CCSA, which was organized just one year ago, claims some credit for 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. The group is now working with local advocates and policymakers to establish the rules for new programs that were approved in Illinois and Oregon in 2016.
State legislation to create new community solar programs currently is being considered in at least seven states, including Nevada, Washington, and Maine, with votes anticipated on those programs by summer 2017.
CCSA also works 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.
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.
“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.”
The CCSA 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.”