A proposal in the state legislature could expand community solar projects in Pennsylvania.

Community solar already exists in the state, but legislation sponsored by State Rep. Aaron Kaufer could make it easier for projects to develop.

Kaufer introduced the bill — House Bill 531 — in February. It was referred to the House Consumer Affairs committee.

There are a variety of ways to organize a community solar project, but they all allow for people who can’t install panels on their own property to access electricity from solar energy.

A roof that’s unsuitable for solar panels, living in a condo or renting are some of the reasons people might not be able to install panels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s also a way for people to use solar energy if they can’t afford the up-front cost of installation.

Under a community solar program, people can own or lease a portion of a power-generating system or buy kilowatt-hour blocks of energy generated form solar power.

By subscribing to a solar project, participants get credit on their electricity bill, just as if the panels were on their own roofs, wrote Kaufer, R-120, Luzerne, in a press release.



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