Community solar gardens are being developed around the U.S. with the help of landowners who are willing to lease their land for the projects. As we look for more renewable, clean, lower cost energy solutions to power our world, community solar gardens deliver all three of those goals and provide solar access to anyone who wants to switch to renewable energy. Community solar provides virtually 100% of all utility customers the option to own solar panels in a shared solar (PV) facility.
Many landowners have found that leasing a portion of their property for a solar garden solves many of the issues they face in maintaining their land. For some, the land is no longer being farmed or used for business and they are paying taxes on the property, but they are not receiving any benefit from it. For others, the land has been held by the family for years and they wish to maintain ownership but the tax burden becomes excessive. Many are finding their land has a “high solar value” and are interested in helping their community and their family by generating clean energy.
The benefits of leasing land for a solar garden include:
- Financial Security: most lease agreements provide yearly payments for 20 years or more.
- Maintain Ownership: property owners who wish to pass their land onto future generations can do just that and generate income in the meantime.
- Satisfaction: owners who lease their land for a solar garden provide a solution to their community’s renewable energy needs while at the same time helping to protect the environment.
- Hassle-Free: owners do not need to make improvements to the property. The solar garden is constructed, operated and maintained by the solar developer or utility company at no cost to the owner.
Unlike rooftop panels, community solar gardens serve many homes and businesses in an area, eliminating the barrier for those who don’t have a rooftop that is suitable for solar. Another benefit is the creation of local jobs which helps to improve the economy in the area. In addition, community solar gardens generate clean energy, with zero carbon emissions, delivering healthier air quality for everyone in the community.
Leasing land for the development of a community solar garden is becoming a more popular option for many property owners. It’s a ‘win-win-win’ — property owners receive yearly revenue for their land, the community enjoys lower energy costs locally, and the renewable, clean energy helps the environment by reducing harmful carbon emissions.