Through a partnership with Geostellar and Together Solar announced yesterday, the PNBC will create community solar programs designed to lower electricity costs, clean the air and create jobs in the cities and towns they serve.
While many churches have installed solar on their own roofs to save energy for the congregations, this new partnership expands solar’s role beyond the four walls of the congregations themselves.
Geostellar will tailor solar equipment, installation and financing plans for each community solar plant, while Together Solar will do the actual installations in PNBC communities.
The partnership will offer community solar in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and there are no restrictions on the type of facility than can host the arrays — residential and commercial solar installations are available nationwide.
Community solar is an ever-increasing segment of the solar industry, despite its relatively small marketshare. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says most of the community-solar development is concentrated in four states — California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota. It expects community-solar plants’ capacity to increase to 1.8 GW this year.
Community solar’s popularity stems from its promise to expand solar beyond traditional solar customers. With programs like the the partnership between these three groups, residents no longer have to own a home or business to get the benefits of solar.
Instead, they can purchase electricity from solar arrays owned by the whole community. The host properties receive new revenue streams, and the financial investment improves infrastructure and sparks job growth in areas often desperate for well-paying jobs.
“We are excited to partner with PNBC and member congregations to provide clean, affordable solar energy to underserved communities everywhere,” said David Levine, CEO of Geostellar. “With community solar, churches, schools and local businesses can play a key role in the transition to solar energy, bringing unparalleled opportunity for economic expansion and resilience in the face of climate change.”