While it is hardly news that solar energy is booming on Long Island, the vast majority of current installations are residential solar installations. In spite of the huge amount of commercial roof space on Long Island, only a very small portion of commercial have gone solar, but that is all starting to change. Historically one of the largest obstacles to commercial solar on Long Island has been the challenges associated with funding a large commercial solar project. While there are many specialized financing options for residential solar until now there have been no solar specific loan options for commercial solar available on Long Island. In addition to the restrictions related to commercial solar financing on Long Island until a few months ago, commercial buildings were not allowed to sell the excess power they produced beyond their own consumption, for this reason, it previously did not make sense for large commercial buildings to max out their roof space with solar panels.
In spite of previous limiting factors to the growth of commercial solar on Long Island, new financing programs, and new solar regulations are poised to rapidly accelerate the growth of commercial solar on Long Island. One major change to the commercial solar market on Long Island has been the inception of a program called community solar. This program allows commercial buildings to sell off the excess power that they do not consume on site to anyone on the same power grid. By allowing commercial buildings to sell off excess power not consumed on site, it now enables commercial buildings to install more solar panels on their roof and in turn increase the total solar capacity of Long Island at a much more rapid rate. In addition to benefiting the commercial buildings that are installing and selling the produced solar power, community solar also benefits individuals who want to consume clean energy but may not be able to install solar panels. Overall community solar is a major step towards vastly increasing the solar energy capacity of Long Island.