Common Energy raises $16.5 million to expand community solar access nationwide

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Common Energy announced that it has received a $16.5 million investment from S2G Ventures, the direct investment team of Builders Vision, for the purposes of expanding consumer access to local, community solar projects across the country, scale Common Energy’s industry-leading energy management platform, and growing the company’s management and operating teams. 

Common’s energy management platform provides project owners with a sophisticated, cloud-based software as a service solution that enables them to manage and monetize complex, multi-tenant distributed generation projects.  Common Energy’ asserts that the financial and collections visibility provided by the platform results in higher project ROI for its clients. The platform can also be customized to facilitate reporting and accounting. 

“Community solar plays a valuable part in the United States’ national energy strategy because it advances clean energy deployment in a way that allows many households to promote solar energy while reducing energy costs,” said Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Obama and Common Energy advisor. 

DOE reports that by year’s end 2020, about 3GW of community solar in the US was active, enough to power about 600,000 homes. The community solar model only represents about 8% of the total distributed solar capacity in the nation.

In February, the National Community Solar Partnership, a Department of Energy (DOE) program, set an ambitious goal of enabling enough community solar projects to power the equivalent of 5 million households, and achieve $1 billion in combined energy bill savings. This goal aligns with the DOE’s greater target of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and places a focus on ensuring that American citizens can meaningfully access the benefits of the energy transition.

This target would entail a jump from 3GW installed capacity to 20 GW by 2025. DOE estimates customers enrolling in community solar will save an average of about 20% on energy bills.

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