The Clean Energy Collective (CEC) developed RemoteMeter software that allows utility customers to purchase panels that are part of a community solar array and get credit on their monthly electric bills for the energy generated, something that was only possible before in the eight states that have Virtual Net Metering. CEC develops utility-scale (500 kW to 50 MW) projects in partnership with an electrical cooperative, public utility or investor owned utility that wants, or is required by Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), to increase their use of green energy. CEC constructs, funds and maintains the solar array using bulk purchasing to save on the price of panels.
The model allows individuals, businesses or nonprofits to own as much solar generating capacity as they want or can afford regardless of whether they own property. Details vary but for CEC’s first project panels cost about $750 each. Low-cost long-term loans were available and the utility guaranteed panel owners a premium rate for the energy produced, which means the investment will be paid off in as little as 13 years while the panels will last over 50 years. CEC is a private company. It has developed projects in Colorado, New Mexico and Minnesota (which are included in this scan).