More than a year ago, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced its Shine Program would focus on community-scale solar. We claimed that community-scale solar could be procured at costs close to utility-scale solar, unlocking a 5–30 GW market by 2020. However, we could not have predicted the success of our initial projects. As RMI is enabling power purchase agreements (PPAs) at prices 40 percent below median bids, we are seeing increasing interest in community-scale solar, and we are expanding our efforts across the nation.
We define community-scale solar as 0.5 MW to 5 MW arrays connected to the distribution grid. Community-scale solar includes community solar, or shared solar, and also systems contracted by a single utility, city, or corporation.
By Thomas Koch Blank, Titiaan Palazzi, Todd Zeranski