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15 ABRIL 2020

What Is Community Solar?

Diseño de ciudad con autoconsumo compartido

Community Solar refers to multiple individuals using electricity produced by a solar installation that they own together. In other words, it’s a solar energy cost-sharing program.

Since Royal Decrees 15/2018 and 244/2019 were approved, the renewable energy sector has experienced a surge. These decrees not only  removed the sun tax but also cut through the red tape needed to go solar and recognized the right to cost sharing between multiple consumers. The new changes also opened the door to compensation for exporting surplus energy to the power grid.

Thanks to these recent developments, Community Solar is starting to become more commonplace in Spain, even though it is still in its early stages. But what is it?

Community Solar refers to multiple individuals using electricity produced by a solar installation that they own together. In other words, it’s a way to share the costs of investing in renewable energy while also sharing the benefits.

There are different types of Community Solar models depending on certain logistical considerations of how they operate:

  • Basic system: These types of systems are very simple. The solar system is owned by the community and the electricity produced is only used for common areas (elevator, stairwell lights, outdoor lights, etc.).
  • Comprehensive system: The energy produced in comprehensive systems is used to supply power not only to common areas but also to residences and commercial establishments.
  • Flexible system: These systems, as their name suggests, has the flexibility to allow residents to decide to use power from the community solar farm or to continue using power from the conventional grid. Residents are free to opt in to the program in the future if they wish.

Community Solar, like home solar, offers users a variety of advantages compared to conventional energy sources, which we have discussed in previous articles.

Besides reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and promoting our common goal of net-zero by 2050 within the community, saving money on power bills and independence from power companies are the most substantial benefits that a shared solar program offers.

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