“IREC has provided invaluable thought leadership on shared renewables. They developed model rules that have served as the basis of legislation in several states, and participated in the lengthy implementation process for the Colorado Solar Gardens Act, the first major shared renewables program in the country. We look forward to continuing to partner with IREC to broaden access to renewable energy through shared renewables programs.”
Hannah Masterjohn, The Vote Solar Initiative
What are Shared Renewables Programs?
Shared renewables programs represent an important new model for increasing participation in renewable energy. They provide opportunities for individuals and businesses unable to host an onsite renewable energy system, such as solar, to participate in the renewable energy market. Particularly exciting is the potential for low-income communities to benefit from solar energy.
In just a few years, IREC has established itself as a national thought leader in development of shared renewables programs. Recent studies show that only about one-quarter of U.S. households are able to install solar on their roofs. The reasons are varied, but stakeholders agree that well-designed shared solar programs give the remaining three-quarters of the potential market a fair chance to participate. IREC has developed and promoted shared solar program model rules, spoken at dozens of conferences and forums, and worked closely with numerous stakeholders and staff at dozens of public utilities commissions and utilities — to make sure shared renewables programs become more prevalent in the U.S.
IREC’s regulatory team is currently working on development of a shared solar program in San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s service territory, and supporting development of shared solar programs in California, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Texas and Massachusetts, and at several municipal and cooperative utilities across the country. While other renewable sources, such as wind, offer potentially shared energy generation, solar is currently the most prominent of shared renewables programs.