How Community Solar Works

Community solar is the future of solar, and Pivot Energy is helping lead the way


How Community Solar Works

Community solar provides both economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy to residents and businesses who cannot install or do not want a solar array on their property. Community solar also expands access to low-to-moderate income residents who typically would not be able to afford the large up-front cost of a rooftop system. With community solar, all commercial, industrial, municipal, and residential customers can benefit from solar energy.

The design of community solar is what makes it the most versatile segment of the solar industry. Community solar developers build local solar farms that typically range between 0.5 and 10 megawatts (MW) in a participating utility’s service area and connect to the existing electrical grid.

Businesses, municipalities, organizations, and residents can subscribe to the community solar project instead of putting solar modules on their roofs. These subscriptions offset the subscribers’ property’s electrical usage with solar energy, by sending solar energy generated by the solar project directly to the power grid. Subscriptions reduce the dependence on fossil fuels or brown power, that is needed to power the utility’s ratepayers. Additionally, the subscriber receives solar credits from the utility for the energy that is produced by the off-site solar array. The solar credits reduce the subscribers’ overall utility bill, saving them money.

how community solar works infographic
Did you know...

Environmental Impact

Estimated lifetime offsets for our solar arrays

0 MT

CO2 Avoided

0 Vehicles

Passenger Vehicles Driven

0 MT

Coal Not Burned
Why Community Solar

Differences from Rooftop Solar

While both methods of solar power for your property reduce reliance on fossil fuels, the most significant difference between rooftop solar and community solar is convenience. Rooftop solar requirements include financial ability, adequate roof space, unobstructed sunlight, permitting, and installation. Once a rooftop system is installed and activated, the property owner can be responsible for the maintenance of the modules.

Community solar takes away all of the hassles by removing the barriers of those requirements. With community solar, there is no installation, no maintenance, and no upfront payments. While a subscriber will typically not own a piece of the solar farm, they will still have access to the environmental and monetary benefits of solar.

Community solar is the most convenient way to participate in a renewable energy program.

mountain icon

No Rooftop Installation

piggy bank icon

No Upfront Payments

house icon

No home-ownership required

handshake icon

No Maintenance


Pivot Community Solar Subscriptions

Community solar subscribers are typically looking for a way to save on their overhead costs and methods to run a more sustainable business or home. They can achieve those goals by signing a solar services agreement (SSA) where they agree to buy the energy produced from a solar array.

Due to limited capacity in solar farms, subscriptions are frequently sold before the construction of the community solar project. That means there usually is lag time from when a customer subscribes to an array, and when they will start to realize the benefits from renewable energy. This process may seem different from most other services or products, but the timeline is not unlike traditional rooftop solar. Once a company commits to solar, the array has to be permitted, constructed, and connected to the utility grid. This process can take anywhere between 9 to 18 months in some cases. A significant benefit to a Pivot subscriber is that there is no payment until the solar array is energized. Subscribers only pay for the energy produced by their array and nothing beforehand.

Once the community solar project is active, subscribers start receiving two bills related to electricity. One of the bills is for the energy produced in the solar farm, or their subscription bill. The other is their normal electricity bill from their utility, which will now reflect solar bill credits reducing the amount owed. The combination of the credits given and the subscription bill is usually less than the customer would have paid if they were not a subscriber. This is how organizations can save money by switching to community solar.

If you are interested in learning how your organization can save money on your electricity bills, support the local economy, and enhance your sustainability goals, reach out to us below.

Contact Us

Reach out to our team to learn more about how you can benefit from community solar.