Community Solar Farms
Go Solar Without Installing Panels at Your Home and Business
Shady roof? Renting? This is for you! Now you can access the full benefits of going solar wherever you are by joining a local Community Solar Farm (CSF). Currently available in Maine.
Local Solar Power Built by Mainers, for Mainers
A Maine-based company with over 15 years of local experience, ReVision Energy is dedicated to growing access to solar through on-roof, on-site, or off-site options. For local solar farms, we build and operate a large-scale solar farm at an ideal solar location, working with the landowner or local organizations to responsibly site the solar.
Power generated from this facility feeds into the grid, which is then distributed to its members of the CSF. Members receive a credit on their bill identical to their share of the power generated by the farm. Owning a share of community solar is a great way to lower your electricity cost, reduce your carbon footprint, and support your local community.
CSFs are a strong option for Mainers eager to transition to solar but unable to install panels on their home or property. Jennifer Tuttle and David Kuchta of Portland have owned a share of our Flag Pond CSF since 2018, and calculated their share offset as more than 95,000 lbs. of carbon in the first year.
“It’s a big investment with a steep learning curve, but once we walked ourselves through the math, my wife and I realized what a no-brainer it was economically. Once our solar loan is paid off, we own our own power, and our total electricity costs will only be a small CMP delivery fee. Our solar loan is less than what our average monthly electricity bill was — and is fixed-rate!” – David Kuchta
Solar Power to the People (and to Businesses)
Unlike leasing, or purchasing electricity from a competitive energy provider, you actually own the share of the solar project. This means you have access to all the same financial incentives as someone who purchases solar and puts it on their own roof, including affordable financing.
This makes CSFs a great option for businesses and local organizations as well. From a commercial perspective, community solar allows you to benefit from low electric rates from solar, without having to install solar on your own roof. Off-site solar is a great option for businesses that rent or lease their space, or are unable to install arrays on their buildings. Transitioning to solar without the physical requirement of installing panels is a strong economic investment that gives your business a competitive edge. The cooperative model of a solar farm decentralized the energy grid and puts energy production in the hands of local businesses and communities.
Businesses saving money and supporting other local businesses? That’s a win-win in our books!
How Does Community Solar Work?
ReVision Energy’s approach to Community Solar Farms, or CSFs, is a member-ownership model that works like community supported agriculture (CSAs). Rather than building the solar array on site at their own home (growing a garden), a CSF shareholder invests in a solar project somewhere offsite (at the solar ‘Farm’). Thanks to recent pro-solar legislation in Maine, solar farms can have 100+ members, where each member receives a share of solar production from the total array relative to their percentage of ownership in the Farm.
Billing-wise, a CSF share works identically to having solar production at your home. 100% of the solar electricity generated by the solar farm is sent back to the grid. Each shareholder gets a credit—based on their percentage share—that is automatically applied to their utility account, which can accumulate for up to a year and be used for any electric load, whether that be heating water, heating the home, or powering an electric car.
Watch the quick video below for another look at how community solar works:
Solar Ownership: Best Option for You and for Maine
Our ownership model for community solar stands in contrast to the subscription model being offered by many out-of-state developers are offering a subscription model. Though these subscription programs may require less upfront investment, they results in far fewer financial benefits and tend to lack long term customer support.
Subscription-based community solar is just ‘renting’ your power similar to subscribing to the utility, with most of the benefits going to out-of-state development companies. Truly owning your solar power grants you, the CSF member, more savings and consistent support, as well as benefiting the local Mainers who host the solar farms, like farmer Peter Curra.
While there are valid reasons to sign up for a solar farm subscription (every solar option is better than dirty grid power), our ownership model presents the most longterm, widespread benefits to you and our community:
- You (the owner) receive financial benefits such as tax credits and RECs
- You receive a lower cost of electricity than a subscription model
- You receive a consistent price that is locked in for the lifetime of the system
- You receive longterm support and maintenance from a local Maine company (that’s us!)
- You help support local farmers who receive financial benefits from hosting community solar farms
In short, joining a Community Solar Farm through our ownership model (rather than through out-of-state developers) means longterm savings for you, with impactful economic and environmental benefits for you, your community, and all of Maine!
Subscribing to vs. Owning a Community Solar Farm Share
|Solar Subscription (others offer)||Owning Solar (our offering)|
|Anyone in Maine can join||Yes||Yes|
|Upfront investment||Usually nothing||Purchase – which you can finance|
|Who takes tax credit||Developer does||You do|
|Who benefits from Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)?||Developer does||You do; sold to offset maintenance costs|
|Price fluctuation||Yes – Rate for subscription varies based on going grid price||No – modeled price locked in for lifetime of system (either purchased outright or financed)|
|Portability||Can unsubscribe anytime||Share moves with you, or can sell to a new solar farmer and recoup some of your investment|
|Maintenance||Covered in subscription fee||Covered in O&M agreement|
|Built by a Maine company||Unlikely||Yes|
|Customer support reaches||Someone not in Maine||A Maine-based employee-owner|
|25-year cost of electricity||13-cents or more (locked to discount on utility rates which will rise)||10-cents or less (fixed price life of system)|
ReVision Energy’s History with Community Solar
Since the passing of 2019 communal solar policy, we’ve worked hard to develop that policy into tangible, viable solar farm programs that benefit Mainers.
We built a number of projects — including the very first community-owned solar farm project in Maine — under the previous generation policy, which limited participants to only 10. Though we’re proud of the work we did, and of the landowners and homeowners who were able to go solar thanks to those projects, it’s fair to say the 2019 legislation was a game-changer.
Under the new policy, which eliminates the caps on the number of solar farm participants, it’s just as affordable to purchase a solar farm share as to install solar on your roof or in your yard. Additionally, transitioning to solar through a community solar ownership model keeps the economic benefits here in Maine, and furthers the solar movement in our community.
Local Experts, Local Commitment
Founded in Maine, our first commitment is always to our local customers and community. Our local presence and fully integrated business allow us to develop the best-in-class arrays, oversee their construction, and provide constant services to members of our solar farms. Combined with the ownership model, our dedicated service team and local experts make sure the systems is running optimally and at peak performance, guaranteeing solar savings for you and environmental benefits for our state for years to come.
The convenience and affordability of CSFs makes them an incredibly compelling option for going solar and enjoying all the financial savings commensurate with owning your own solar power. If you’re ready to learn more about solar farms, visit our FAQ page or watch more videos on the benefits of Maine community solar.