Community solar projects on the rise

One research firm projects solar gardens will make up a large market share of the industry by 2020

By Peter Fabris, Contributor | August 11, 2015

For much of the recent rise of solar power, the industry has been centered on distributed rooftop solar and utility-scale solar parks. Another type of solar power arrangement in which consumers share renewable energy installations is set to take off this year, according to a new report from GTM Research.

The firm projects that this method, known as community solar, solar gardens, or shared solar, will make up a large market share of the industry by 2020. Designed for those without rooftop access, shared solar projects will open up opportunities for about 50% of U.S. households and businesses that are unable to host a photovoltaic system due to site unsuitability, ownership, or multi-unit status, according to a recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analysis.

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