January 02, 2017

INFOGRAPHIC: Community Solar Progress by State

  • Posted in:   Blog
  • Written by  SunShare

Solar energy is growing at exponential rates across the county, and we are starting to see community solar gain momentum in many states around the nation as part of that growth. However, not all community solar is created equal. While community solar is booming in states like Minnesota and Colorado, there are states that have little or no community solar action. Why the discrepancy? We looked at a variety of factors and fleshed out which states are the best of the best for community solar, which states have no community solar activity, and all the states in between. Here are some of the questions we asked when looking at each state’s progress:

  1. Does the state have policy to support community solar development?
  2. Does the community solar legislation allow for a large or small amount of community solar development?
  3. Does the state have individual utilities creating community solar programs on their own, without being mandated by existing legislation?
  4. Does the state have the potential for a flourishing community solar market?
Community State Progress

We took all these factors, crunched the numbers, and created a map of the country showing you where there is the most community solar progress.

As you can see, the top 5 states for community solar progress have robust legislation to support a community solar market. Supportive legislation is the most important factor we considered when analyzing each state. Tier 2 states were classified as having community solar legislation, but a limited program size and / or a cap on how much community solar can be developed. These states are off to a good start, but their program sizes will need to expand so that more community solar can be developed, and more people can participate. The third batch of states have no community solar legislation but have utilities acting on their own to make community solar available to their customers. Again, this is a great start, but only allows individuals and businesses in very specific areas to benefit from community solar.

Here at SunShare, we have recognized a strong consumer demand for community solar, and utilities tend to listen to their customers. If you are living in a state in Tiers 2, 3, or 4, you can help grow your community solar market. All you have to do is call your local utility or congress person and tell them you want community solar in your community!