Community-Led Solar

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Community Led Solar is a form of community solar that aims to center the voice of the community who is benefitting from the array by prioritizing its needs. Each community-led solar project is inherently different given the variability of the communities which they serve. Input on the projects is ideally gathered through a Community Advisory Board.

Community solar allows households to enroll in a local shared solar array and see savings on their electric bill, without any of the extra costs or installation problems introduced by putting it on a rooftop. Community solar is in theory a more accessible form of solar energy because it expands access to community members who rent, or do not own their roof. All community members can participate in a community solar garden through shared ownership or energy savings.

However, people of color and income-eligible households continue to be excluded from renewable energy projects, such as community solar, and energy efficiency programs. We believe project development needs to be grounded in communities, from the beginning, to revolutionize the energy system. With this in mind, we envision a model of community solar that centers climate-impacted communities and is entirely community-led. Through our work, Energy Allies and community partners build solar projects that prioritizes community voices and provide opportunities for residents to build wealth. Our projects offer income-eligible households the opportunity to benefit from community-owned, community-led clean energy. Every aspect of this project will be decided on by a Community Advisory Board made up of local leaders with Energy Allies acting as a technical advisor.


Community Solar Policy

This is the policy landscape of policy that currently exists. By sharing the current policy landscape, our team hopes to educate and advance advocacy for inclusive community solar policy in all 50 states.




Find out more about our community-led solar projects here →


What makes a good site?

Large, flat rooftops or parking areas are ideal for siting in an urban area. Locations that are southfacing and are not overly shaded are good places to start. 

New Roofs

Older roofs may not support added weight of panels

Empty Roofs

Roofs may be home to other infrastructure such as HVAC or generators

Big Roofs

Some roofs may be too small to support a community solar project

Full Sun

Roofs may not be oriented in a way that ensures adequate sun exposure


How do we benefit the community?

Incorporating community input into program design is essential from the very beginning of the project.


Create a system to share the benefits of the community solar garden with households who can't install a panel on their rooftop.


Co-design equitable financing options, like scholarships so everyone in the community can participate in ownership.


Support pathways to high-paying solar industry jobs.


Track equity metrics in all hiring for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC).

Decentralized and Democratized Energy System

Why Community-Led Solar?

Community Leadership

• Power-building
• Community-Advisory Board
• Community Ownership of Energy Resources

Alleviate Energy Burden

• Energy Bill Savings
• Energy Resilience
• Climate Adaptation

Shared Benefits

• Workforce Development
• Jobs and Opportunities
• Co-learning with communities


Let us know if you want to partner with us on a community-led project for your friends and neighbors.

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