Before pursuing a project, familiarize yourself with the common ownership structures and subscription models used in community solar. The material below, along with the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Guide to Community Solar (pages 6-21), provide initial overviews of the different ownership and subscription models. We recommend reviewing this material at the beginning of the process and then using it as a reference throughout your procurement effort.
There are three common ownership structures for community solar: (1) utility ownership, (2) third-party ownership, and (3) direct ownership. Taken together, decisions on ownership structure and the type of subscription programs both impact the affordability, accessibility and economics of community solar.