Coalition for Community Solar Access aligns growth plans with DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership, proposes key actions to reach shared milestone
Washington, D.C. — The community solar industry today committed to developing 20 GW of capacity by 2025. Making the announcement at the DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership Summit, the commitment aligns with DOE’s goal to enable enough community solar to power 5 million American homes by 2025, saving consumers $1 billion. In addition to the commitment, CCSA outlined seven key actions that will be critical to reaching the goals set forth by its members and DOE between now and 2025.
“Today, over 80 community solar providers from across the country announced a commitment to build more than 20 gigawatts of community solar by 2025. The industry is ready to help DOE meet its ambitious community solar goals,” said Jeff Cramer, President and CEO of Coalition for Community Solar Access. “With the combination of DOE’s NCSP initiatives and the adoption of other critical actions by state and federal policymakers, the industry can meet this goal and satisfy pent up demand, save American consumers and businesses money, create local jobs, enhance grid resilience and protect the environment and community health.”
The community solar industry experienced a record-breaking year of growth in 2020. Early surveys of construction and development anticipate continued expansion of the sector, but policy plays a key role in the final outcome. Along with its commitment, CCSA urges policymakers to remove barriers and incentivize deployment in parallel to the industry’s work to enhance and evolve its community solar products for rapid expansion. CCSA recommends a set of seven actions necessary to drive the goal of 20 GW by 2025, including:
- Implement the first-ever federal funding and tax incentives for community solar projects through passage of the Build Back Better Act and the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act.
- Mobilize 10 new states to create third-party community solar programs for a total of 31 states and the District of Columbia with programs by 2025.
- Increase the sizes of existing programs to meet pent up customer demand and achieve the lowest-cost, most resilient electric grid.
- Improve upon technical and cost barriers to interconnection through integrated grid planning, appropriate incentives, and proactive policy.
- Build and train a highly skilled local workforce to fulfill the thousands of new family-sustaining jobs that will be created across the country to build and operate the new projects.
- Enhance the standard of bill savings for customers with low to moderate incomes and build avenues that increase awareness of and participation in community solar projects.
- Continue evolving community solar products to ensure customers can easily and readily participate, save money, and drive the development of more solar in their communities.
More than 75 percent of American households do not have access to solar power because they either do not own their homes or their roofs are unable to host a solar system. Through community solar, people can connect to a shared local solar installation that would provide subscribers with equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation through energy bill credits.
A growing body of research demonstrates that a rapid acceleration of distributed energy resources like community solar will be necessary to meet U.S. climate and clean energy goals at the lowest cost, including analysis commissioned by CCSA as well as the DOE’s own Solar Futures study.
“The Department of Energy’s effort to catalyze public awareness and resource availability will play a key role in achieving this goal for U.S. community solar growth,” said Cramer. “We know customers want local solar energy and we commit to do our part to accelerate the growth of community solar so we can build a clean, cost-effective electric grid that works for all Americans.”
About Coalition for Community Solar Access
The Coalition for Community Solar Access is a national Coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand customer choice and access to solar for all American households and businesses through community solar. Our mission is to empower every American energy consumer with the option to choose local, clean, and affordable community solar. We work with customers, utilities, local stakeholders, and policymakers to develop and implement policies and best practices that ensure community solar programs provide a win, win, win for all, starting with the customer. For more information, visit https://www.communitysolaraccess.org and follow the group on Facebook.