What is Community Solar?
Community solar is an innovative approach to harnessing the power of the sun for electricity generation while ensuring that the benefits flow to multiple stakeholders within a specific geographic area. It allows individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups to access clean and affordable solar energy, even if they are unable to install solar panels on their own properties. Instead, community solar subscribers either own or subscribe to a portion of the energy generated by a solar array located off-site, and they receive electric bill credits for the electricity generated by their share of the community solar system.
House Bill 197, the Community Solar Bill, can benefit Ohioans
Currently, it’s not legal for Ohioans to join a community solar program. Luckily, that all could change with House Bill 197.
State Representatives Jim Hoops (R- District 81) and Sharon Ray (R- District 66) have introduced House Bill 197, which aims to establish Ohio's first Community Solar Pilot Program. If passed, this program will make solar power accessible to renters, condo owners, townhomes, and most small to medium-sized businesses that cannot install rooftop solar.
This program not only benefits Ohioans economically but also contributes to the resilience of our grid during periods of high demand. After four years, a review will assess the program's success and determine its future trajectory.
The Ohio Community Solar Pilot Program is designed to alleviate the burden on electric customers who often bear the cost of system upgrades. Developers of community solar projects will cover 100% of the grid improvements required for their projects, including increased capacity and electrical infrastructure enhancements.
Additionally, the program commits to delivering guaranteed bill savings to subscribers, reducing the overall expenditure on electricity and mitigating the need for further costly investments by electric utilities.
This initiative offers a sustainable approach by generating clean energy locally, avoiding the need for extensive transmission lines, and benefiting the environment while reducing costs for Ohio residents.
The Ohio Community Solar Pilot Program is a win-win solution for Ohioans, offering cost savings, local investment, flexibility in siting, clean energy generation, and grid improvements.
Let's work together to make community solar a reality in Ohio and power our future with clean and affordable energy.