Community Solar Gardens Idea Floated As Bill In U.S. Senate

Rooftop-mounted solar panels are an excellent source of alternative energy — if your house and area are appropriate for their installation. Some roofs aren’t made to accommodate them; many areas feature too many impediments to sunlight, such as trees; and, frankly, the cost of solar panels isn’t exactly cheap. Whether solar panels are out of your price range or your roof is ill-equipped for their installation, a bill announced by Mark Udall, U.S. Senator from Colorado, aims to ensure solar panels for those who want them, even if they don’t happen to be on your own property.

According to Clean Technica, the announced bill, called the Solar United Neighborhoods (SUN) Act of 2010, “would extend the tax credit available to homeowners who put solar panels on their roofs, to those homeowners who collectively own small solar arrays located somewhere other than their own property.” The big catch? The clusters of solar arrays, known as community solar gardens, would pertain not only to homeowners, but renters as well.

community solar garden

Image via Clean Technica

Senator Udall also stated that utilizing community solar gardens would reduce the cost of installation by as much as 30 percent in comparison to the fees required to install panels on several neighborhood rooftops. In a conference call with reporters, Udall expressed enthusiasm over the elimination of the requirement that solar panels be located on an individual’s property, as the greater freedom of installation location would free “Americans to work together on community projects where each individual can claim a tax credit on part of a shared project.”

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