Community Solar

We are actively involved in the development of community solar projects in Canada.

What is Community Solar?

Community solar, also known as shared solar or solar gardens, is a distributed solar energy deployment model that allows customers to buy or lease part of a larger, offsite shared solar photovoltaic (PV) system and receive benefits from their participation.

Community Solar operates with a billing mechanism known as Virtual Net Metering

What is Virtual Net Metering

Virtual Net Metering (VNM) is a billing mechanism that allows multiple utility customers to benefit from a single renewable energy source, such as solar or wind power, without having the energy-generating equipment directly on their premises. 

How VNM works:

  • Shared System: A renewable energy system is installed in a centralized location. This could be on a shared property or an offsite location. The energy generated by this system is fed into the power grid, rather than being directly used onsite.
  • Credits: The electricity generated by the shared system is measured, and the value of this energy production is credited to the accounts of participating customers. The allocation of these credits is based on a predetermined share of the project.
  • Reduced Energy Bills: Participants receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of the energy produced by the renewable system. These credits can offset the electricity the participants consume from the grid, potentially lowering their energy bills.

Download our white paper explaining virtual net metering, prepared for the BC Hydro Net Metering Working Group.