Focusing the Sun: State Considerations for Designing Community Solar Policy

Jeffrey Cook, Monisha Shah

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report summarizes outcomes from the National Community Solar Partnership State Best Practices working group by identifying key differences in state policies that enable community solar and illustrating how various policy design approaches may impact the market. For the latter question, it is too early to quantify a relationship between policy design and market impacts, because most state programs have not been fully implemented. So, the authors conducted interviews with 19 subject matter experts, including project developers, regulators, and utilities to better understand how various policy design approaches may impact community solar markets. These perspectives, along with those gleaned from the working group and relevant literature were synthesized to identify key considerations for policymakers designing community solar programs. Though state community solar policies vary in numerous ways, the report focuses on the following critical elements: program cap, project size cap, subscriber location requirements, subscriber eligibility requirements, low- and moderate-income stipulations, and subscriber compensation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-70663


  • community solar
  • low income stipulations
  • market
  • policy design
  • program cap
  • project size cap
  • state policy
  • subscriber compensation
  • subscriber eligibility requirements
  • subscriber location requirements


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