Community solar PV projects

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Wind and Solar Based Energy Systems for Communities

First Page



Air pollution control, Climate change, Climate mitigation, Common ownership models, Community solar pv projects, Community total energy demand, Diesel fuel, Diesel-generated electricity, Electrical energy generation, Electrical power, Energy security, Fossil fuel burning, Fossil fuel resources, Ghg emission reduction, Global warming, Global warming, Greenhouse gases, Indigenous energy, Long-term energy supply, Nation energy security, Photovoltaic power systems, Region energy security, Renewable energy resources, Small-scale renewable energy projects, Solar farm, Solar photovoltaic systems, Solar power plant, Solar power stations, Solar power stations and photovoltaic power systems

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In today’s world, global warming (GW) and the resulting climate change are a significant threat to humans, plants and animals. The main contributor to GW is greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are created from the burning of fossil fuels, mainly for electrical power. Hence, the way forward in safeguarding the future of life on planet earth is to reduce on our GHG emissions and move rapidly to the utilization of renewable energy resources that are abundantly available. There are numerous advantages in implementing renewable energy projects versus the use of fossil fuels in meeting individual or community energy demands. With renewable energy, an individual or community will be able to have a more diverse and stable long-term energy supply, considering fossil fuel resources are slowly being depleted. Small-scale renewable energy projects, especially in remote communities which are currently served by diesel-generated electricity, offset the community’s use of diesel fuel. Although there will be times when renewable energy is not available and a back-up source of power is required, the long-term cost of energy may be reduced. And the use of indigenous energy can contribute to a nation (or region’s) energy security by significantly reducing its dependence on imported oil (assuming it is not an oil exporter). There are numerous renewable energy resources available globally (wind, solar, biomass, falling water, geothermal) that can be used for individual or community energy projects. Community energy projects are distinguished from other renewable energy projects in which members of the community are subscribers who use the electricity produced by the project, even though each individual does not solely own the equipment. This chapter presents an overview of how energy captured from the sun can be utilized at the community level by installing solar photovoltaic systems in the form of a solar garden or solar farm or solar power plant to generate electrical energy in meeting some, if not all, of the community total energy demand. In addition, readers will be exposed to three common ownership models and their benefits, barriers affecting the adoption of such projects and selected examples of such projects that have been completed or are in the conceptualization or construction phase within North America, Europe, South America and East Africa.