NH Community Supported Solar Guide

The NH Community Supported Solar (NHCSS) Guide explains a dynamic new segment of the solar industry. It provides options, guidance, insights and support for those looking to initiate their own locally-owned community solar project.

Community solar (CS) is a photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system that provides power and other benefits to community members. CS is emerging across the United States, spearheaded by people seeking local alternatives to conventional energy sources as a hedge against rising energy costs; to reduce carbon emissions, and provide energy resiliency.

There are many approaches to CS, most are turnkey PV solar electric systems owned and managed by private developers and utilities. Local citizen- led initiatives require the dedication of community members to initiate, organize and execute a project, but control and profits are retained within the community.

The first Monadnock region community supported PV project, conceived in late 2013, is on the roof of the Monadnock Food Co-op. This 43.5 KW PV system began producing power on May 25, 2016. Based on this experience, the NHCSS Guide provides information on the range of CS options and the tools to pursue a locally-owned renewable energy system for your school, church, CSA or another site in the community.

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Selected Highlights from the Guide

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The NHCSS Guide is available to members of the Monadnock Sustainability Network (MSN), a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For those who decide to pursue locally-owned CSS, there is a menu of support and legal documents (explained in the guide) including: LLC agreement (23 pages); tax equity and community funding memorandum and agreements; Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) (26 pages); Request For Proposal (RFP) (14 pages); Engineering, Procurement and Contract (22 pages) as well as cash flow and return on investment spreadsheets, community/investor presentations and other information. Consulting services are also described.

We strongly recommend that you seek professional legal, financial and engineering advice prior to initiating a community solar energy project. This guide and related tools are not intended to provide legal, accounting, financial, tax or other advice. The projections used in this document are based on various assumptions and are only representative of possible investment scenarios.