Everything You Should Know About Solar Hosting
Dec 28, 2021
by Tara McDermott
While the number of solar panel installations continues to increase on Long Island and in NYC, not every home or business owner can install panels on their own property. Solar panel hosting enables property owners to generate revenue and community members to save money on their electricity bill by subscribing to these sites.
What Is Solar Hosting?
Solar panel hosting, also known as “community solar hosting,” is a growing concept in the United States, particularly on Long Island and in NYC. Traditional on-site solar installation can raise concerns about cost, not to mention the wide variety of factors that determine whether a home or business qualifies for solar. Subscribing to a community solar project allows those who cannot install solar on-site to offset their electricity bill with solar energy produced by the host site. Solar hosts receive extra revenue for installing a solar array to provide clean energy to homes and businesses.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Hosting?
Solar hosts sites can benefit from community solar in two ways:
- Earn rent from their rooftop, land, or parking lot
A third-party financial company will pay upfront, over time, or a combination of the two, then sell the energy through a community solar program.
- Invest and sell energy to others
Fund their project through a loan, lease, or direct cash purchase, then sell the energy off-site using community solar.
Solar panel hosting is beneficial in that it allows property owners to:
- Further monetize existing assets
- Create a new income stream
- Provide benefits to the environment and local economy
There is no upfront investment required to host solar. Solar hosts merely offer up their available or underutilized real estate, and in return gain a fixed stream of income and added property value.
Solar Hosting vs. Traditional On-Site Solar
|Solar Hosting||Traditional On-Site Solar|
|Model||Host sites receive money in exchange for leasing property to a solar developer and distributing clean energy to community solar subscribers||Solar panels are constructed on the owner’s property and financed by cash, loan or lease to meet energy needs and maximize utility savings|
|Operations and Maintenance||Solar developer||System owner|
|Cost||No upfront cost||Zero-down loan options, lease options, power purchase agreements, and direct cash purchases|
|Billing||“Front of Meter”: no billing change, as all energy goes to the grid||“Behind the Meter”: on-site metering measures the net amount of energy used and is billed accordingly|
|Property Ownership||Property ownership required||Property ownership required|
|Contract Lengths||20 – 25 years||20 years|
How Do I Become a Solar Host?
The main prerequisite for solar host qualification is property ownership. Other than that, almost any property owner can host a solar project on-site. As a regional leader in community solar installation and provider of the market’s most efficient technology, we can help you monetize your property as a solar hosting site.
We believe that the benefits of solar energy should be accessible to all. Whether you’re interested in becoming a community solar host or subscriber, we are happy to help guide you through the process of transitioning to clean, renewable energy. Contact us today!
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About the Author
Tara represents EmPower Solar as the Chair of the Long Island Solar & Storage Alliance where she is the government liaison for policy issues related to solar and energy storage. In 2018, Tara was named one of the Top 50 Women in Business by the Long Island Business News. She was also inducted into the Social Justice Distinguished Scholar Academy for her work in environmental justice issues in collaboration with Farmingdale State College.