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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Common Energy: Fulton County Community Solar

Oppenheim solar farm ribbon cutting: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Little Falls and Dolgeville along with their troop leaders celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Oppenheim solar farm. From L-R: Andrew Bernstein, Kearsarge Energy; Chad Handy, landowner; Pastor Tom Jones, Bethesda Christian Fellowship; NYS Senator Jim Tedisco; Malcolm Bliss, Common Energy; Cindy Breh, Oppenheim Town Supervisor.

George Harvey

Common Energy (CE) is a company that brings community solar projects to customers, especially in New York and Maryland which have favorable state programs.

Community solar systems benefit people who have no place to put solar systems such as renters and people whose homes are in shady areas. Electric utility customers can subscribe to the system and have the value of the energy generated deducted from their bills. Some people who expect to move can also take advantage of this, because, if they are still served by the same utility, they may be able to apply the credits in their new locations.

CE brings new community systems forward continuously. As one project is fully subscribed, development of another is underway. And this is an advantage for potential customers. Those who discover that the array they wished to buy into is fully subscribed are often able to subscribe to a newer array in their utility’s service area.

The Oppenheim solar array has been under development in an area served by National Grid in Fulton County, New York. The 1,940-kilowatt system is large enough to supply the needs of about 333 households. It will reduce carbon emissions by over 750,000 pounds each year, the equivalent of sequestration in 407 acres of forest. Participants may receive $1,440 over the 20-year lifespan of the project.

An announcement from Common Energy now tells us that the Oppenheim solar array is fully subscribed. This means, of course, that finding customers for the development was completely successful.

Those who might have wanted to buy into the system can take heart, however. Even though it is fully subscribed, CE has others available including New York solar farms in Johnstown and Clifton Park and others under development. CE has operational projects or projects under development in a number of New York areas, including those serviced by National Grid, NYSEG, Central Hudson, and Orange and Rockland Utilities.

CE partners with a team of other developers on their community systems. In the case of the Oppenheim solar array, they worked with Kearsarge Energy, which owns the project, and National Grid. In addition to serving homes and businesses in general, Common Energy serves low- and moderate-income households through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Solar For All Program.

Common Energy’s website is

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