Here are the Community Solar nominees for the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year Awards, sponsored by EagleView Technologies. Accurate data, virtual site assessments, and installation-ready designs will optimize your solar sales funnel and operations — learn more in this EagleView special report Breaking Down and Through Soft Costs.
The form is at the bottom of the page. You are allowed to vote once per day from now until Friday Oct. 14 at midnight (EDT). (FYI: Our voting widget will let you vote more than once a day, but we filter these out in the back-end. Sorry, ballot stuffers). Winners will be announced and prominently featured in the Q4 issue of Solar Builder magazine and online in December.
Be sure to vote in every category!
Extra Space Storage
Neptune, NJ | 500 kW (6.5 MW across 10 sites)
Extra Space Storage, a national self-storage company, dedicated the rooftops of 10 of its locations in New Jersey (800,000 square feet of rooftop space) to solar projects in (via New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program). More than 3,300 self-storage facilities have been built since 2010, according to CoStar, and the industry continues to grow year after year. The companies believe this model could be replicated across the country. Extra Space Storage’s Neptune site is the first completed out of 105 projects that were approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in 2021. The total 6.5 MWdc that will be sent to the grid to power 1,400 low- to moderate-income homes in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Colorado Community Solar
Sterling, Colo. | 5 MWdc
This 5 MW community solar project in Sterling, Colorado is part of a 13 MW portfolio comprised of several projects throughout Colorado. The Sterling site had significant topography changes, requiring a flexible racking solution to accommodate the topography while optimizing the layout and row spacing to maximize solar production. This 5 MW solar project includes 12,248 solar modules and produces over 10 million kWh/year of clean, renewable energy for Colorado community solar subscribers.
Maryland Multi-Community Dual-Use
Rockville, Md. | 8.4 MW
This three-array community solar project is made up of projects that are located across three different Maryland counties and two utility territories. Combined they are projected to bring up to 10% annual utility bills savings to thousands of Maryland households through community solar subscriptions as part of Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program. Each project is also dual-use, meaning that it will function as a solar farm and pollinator habitat. The names of the systems reflect this as each is named after butterflies, pollinator plants and other local natural landmarks: Bathian, Metalmark and Glassywing. Local fauna and flora will be protected in nine separate locations, and the systems will also enable many Marylanders to maintain farms that have been in their families for years.
White Plains Portfolio
White Plains. N.Y | 6.8 MW + 1.76 MW / 8 MWh
The densification of solar in such a populated area is rare in the industry, and it takes experience to efficiently deploy multiple projects while causing minimal disruption. This nine-site, 6.8 MW community solar portfolio includes a mix of canopy, rooftop, and ground-mount solar systems and energy storage installations at four of the city’s parking garages, Gillie Park, the Ebersole Ice Rink, Gedney Way Recycling Facility, Water Storage Site and the Sanitation Complex. DSD worked with the city to re-route parking, handle periodic road closures and utilize specialized equipment to reach garage-top elevation. The Recycle Center landfill required the first floating foundation canopy mounted on a sealed landfill cap. The ice rink got a new roof. And so on. This is the largest municipal solar deployment in Westchester County and triples the amount of solar energy produced in the county.
Developer: Distributed Solar Projects, LLC | EPC: Distributed Solar Operations, LLC | Installer: Bullet Electric | Modules: Qcells | Inverters: SMA | Storage: Tesla | Racking: DSD Proprietary Canopy Design, IronRidge
Non-Wires Alternative for National Grid
Cicero, N.Y. | 15 MW + 10 MW/40 MWh
This 40 MWh energy storage and 15 MW solar system is one of just a small handful of projects in the U.S. to utilize batteries as non-wires alternatives (NWA) to more expensive transmission & distribution upgrades. It is the first known project to use solar energy to charge the batteries that provide the NWA – an innovative model for how utilities can leverage solar + storage to forego these upgrades and rapidly improve grid reliability without gas-fired peaker plants. This project is also a proof of concept for a more efficient, market-based model of construction-to-term financing for utility-scale solar + storage projects across the nation. In addition, this system provides community solar when there is more stored energy than National Grid needs and uses satellite technology to monitor and remotely manage its solar and energy storage assets.
Have you checked out our YouTube page?
We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.