Once you have an Electric Vehicle, it’s great to be able to Drive On Sunshine! Carbon-free energy from the sun going into your car is enormously satisfying.
There are a few different options available now. You can use solar panels located on a solar farm (called Community Solar), or you can put solar panels on your roof. Read on to learn what your options are!
If you live in a non-ideal location, rent, live in a condo or otherwise don’t control your roof, you can still charge your car from sunshine.
“Community Solar” is the concept of investing into a local, community-based, optimally constructed solar project on property other than your own – such as brownfield or parking lot. The electricity that is produced by these solar arrays is then shared back into the grid for public usage.
The members of the community that have a share in that solar field will then get credit towards their energy bill because they are subscribing to a portion of the energy-producing solar array.
Currently available in Maryland and DC, community solar allows families to take advantage of the cost savings of solar without having to own their home or install equipment on their property.
Community solar allows customers that rent, have shady roofs, or are otherwise unable to install solar on their residences or commercial buildings to buy or subscribe to a portion of a shared solar system. The subscriber’s share of the electricity generated by the project is credited to their electricity bill, just as if the solar system were located at the home or business.
Your community solar subscription is also transferable, in that, if you move within your utilities service territory, you need only adjust the size of your subscription, depending on the energy use of your new property. The solar array never moves!
Importantly, community solar was designed to provide low- and moderate-income households an opportunity to participate — the working families of our community.
The Neighborhood Sun array, newly commissioned on the retired Panorama landfill in Ft. Washington, MD
WHO CAN SIGN UP?
Anyone who has an account with a utility in Maryland other than the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and meets the individual requirements can join — no roof required. Best of all, it’s cheaper than standard offer service.
If you live in one of these Maryland service territories: PEPCO Maryland, BGE, Potomac Edison/First Energy, you can sign up for community solar today! You can sign up right now through Neighborhood Sun to have a $50 donation given to EVADC in your name. Click HERE to do so – EVADC (and the planet) will thank you!
*Terms and conditions vary by project. Customers should review all details in Contract or Subscription Agreement
Have any questions or want to learn more about community solar in your neighborhood? Email Bob Erdman, at bob.erdman at gmail.com.
Videos on Community Solar Projects
The Panorama Project in Ft. Washington, MD
The Dogwood Array, one of several available for BGE customers
Put Solar On Your Roof
If your roof-mounted array is grid-tied, as most are, you will offset your car charging at night by pumping solar electricity back into the grid during the day, essentially using the grid as a giant battery. The solar credits you receive in the daytime (i.e. running your meter backwards) essentially reimburse you for the electricity you bought at night to put in your car. The net effect is that you get to drive on sunlight.
There is abundant information about how to get solar on your own roof. Locally, Solar United Neighbors is a good place to start.