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Community Solar Support Page

Everything you need to know about Community Solar

  • Who/What is Solar Gardens?
    Solar Gardens is the name of the community solar program by Syncarpha Capital. Syncarpha is an investment company dedicated to developing, owning and operating commercial and utility scale photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems throughout the United States with a focus on community solar and commercial solar markets. Partnering with Neighborhood Sun, Solar Gardens acts as a one-stop shop to not only develop solar gardens across the US, but to service our subscribers and provide the best possible customer experience.
  • Who is Community Solar for?
    Community Solar with Solar Gardens is for homeowners, renters and businesses who want to support local, renewable, solar energy while saving money on electricity without having to install solar panels on your rooftop or property. Studies have shown that up to 80% of consumers cannot install panels on their rooftops for a variety of reasons: the initial up-front costs may be too high, their roofs may not face the right direction (or may not have the right pitch), or they rent their homes. Community Solar offers these customers a way to access solar energy benefits regardless of these restrictions. Solar Gardens offers three very tangible benefits that appeal to a broad range of electric customers: 1) Save money - with no up-front or back-end costs: There is no upfront to join and no solar panels to purchase and install on your property. In addition, the credits that you generate with your share of the project will reduce what you pay on your electric bills. 2) Support local, renewable, solar energy: community solar is a unique way for customers who can't own their own rooftop system to support renewable energy in their community 3) Increase energy independence: community solar is a way for consumers to promote independent energy projects, "localize" energy supply and further diversify our energy mix beyond traditional utility offerings
  • How does it work?
    Each month, you will be allocated a percentage of the output of a specific community solar garden. Your share is determined by your average electric usage. Your utility will translate this output into credits that appear directly on your utility bills. The credits on your electric bill lower what you owe to your utility provider. At the same time, you'll also receive a bill from Solar Gardens, for payments for those credits - but at a guaranteed discount. The difference between the credits you receive on your utility bill and the bill you receive from us for discounted credits will equal your savings each month. Our customers' savings vary based on the project and utility provider they're connected with. Average savings by utility provider: Eversource (Eastern MA): 20% savings Eversource (Western MA): 10% savings National Grid (MA): 10% savings Central Maine Power (ME): 15% savings XCel Energy (MN): 10% savings
  • What if I get more credits than I can use in a month?
    Solar generation varies, and community solar programs are designed to reflect the chance that some months you may get more credits than you can use - in these cases, credits can be "banked," to be used in months where your usage and utility bill is higher than the value of your community solar credits. For example, in Massachusetts, these credits can be "banked" indefinitely. In winter months, these banked credits can be useful when solar generation isn't at its peak production. Note that we'll work with you when you sign up to make sure that your community solar "credit allocation" makes sense relative to your total annual energy usage.
  • What about when the sun doesn't shine? Does it cost me money in the winter, on cloudy days, etc.?"
    Even on cloudy days and during the winter months, solar energy is still produced, just at a lower rate. During those months, you simply won't receive as large a credit as you might receive during sunnier months. Remember - you haven't paid anything up front and only pay - at a discount - as credits are produced and allocated to your account.
  • What if I want to cancel? What if I move?
    Moves happen - we get that. While our agreements will differ by state and by community solar program, in all cases, we provide flexibility for customers who need to move. If you move locally, your community solar credits and savings move with you! And if you move outside the service area, you can transfer your credits to someone else or cancel the agreement - we'll help you decide which works best. For Eversource (Eastern MA) customers, you may cancel anytime for any reason with no cancellation fee. All we ask is for a 90-days notice. This time frame allows us to remove you from the project with Eversource and add someone else in your place.
  • Who is Neighborhood Sun? Are they partners with Solar Gardens?
    Neighborhood Sun is a partner of Solar Gardens. Their online platform allows our subscribers to access a personalized portal (My Solar Account) to view invoices, cumulative savings and environmental impact. In addition, Neighborhood Sun assists with customer service, billing and operations.

Early Roots

The idea of shared solar energy first gained traction in the early 2000s as a response to the limitations of individual rooftop solar installations. Communities recognized the potential for broader access to solar power and formed the foundation for community solar projects.

State Initiatives

Many states recognized the benefits of community solar and began enacting legislation to facilitate its development. These state-driven initiatives created a framework for shared solar projects to flourish.

Federal Support

The federal government has also played a pivotal role in promoting community solar. In recent years, various incentives, tax credits, and grants have been made available to encourage the growth of renewable energy and expand access to community solar projects.

Solar Gardens

At Solar Gardens by Syncarpha, we're proud to be part of this movement, and we're committed to making community solar accessible to as many people as possible. Join us in harnessing the power of the sun and shaping a more sustainable tomorrow for future generations

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