FAQ

What is community solar?

Community solar gives everyone the opportunity to share in the benefits of clean solar energy without rooftop installations.

Community solar is ideal for homeowners with shaded rooftops, businesses that don’t own their own buildings, churches and other houses of worship that cannot take advantage of tax incentives because they do not pay taxes.

Here’s how it works:

Solar arrays are built on rural land; typically non-producing farm land and other “brown fields” like quarries. The electricity produced on the solar farm goes into the local utility grid.

  • Each month the utility credits the customers’ bills with the value of the solar electricity produced at the farm
  • Each month the customers pay the utility or owner for the solar credits.
  • Customers do not receive solar electricity directly from the solar farm . Rather, they benefit indirectly by increasing the amount of renewable energy the utility uses each month to supply all of its customers.
How is Solar Farms New York different?

Solar Farms New York represents one of the largest owners of solar farms in the United States. Our job is to help customers take advantage of the solar electricity generated by these farms.

Solar Farms New York is NOT a retail electricity marketer that charges you for so-called “green energy.” With Solar Farms New York you receive:

  • Monthly solar credits from solar electricity produced in New York State, NOT wind credits from other states like Texas
  • An honest, straightforward benefits plan, NOT questionable promises about savings
Does it cost anything to enroll?

You can move at any time and cancel at no cost. You can also take your Solar Benefits Package with you if you are moving within your utility service territory.

Let us know and we will confirm whether you are still eligible.

What if this month is cloudy and the sun isn’t shining as much?

Photovoltaic panels use direct or indirect sunlight to generate electricity.  Panels are most effective in direct sunlight but still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds.

Will I save money?

Our discount plan guarantees 5% savings on solar credits applied to your utility bill. If you receive $100 in solar credits, you pay Solar Farms New York $95 – it’s that simple.

How does this change my utility bill?

Each month you will see a credit on your utility bill for solar credits. The amount of your credit will be reflected at your discount on your monthly Solar Farms New York bill.

What is the environmental impact of solar farms?

Solar farms generate electricity from the sun’s rays. Solar power is a form of renewable energy, like the energy that comes from the wind and the motion of the waves. Renewable energy is free and available everywhere if we only take the trouble to capture it.

Renewable energy displaces fossil fuels like natural gas, coal, and fuel oil which reduces or eliminates carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions that come from power plants.

Solar farms are not without their critics. In some states productive farmland could be covered with solar panels, preventing the growth of crops. We at Solar Farms New York prefer to support solar farms that are built on so-called “brown fields,” that is, land that is not productive farmland such as landfills, rocky soil, and quarry sites.

What are the benefits of Solar Farms New York?

Simply put… clean energy generated with 100% New York sunshine! Your community also benefits through our Clean Energy Program. Solar Farms New York has contributed over $80,000 to community organizations that have joined us as Clean Energy Partners.

Am I switching electricity providers?

No!

Your electricity supplier will stay the same. If you are supplied by the utility you will continue to receive your electricity from the utility. If you are supplied by a third party energy service company or ESCO, you will continue to receive your electricity from the ESCO.

Why am I receiving two bills?

One bill will come from your utility with your Solar Credits. The other bill will come from Solar Farms New York.

We offer two options to pay for the value of the Solar Credits less your discount.

  • ACH
  • Credit Card
I own a large tract of land. How do I become solar farmer?

In order for a property to be suitable for solar farm development it must meet numerous criteria including:

• Proximity to utility lines and adequate utility infrastructure including substations and transformers
• South to southwest orientation
• Suitability for 7 foot pilings and an absence of obstacles such as ledge
• Ideally, brownfield sites such as quarries or dairy farms to comply with New York State policies regarding development of prime farmland
• Availability of permits from local building departments
• Willingness of towns to offer PILOTs (i.e., payments in lieu of property taxes for 20-25 years)

Of these, the most important is the first, namely, the suitability of the project for interconnection with the utility grid. This can prove quite costly, with costs ranging from $100,000 to over $3 million.

Meeting all of these criteria can require as much as 3 or 4 years of work. During that time, changes in federal and state tax and local incentives can have a huge impact on the economic viability of projects. Federal tax incentives are scheduled to begin to decline in 2021 and New York State has already announced lower subsidies for future projects. Accordingly, the financial benefits of solar farm projects have already begun to diminish in some utility territories.

If you think your property qualifies and are interested, forward details of your property to solardevelopment@solarfarmsny.com

I have other questions – whom should I ask?

Just drop us a line! We are available during business hours and, when we’re working late, after hours as well!

Call us at 833-877-7652 and ask for Irene!