Rather than putting solar on your own roof, Community Solar lets you get your power from a larger solar array somewhere else. You own the solar panels and see the savings they generate on your electric bill, just as if they were located on the roof of your house.
You can participate even if your own roof doesn’t work for solar, perhaps because it’s too old or shaded by trees. You can also participate if you rent and don’t own your roof, or live in an apartment building. You don’t have to worry about maintenance of your solar panels. And Community Solar is generally far less expensive than rooftop solar.
Putting solar panels together in a single larger solar project is far less expensive than installing solar on many separate roofs. Community Solar projects can also be located in parts of Oregon where there’s more sunshine, meaning you need to buy fewer solar panels to power your house
Yes, you legally own the solar panels and can take the tax credit for them. The federal Investment Tax Credit for solar is currently 26%, and scheduled to decrease to 22% next year. There is no state tax credit for solar.
Community Solar programs have been running in Colorado, Minnesota, New York and elsewhere for many years. Oregon’s program (www.oregoncsp.org) was created by the Oregon legislature in 2016, and went live in 2020.
Oregon Clean Power Cooperative and its nonprofit partner organizations site and build the solar array, and manage it once it’s built. Electricity customers buy into the project, purchasing enough panels to cover all or part of their annual electricity needs. Your panels feed electricity into the grid, and your electric utility credits you for the power your panels make on your electric bill each month.
No. PGE and Pacific Power are required by the State of Oregon to show the [bill credits] on your electric bill, but this is not a utility program.
You cannot participate in this program, but Oregon Clean Power has other ways you can invest in solar in Oregon.
OCPC is a registered Project Manager for the Oregon Community Solar Program, and would manage, finance and operate the project.
Financing is available through Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union.
If you move within your utility territory, your panels can stay with you. If you move out of your current utility territory, you can transfer ownership to someone else who is eligible, or sell your panels back to Oregon Clean Power.
You can transfer ownership of your panels to the buyer, or any other eligible customer of the same utility. Or you can sell the panels back to Oregon Clean Power and we’ll sign up someone else.
Owning solar panels involves all the risks, responsibilities, and maintenance an active energy generation system requires, while subscribing to Community Solar offers a fully managed solution to access clean energy.