ReVision Energy Community Solar Rebate Program:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is everyone talking about solar in New Hampshire? What changed?
New Hampshire communities are talking about solar for a whole bunch of reasons, including: (1) Lowering electricity costs; (2) Advancing renewable energy goals; (3) Doing their part to address climate change; and (4) Supporting local jobs. In fact, dozens of communities have already installed solar arrays with ReVision Energy to accomplish these goals.
What’s changed is a major policy improvement that enables NH communities to collaborate in accessing the multiple benefits of solar at scale. HB 281, which was signed into law in August 2023, removes the arbitrary geographic restriction that had been in place for 1-5 MW AC solar arrays. This change helps to democratize the economic and environmental benefits of community solar. Now, any city, town, county, school administrative unit, water district, sewer district, public housing authority, or other qualified local governmental entity can participate in a solar farm located anywhere within their utility’s service district. Communities can also host solar farms on their lands, with the energy produced going to offset electricity use in the host community or elsewhere in the utility service district.
2. What is a Community Solar Rebate?
ReVision Energy’s Community Solar Rebate is a payment to an eligible energy consumer (e.g., a municipality, school, public housing authority) that subscribes to a community solar farm and participates in NH’s group net metering program. The amount of the rebate is based on the annual electricity usage of the subscribed member’s accounts.
3. What is Group Net Metering?
Group net metering is a virtual crediting system that allows energy users to support and benefit from local renewable energy generators not physically connected to your electricity meter. These are known as "offsite projects." In New Hampshire, offsite projects that send electricity to the grid need electricity users within the same utility territory to be associated with their generation in order to receive the standard net metering payment.
4. My community has signed up for Community Power or has an alternative energy supplier. Can I still take advantage of the Community Solar Rebate program?
Yes! Signing up for Community Power or receiving energy supply from a competitive electricity supplier does not preclude you from taking advantage of ReVision’s Community Solar Rebate program. The rebate can apply regardless of whether you purchase electricity from the default utility supplier or an alternative supplier such as Community Power.
5. How does the Community Solar Rebate program work?
A community solar farm is a small power plant feeding clean, locally generated electricity into the grid. ReVision Energy develops and constructs each solar farm and secures financing from our mission-aligned investors so there is no cost to participants. Towns, schools and other eligible entities subscribe to the Community Solar Rebate program by assigning utility meters to receive the generated electricity from a solar farm in their utility territory. The utility pays the solar farm owner for the energy (based on NH’s variable net metering rates), who then pays the subscribed members a defined rebate for every kWh of electricity usage they subscribe.
Participants may join one community solar farm at a time for each of their utility meters, or combine meters on a single farm to offset their full consumption.
6. How is the value of the Community Solar Rebate derived?
The Community Solar Rebate provides a defined per-kWh rebate payment that ensures subscribing members receive guaranteed savings for every kWh of electricity usage they enroll, up to 100% of their total consumption. The per-kWh rebate is based on the cost to build and interconnect a community solar farm to the electric grid and will not be less than the current market rate of 10% discount off the net metering value. Net metering value is set by the NH Public Utilities Commission and is currently pegged to the default supply rate (which varies per utility).
7. When will the Community Solar Rebate Program launch?
ReVision is currently developing eight community solar farms in New Hampshire with the potential to generate more than 16MW of solar energy. We expect the first of these to come online in 2025. Early members will have the first opportunity to be connected to a community solar farm.
8. How long does the program last for?
A solar farm is designed and built to last for 40 years. The Community Solar Rebate program offers a 5-year agreement with the option for renewal.
9. What if my town/school/entity has more than one meter?
This is absolutely fine. Multiple electric accounts can be assigned to a solar array provided the subscribing member and the solar farm are connected to the electric grid within the same utility area. That is, members located in areas served by Eversource can only receive rebate payments from solar farms connected to the Eversource grid. The same applies for solar arrays in the NH Electric Cooperative, Liberty and Unitil service areas. The more electrical usage assigned by a member, the greater the Community Solar Rebate.
10. What are the legal documents required to participate in the program?
To subscribe as a member, a community, school, or other eligible entity signs a Community Solar Rebate Agreement with ReVision Energy on behalf of the solar farm owner. The agreement designates one or more electricity accounts and their approximate kWh of annual consumption that will be assigned to ReVision's next available community solar farm. As soon as the solar farm begins operation, ReVision will formally enroll the accounts from all subscribing members according to NH's group net metering guidelines and members will begin receiving their Community Solar Rebate payments. There is no cost to enroll and doing so sooner ensures placement on the next available solar farm (on a first come-first served basis).
11. Who will support our long-term partnership?
ReVision Energy, New Hampshire’s largest solar company and an employee-owned B Corp, develops, installs, and operates community solar farms. We are committed to providing long-term support for participating communities – the same communities where our 400 employee-owners live and raise their families. We have installed more than 15,000 clean energy projects in northern New England since 2003, and we plan to be here for the long term.
To learn more about how you may be able to benefit from the Community Solar Rebate Program, please contact: Michael Bartner, ReVision Commercial Solar Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org OR Jude Nuru, Director of Community Solar Initiatives, at email@example.com.