Solar panels are appearing on more and more roofs. But what about people who rent, live in a condominium, have shaded roofs, who might move or live in a historic district or home owners association? This is the majority of Americans! In several states, people can own solar panels in a common array called a solar garden, supplying their homes through the existing power grid.
Legislation at the federal level and in several states is making this possible, with tax rebates and electric company incentives available to solar gardens subscribers.
Says SolarGardens.org founder Joy Hughes “For the first time, low income homeowners and renters will be able to go solar. We’ll put the first facilities on libraries, schools, and hospitals so these institutions can benefit. Solar gardens are sprouting up everywhere!”
By pooling resources and buying panels as a group, a community can save money and give subscribers a lower cost than going it alone.
In Colorado, the Community Solar Gardens bill will allow individuals to subscribe to solar energy within their county. The Solar Panel Hosting company has initiated the 70-acre Founders Garden in Jefferson County. This will be an Open Garden, allowing each solar company to have its own “patch” for their subscribers.
In Massachusetts, the Green Communities Act has made solar possible. My Generation Energyhas developed two subscriber based facilities, and applied for a trademark on the term “Solar Garden”. My Generation founder Luke Hinkle says he intends to use the trademark to help certify the quality and best practices of community solar gardens everywhere, and has given his support to this effort.