Community-based Renewable Energy
A community-based renewable energy program allows electric utility customers to purchase shares in a renewable energy facility and receive bill credits for energy production. Thus far in Hawaii, distributed renewable energy systems, such as PV systems, have only been available to those who can afford the significant upfront cash payment required for system installation. A community-based renewable energy program provides an alternate means of investing in renewable energy to individuals and groups, like schools or community organizations, who may be otherwise precluded from installing their own systems.
The Hawaii State Legislature is currently considering two bills, SB 2934 and HB 2141, which would establish a community-based renewable energy program.
The U.S. Department of Energy published A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development in November 2010. Read the report here.
Clean Energy Collective recently released a short animation on community-based solar projects. View their video here: