FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kim Casey
June 15, 2021 [email protected]
SunShare Breaks Industry Record with Ten Years of Serving Community Solar Subscribers
A decade after its inception, SunShare leads way as community solar industry evolves from niche to mainstream within the energy sector.
Denver, CO – SunShare, the nation’s oldest community solar developer, breaks an industry record this month with a decade of operations, just 11 years after the first community solar legislation was passed in Colorado. In recent years, community solar has been the fastest-growing segment of the solar industry, and now has projects or programs in 48 states.
“Over the past decade, as we’ve seen the dramatic effects of climate change impact our world, it is ever more important that we put the power for creating clean energy in the hands of the people – and community solar is the one way that citizens can drive demand for renewable energy regardless of their rooftop suitability or socioeconomic status,” said David Amster-Olszewski, CEO and Founder of SunShare.
Throughout its ten-year history, SunShare has consistently led the industry, including milestones such as:
First to build and operate a competitive market community solar garden;
First to reach 10,000 residential subscribers;
First to develop100 megawatts of community solar;
First to complete a transition to 100% ownership of all of its community solar gardens
First to finance a 100% residential community solar garden.
SunShare’s accomplishments have set the stage for the community solar industry’s shift from serving largely commercial and municipal subscribers to a focus on residential and low-income customers. Through its work alongside utilities, financiers, and policymakers to make sure more residents have access to affordable, clean energy, SunShare’s efforts have directly impacted groundbreaking legislation that is shaping the industry.
“What truly sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to our original vision of expanding renewable energy access to residential customers,” Amster-Olszewski said. “While many have come into the residential community solar space since SunShare’s inception, few if any have remained as focused on a singular mission, much less achieved it. Being first is tough and at times unforgiving, but surviving the tumult of a nascent industry finding its legs, and doing so with an ever-stronger team has been great fun.
In the last decade alone, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42%, with 97GW of installed solar capacity, or enough to power 18 million homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). However, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 75% of U.S. homes are unsuitable for rooftop solar panel installation and nearly 40% of U.S. households are renters who are not able to choose to install a rooftop solar option. These statistics proved the niche that community solar filled, and now more than 2.5 GW of community solar have been built.
“Being able to make choices that we feel good about and that reward our neighborhoods and communities is becoming ingrained in our psyche as consumers,” Amster-Olszewski said. “Whether it’s ‘buy-local’, supporting small businesses, or choosing green products, consumers expect choice. But with energy, sometimes the hurdle of installing rooftop panels is too high and there are too few alternatives. We’re proud to have brought that choice to more than 13,000 homes and look forward to serving tens of thousands more.”
SunShare is the nation’s leading residential community solar company, a pioneer of the community solar industry since 2011. SunShare earned its place as the first company to build and operate a community solar garden in a competitive market, by breaking through legislative and regulatory barriers to pave the way for all citizens to have equal access to renewable energy. Since then, SunShare has led the way in transforming the energy industry with locally-generated solar power. SunShare has developed approximately 80 fully—subscribed community solar gardens across Colorado and Minnesota, producing more than 100 megawatts, an industry milestone, and is expanding across the country. It has built the largest active residential subscriber base in community solar, focusing on the individuals and families that community solar programs were created to serve. SunShare offers subscribers a choice for renewable energy regardless of homeownership, and without rooftop installation. Through innovations, the SunShare team is making solar an easy choice for thousands of citizens, businesses, and organizations to create a cleaner, brighter future. Learn more at mysunshare.com.