger cross-section of project developers, manufacturers, financiers, legal experts and advocates.

“Community solar is on the rise across the country,” affirmed CCSA Executive Director Jeff Cramer. “We’re excited to see so much enthusiasm for community solar from so many leading companies and organizations, and encouraged by the growing support for effective policies that will support its adoption nationwide. In the last year alone we have seen total installed capacity of community solar nearly double, and significant progress made to open new markets, including Maryland, New York, Hawaii and others in the coming year.”

CCSA has now added nine new members: Borrego Solar, Distributed Sun, EWT, AES Distributed Energy, Westwood Professional Services, Relay Power, Lever Energy Finance, Solstice and GRID Alternatives. Solstice and GRID Alternatives are also CCSA’s first non-profit members.

In its first year, CCSA and its growing membership have been actively involved in advocating for effective community solar policies in states across the country. Some of the recent action CCSA has engaged in includes:

  • The implementation of a new program in Maryland, which opens in April and enables nearly 250 MW of community solar development, as well as new programs in Hawaii and Rhode Island.
  • Working with regulators to improve market structures in existing markets, including crucial financial mechanisms in Massachusetts and New York that will enable development of hundreds more MW in each state, bringing community solar to tens of thousands of new customers over the next few years.
  • Working with local advocates and policymakers to establish the rules for new programs that were approved in Illinois and Oregon in 2016.

The momentum shows no signs of stopping, with legislation to create new community solar programs currently being considered in at least seven states, including Nevada, Washington, and Maine, with votes anticipated on those programs by summer 2017.

The community solar business trade association has published the industry’s first Policy Decision Matrix to assist policymakers in developing new community solar programs, and partnered with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to develop a Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar.

“The continued growth of community solar is a testament to the strong consumer demand for local, affordable, clean energy options and the direct engagement of our members in promoting the policies necessary for successful development,” declared CCSA Board Chair Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective. “We are gaining visible momentum and making important progress toward our goal of ensuring access to solar for all. We’re enthusiastic about building upon these successes as we start year two.”

A recent Greentech Media study forecast that 410 MW of community solar will be installed in 2017 and community solar will be a 500 MW annual market by 2019.

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About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, like the Coalition on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess and follow the Coalition on Twitter at @solaraccess.