Community Solar Garden

By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the fact that CSA means Community Supported Agriculture.

Check?

Okay, moving on …

Now, what about CSG?

Any ideas?

A CSG is a “community solar garden,” which can be installed in urban garden plots alongside the peas and potatoes. It’s all green!

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Photo by Rolf1981 via Wikimedia Commons

 

As explained by Katie Marks on Networx, “Individual members of the community invest in the solar garden and receive a return in the form of a rebate on their electrical bills, reflecting the energy generated in the solar garden installed and managed by community electricians.”

A CSG is an economical option for people who can’t invest in their own solar panels or who are restricted by property regulations, and it’s a small, yet hopeful, step in the direction of energy independence.

“The solar garden represents an indirect method of alternative energy generation, in that people aren’t powering their homes with solar power using their own panels, but it does reduce the demand for electricity in a given town by feeding solar power through the grid,” continues Marks. “Power companies, in turn, provide rebates to the solar garden just like they would individual consumers, and these rebates are distributed amongst those who are partnering in the initiative.”

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Photo by Mathieudu68 via Wikimedia Commons

 

Colorado is a prominent (and sunny) leader of the solar garden movement, with cities like Fort Collins already on board.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

Westminster-based Solar Gardens Community Power is helping organize communities to pool their resources and go solar, developing workshops and certification programs for solar panel ownership, and advocating community-based energy development through legislation in several states. Founder Joy Hughes has said, “Now everyone can go solar. For the first time, low-income homeowners and renters will be able to go solar. Solar gardens are sprouting up everywhere!”

Check out Solar Gardens’ nationwide map to see if there is already a garden near you and find out how you can get connected.

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    We have solar panels on our roof and they provide our hot water. They were installed in 1985 when we bought the house and have been upgraded several times. With the abundant Florida sunshine, we have had free hot water over the years and the utility company even offered a financial incentive at the beginning to help install the set which made it so easy to get started. Our monthly utility bills have been much lower over the years and the panels rarely require any service calls. The new solar gardens are a great idea and I wonder if there are some developing here in the land of sunshine?

  2. Karlyne says:

    Brilliant!

  3. That is such a great idea! Even better that those who have invested in the solar garden get to see some financial benefit from it, too. It’s a good way to mitigate costs for those who can’t yet have a rooftop installation.

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