Public Storage and Solar Landscape have started construction on the first of more than 130 rooftop community solar projects that will help expand access to renewable energy across several states.
According to Public Storage and Solar Landscape, the 87.5-megawatt clean energy portfolio is one of the largest in the nation, and it will help provide affordable renewable energy accessible to low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents. Together, the 133 community solar installations in Maryland, New Jersey, and Illinois will power more than 10,000 homes with renewable energy.
The Role of Community Solar Projects
Community solar, which can also be part of projects like shared solar or solar gardens, allows groups of people to share the benefits of a single solar energy system. With individuals or communities not having the opportunity to install solar panels on their properties – due to limited roof space, cost, or renting their homes, to name a few – the community solar concept was developed to address the challenges that some individuals or communities face.
The installation of community solar projects includes placing solar arrays in centralized locations like rooftops, fields, or unused land. Participants within the solar community can become subscribers by purchasing or leasing a portion of the solar system’s output. They receive energy credits on their utility bills, offsetting their electricity costs.
Multistate Community Solar Installations
The program will allow local community residents to subscribe to nearby solar installations located on Public Storage’s rooftops. Subscribers will receive discounted electricity, often with additional savings for LMI households, and the program expands access to renewable energy for those who are unable to install solar panels for reasons such as the ones outlined above. Even more, with Public Storage’s rooftop projects, there is the potential for subscribers to receive lower energy bills for subscribers, which can save residents millions of dollars per year on electricity costs.
In particular, this community solar portfolio includes 21 projects spanning 13.2 MW that were announced on July 27, 2023, by the Illinois Power Agency as part of its Community-Driven Community Solar tranche of the Illinois Shines program. The 21 projects will serve nearly 1,500 households.
In Maryland, Public Storage’s 57 low-income focused community solar installations will serve nearly 2,600 homes, many of them LMI families, and according to Public Storage, this project will be one of the largest portfolios from a single company in the Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program’s LMI subcategory. These projects will save Maryland residents nearly $1 million per year on their energy bills, according to the partnership.
Public Storage plans to dedicate up to 44 of its properties in Illinois to community solar including the 21 approved by the IPA, and plans to dedicate another 32 properties in New Jersey. The company and Solar Landscape worked in close collaboration on site selection, solar system design, financing options, and state program applications to maximize the effectiveness of the company’s rooftops. The proposed renewable energy installations will be installed on more than 8 million square feet of Public Storage’s facility rooftops.
The community solar projects from Public Storage represent 13% of the company’s commitment to install solar on more than 1,000 properties by 2025.