Community Solar Farms

A community solar farm (CSF) is a shared solar array which can have up to nine participants.  Participating as a shareholder in a solar farm is a great choice for people who do not have a suitable site for solar, but wish to have access to solar power for their homes or businesses.

Here’s how it works. Sundog Solar will establish a relationship with a landowner (Host) and will begin the discussion of hosting a solar array on his/her property.  Sundog Solar will present a preliminary design for a solar array to the host with an estimate of the system performance, the costs and the benefits over the life of the system. The host will execute a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) expressing interest in the project and commitment to negotiate a long term lease agreement in good faith with the solar farm members.

Once a host LOI has been executed, Sundog Solar will work together with the host and local communities to market the solar farm opportunity bringing potential participants together.  The first nine members of the local community to commit to the project will form a mutual benefit nonprofit corporation to manage the shared solar farm. The non-profit will secure insurance, negotiate the final lease terms with the host and individual members will execute their installation agreement with Sundog Solar to initialize the building of the project by Sundog Solar.  There is a minimum share size of 4 kW.

Although the system is physically located on the site provided by the host, it belongs to all 9 members in proportion to their investment and its production of clean, renewable energy goes to offset their individual home electricity bills.  This happens automatically through a process called virtual net energy billing from Central Maine Power (CMP). The participants individual investment in the project is recovered over time in the form of energy savings, a 30% federal tax credit and sale of Renewable Energy Credits from the system.

Benefits of Community Solar

Increased community knowledge: technical, social and economic

Opportunities for community identity and sense of belonging

Opportunities for participation by diverse members with varying economic goals and needs

Leadership and representation

Leadership partnerships with municipalities and businesses

Community well-being

Investment in environmental health

Efficient use of community resources

Increased resilience

Minimization of negative impacts to environment

Investment in Maine’s renewable energy future

How do I participate?

Host site where the solar array will be located (Individuals, business or Non-Profits)

Execute an engagement letter between yourself (host) and

25 year lease with options

Invite up to nine additional participants or subscribers

What does being a host involve?

Establish an LLC Corporation, a special purpose entity

Execute individual solar installation contracts

Shares are portable

Minimum Share Size

Virtual Net Metering

A community solar farm, or CSF is a shared solar array. The property and members are to be determined by the owner or owner participants of the community group that purchases the solar system.

Project benefits include co-operative model of solar ownership, portability of investment, optimized production, economy of scale and zero-impact installation. What this means that while it offers flexibility for other investors who do not have property available for solar production,  that there is also no negative impact on your building. The CSF also provides benefits to the host of the solar array, such as  positively impacting your investor profile, while offering opportunities for leadership and environmental activism within your community. There is also an added financial benefit, since the host can anticipate modest and steady income based on the lease agreement with community participants, in other words the ground lease.

The numerous values of producing solar energy include avoidance of further investment in finite resources and avoidance of pollution through the use of fossil fuels and coal. After you see one hundred percent return on your initial investment due to energy savings, the system will continue to produce a steady stream of revenue for decades thanks to system performance and effective warranties. The system will eliminate substantial amount of heat-trapping carbon that would have been emitted without the solar alternative.</span>

Here’s how it works. Sundog Solar provides a preliminary design for solar array to the host along with estimate of the system performance and costs and benefits to the host that clearly explicate the performance over the system’s lifetime. The host will execute a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) expressing interest in the project and commitment to negotiate in a long term lease agreement good faith with the solar farm members based on the sample lease terms provided by Sundog Solar.

Once a host LOI has been executed, Sundog Solar will work together with the host and local community to market the solar farm opportunity and to organize a series of public hearings for interested community members based on their specific goals and individual loads. There is a minimum share size of 4 kW.

With  assistance from Sundog Soar, the first nine members of the local community to commit to the project will form a mutual benefit non-profit corporation to manage the shared solar farm. The non-profit will secure insurance, negotiate the final lease terms with the host and individual members will execute their installation agreement with Sundog Solar to initialize the building of the project by Sundog Solar.

Although the system is physically located on the site provided by the host, it belongs to the 9 members in proportion to their investment and its production of clean, renewable energy goes to offset their individual home electricity bills, also in proportion to their initial investment. This happens automatically by virtual net energy billing from Central Maine Power (CMP). The members’ individual investment in the project is recovered over time in the form of energy savings, a 30% federal tax credit and sale of Renewable Energy Credits from the system

(if applicable. this should be explained- I assume members can re-negotiate with other members/sell their investment, etc