Community Shared Solar

Community Shared Solar, also called community distributed generation, allows people to purchase solar panels or subscribe to the electricity produced by a local solar farm. Your utility bill credits you for the electricity produced on the solar farm so it works seamlessly with your current household meter and utility company.

In other words, you can go solar without having the solar panels on your property. This allows renters and people with property not suitable for solar to save money and receive clean energy from the sun.

Community Shared Solar is an important new step in the field of solar energy for a number of reasons. In New York State, even homeowners struggle with converting to solar because 75% of rooftops are unsuitable for a system due to shading, orientation, and quality of the rooftop, among other issues. People who rent, for the most part, are not allowed to build onto their home. Others struggle with financing their individual solar project.

How does it work?

In 2015, the Public Service Commission enacted legislation that allows people to benefit from a solar farm on their utility bill with something called Remote Net Metering. RNM, as it is abbreviated, allows for you to have a solar panel within your load zone and have the energy that is produced from it credited to your account, rather than the solar panel having to be directly connected to your home.

Instead of utility companies benefitting entirely, Community Shared Solar allows for the energy benefits to go directly to the community. There are two different ways to subscribe to CSS:


Owner Model: Purchase of the electricity produced from a number of panels, measured in kilowatts. Fixed yearly leasing agreement.

Subscriber Model: Pay only for monthly use of electricity, measured in kilowatts per hour. Slightly higher rates, only the electricity you used that month will be covered. You are not tied to specific panels, allowing for a flexible monthly payment plan/power agreement.

How can you get involved?

Show interest in becoming a subscriber: In order to create a CSS project that will accomodate the needs of our community, we need to know how large of a project to build. By signing up for CSS through Southern Tier Solar Works, you help to create a database that allows us to show that there is local demand to develop a solar farm. By signing up, you also reserve a spot for when the project is up and running.

Invest in a Community Shared Solar project: A large amount of upfront capital is required to start a CSS project. By investing, you will enable a solar farm/s to be built and receive profits from the project when it is running.

Lease your land for a solar farm: A solar farm requires large areas of clear, dry land. If you have a large plot of land that you would like to lease out to the cause, contact Southern Tier Solar Works so we can assess the property’s viability.

Learn more about land leasing here

Take the next step!

Sign up below and we’ll put you in the queue for our local projects, which we are currently developing. Signing up carries NO OBLIGATION but we will notify you when a community solar project is up and running near you!