Sept. 13, 2015 10:28 p.m. ET
Many consumers would like to switch to solar power but can’t. It could be their homes have too much shade or their roofs can’t accommodate solar panels, or perhaps they live in a condominium or apartment building.
Enter so-called community or shared solar, which allows people to buy solar power from centrally owned arrays. The power is delivered by the local utility, and customers get credits on their monthly bills for any power the project sells back to the grid.
Although a relatively small business now, community solar is growing and could account for as much as half of the small-scale solar-panel market by 2020, according to an April forecast by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. That would create a hefty new solar market in between individually owned rooftop arrays and large utility-scale projects.