The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a request for proposals (RFP) to develop 16 megawatts (MWs) of community solar projects in Rochester, NY, to expand solar access to low and moderate income local residents. Rochester's ROCSPOT partnered with RMI to create the proposals and facilitate pre-development work as part of the non-profit’s mission to offer solar energy services to all residents by 2025.
Under the RFP, RMI and ROCSPOT are seeking proposals for community solar projects between 1 and 2 megawatts of size, according to RMI. The new projects are expected to create 19-24 local construction jobs and produce an estimated $1.8-2.7 million in local income. While almost anyone can purchase parts of a community solar project, the city of Rochester said it could purchase as much as 7 MWs of the community solar projects.
Community-scale solar provides, “a unique opportunity to customers of all socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in our renewable energy transition, in a way that stabilizes neighborhoods, engages communities in energy education, and demonstrates that everyone can and should have reasonably priced access to renewables,” said Susan Spencer, founder of ROCSPOT.
“As New York State continues to transform the way energy is produced and delivered to its citizens, we are pleased to partner with the City of Rochester in the development of this promising new clean energy technology,” said Jules Kortenhorst, RMI’s CEO. Community solar projects in the empire state have gained popularity in recent years thanks to numerous initiatives introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), which are designed to help increase the amount of solar installed throughout the state at all levels, residential, commercial and utility-scale solar.
Community solar is one of the fastest growing segments of the solar industry in the US and it looks like it’s continuing to grow. Half of total distributed solar could come from community solar by 2020, according to a report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Still, developers must work with financial partners to develop financing solutions that will allow more people to participate in community solar projects.Tweet