Technical Potential and Meaningful Benefits of Community Solar in the United States

Katy Waechter, Eric O'Shaughnessy, Sudha Kannan, Robin Burton

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The report describes the methodology and results from a study on the technical potential of community solar and associated meaningful benefits. A key finding of the study suggests that the opportunity space for community solar to meet unmet demand for solar energy is not primarily constrained by technical potential, but by technological, market, and policy factors. NREL used rooftop and ground-mount photovoltaic siting data to model annual energy production from community solar based on various constraints and system performance. Given modeled results and community solar deployment, we discuss potential benefits including household savings, low-to-moderate income household access to solar, resilience and grid benefits, community ownership, workforce development and entrepreneurship as well as insights into community solar siting opportunities.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages55
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-87524


  • community solar
  • technical potential


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