SolarCity, California's leading provider of solar energy systems, today announced that the company has successfully carried its innovative Community Solar Program across the state and to Southern California thanks to the company's group solar initiative. In just 16 months since the program's inception, the Community Solar Program has brought 2.7 megawatts of renewable energy to homeowners across the state.
SolarCity first created the Community Solar Program in 2006 as a revolutionary approach to creating financial incentives for neighborhoods that go solar together. Through economies of scale and the efficiencies realized in centralizing equipment and employees, SolarCity is offering discounts of up to 25 percent off market rates, and install systems quickly, if neighborhoods meet program goals.
SolarCity's Community Solar Program has been an effective means for instituting change on a community-level in cities and towns all across California. The program not only affords communities a faster path to energy independence and financial savings, but also a powerful means of helping reduce their carbon footprints. Statewide, the 2.7 megawatts of new solar power systems will collectively prevent the release of 2,160 tons of C02 annually -- roughly equivalent to planting nearly 60,000 trees.
The most recent program came to a close in Long Beach, where some 50 homeowners purchased a total of 175 kilowatts of clean power -- more than double the amount city residents purchased in all of 2007, and the largest number of homes to go solar in a four-month period in the city's history.
"This clearly demonstrates how SolarCity has managed to make solar more affordable to more people," said Mary Barton, who championed the Long Beach program among neighbors and purchased a system herself. "Knocking down financial barriers to adopting clean energy has helped empower our community to come together and make a real difference fighting climate change," she said.
All of SolarCity's installations come with the company's proprietary SolarGuard monitoring service, an industry-leading Internet-based monitoring system that allows the company to proactively monitor customers' system performance and provide on-demand reports for individual and community-aggregated clean-energy production and carbon dioxide offsets.
"The Community Solar Programs enable us to save and to pass that savings onto our customers," said SolarCity Founder and Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive. "This creates a more inclusive solar market, and an inspired one too -- as we've seen in the California program, communities who become aware of their collective power in 'being the difference' with regard to carbon reduction and energy independence will rise up with an impressive call to action," Rive noted.