Community Solar Promotes Clean Energy Access, Solar Landscape President Tells RE+ Conference
Community Solar “Uniquely Positioned” to Promote Clean Energy Access, Solar Landscape President Mark Schottinger Tells RE+ Audience
California and Other States Can Follow New Jersey’s Clean Energy Equity Leadership and Leverage Commercial Rooftops
ANAHEIM, CA –September 20, 2022 — Community solar is uniquely positioned to promote clean energy equity nationally and commercial real estate companies are part of the solution, Solar Landscape president Mark Schottinger told attendees of RE+, the nation’s largest renewable energy conference.
Solar Landscape owns and operates the nation’s largest clean energy portfolio serving low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, thanks to New Jersey’s community solar program.
States like California, Illinois, Maryland and New Mexico are following New Jersey’s lead by emphasizing the ability of community solar programs to provide solar power to LMI households, he explained.
Regulators in those states should also leverage the fact that placing community solar installations on large commercial buildings enables commercial real estate developers to achieve their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals. This creates value for nearby communities and also preserves open space and environmental resources.
“Looking forward to the future of the community solar market, we must maintain a focus on low- to moderate-income residents, community support, jobs training, and also incentivizing commercial real estate leaders to lease their rooftops so we can build out community solar rapidly and equitably,” said Schottinger at the panel featuring national leaders in community solar.
Through the New Jersey Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, Solar Landscape has 70 MW of community solar energy built or under construction. The company has energized nearly half – eight out of 17 – of New Jersey’s active community solar projects.
The projects have generated more than 22.6 gigawatt hours of emissions-free electricity to date, the equivalent of avoiding 9,790 metric tons ofCO2 being put into the local air. They are also saving their subscribers 20%on average on the portion of their energy bills fulfilled by community solar.
In addition to ensuring access for underserved populations, New Jersey’s community solar program scores project applications based on their ability to promote workforce development and community engagement. States nationwide are following this lead to achieve the same goals.
Solar Landscape works with commercial real estate companies to lease their rooftops for community solar installations. This enables those companies to participate in the nation’s clean energy transition and provides renewable energy to nearby communities at a discount.
Schottinger is encouraged by the progress states are making, coupled with new incentives for community solar in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“This is the inflection point that will accelerate adoption of community solar and its social benefits,” he said. “We’re looking forward to enabling even more commercial property owners to take part in the clean energy revolution and be good neighbors at the same time.”
Solar Landscape and Community Solar: Community Benefits
As part of the community solar program, Solar Landscape has partnered with dozens of schools, nonprofits and community organizations, and has educated over 1,000 community members and students about renewable energy careers.
Along with Sustainable Jersey City, an environmental education nonprofit, the company awarded $20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors through its Community Sustainability Challenge scholarships. Solar Landscape also partners with nonprofits like Interfaith Neighbors and the Affordable Housing Alliance to build support and ensure that community solar projects are successful in subscribing residents.
In August, Solar Landscape announced that it had completed construction on its first installation in Year Two of New Jersey’s program: an Extra Space Storage facility. In 2021, the company cut the ribbon with Governor Phil Murphy on the state’s first community solar project.
About Solar Landscape
Based in Asbury Park, Solar Landscape is a leading full-service developer, designer, installer, owner, and operator of community solar and solar energy solutions for the commercial/industrial, municipal, public school and non-profit marketplaces. The company employs more than 100 people and has more than 200 megawatts of solar energy projects completed or under construction. For more about Solar Landscape, visit www.solarlandscape.com or check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
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