Community Solar


Community Solar is a new way to receive the financial benefits of rooftop solar. The main difference is instead of paying to place expensive panels on your own roof, a group of households get together to support a centralized solar farm. That’s much more efficient than building hundreds of different rooftop systems, and it’s available to renters and homeowners who can’t get, or don’t want, rooftop solar for a number of reasons. Community solar offers many of the same financial benefits as rooftop solar, without the hassle of installation or maintenance of panels on your roof.

The NYS Public Service Commission recently authorized a new way to purchase electricity, called Shared Solar, Community Net Metering (CNM), or Community Distributed Generation (CDG), which can benefit residents of the Greater Capital District.

Helderberg Community Energy Presents Solar Energy for National Grid Customers

How does it work? 

 Investor-developers seeking tax benefits finance the construction of a large array of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. 
 The array sends electricity to the grid. 
 The grid sends electricity to you. 
 Electricity production and demand comes out even (ideally). 
 Your choices are: buy electricity at a discounted rate, or buy a share of ownership in the array. 
 You save money, and you are using renewable energy from a locally owned source. 

What will the arrays look like? 

The panels for a 2 MW array would cover about 8 acres. An array that size would have some additional space around it to allow for privacy, safety, and aesthetics. 

“Solar garden” arrays of photo-voltaic panels will be built in the Capital District area to feed power to the grid. Monolith Solar has been selected through a competitive bidding process to build these arrays. 

Member individuals and businesses will contract to buy either a portion of an array or a specific amount of electricity generated by the array. Electricity will be delivered to their homes or businesses by their existing hook-ups to the National Grid power lines. 

Members will receive separate electricity bills from Monolith Solar for power produced by the array. Bills will be adjusted seasonally for electrical consumption over and under the contracted amount. 

Each member will still receive a monthly bill from National Grid for “Basic Service” (presently approximately $17.00). This service brings the power to your meter, and it insures that you will have a steady supply of electricity, even at night and other times when the sun is not shining and the panels are not producing. 

The cost of electricity through membership in this project will be less expensive than current electric bills because solar panel array construction and operational costs are now competitive with fossil fuels, and sunlight is free. 

What are the financial advantages of membership? 

 Your electric bills will be reduced. 
 A variety of membership and payment options will be available to suit different budgets. 
 You will be able to adjust your membership usage level as necessary. 

Nothing will be built on or changed on your property.
No need for maintenance or snow removal.
We anticipate a waiting list, and members will be chosen on a first come, first served basis. 

Who We Are: 

(HCE) is a group of volunteers who encourage energy conservation and the use of renewable energy. We have teamed up with Solarize Albany and Monolith Solar to make solar energy accessible to all. 

The mission of Helderberg Community Energy, LLC is to develop and support locally owned renewable energy projects which address climate change and strengthen our rural economy.

What are the Costs? 

First, determine how much electricity you will need by looking at past National Grid bills to see your history of use. You will sign up for that amount, in one of two ways: 

1. Buy Electricity:
20% off the National Grid cost of electricity, adjusted periodically. 

2. Buy Panels: 

$99/mo. until your panels are paid off, at $3.14/watt,
minus 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC),
with 0% financing. 

Cash up front at $3.10/watt, minus 30% ITC
Plus maintenance fee of about $110/year Monolith Solar also offers a Credit Repair program. 

Contact Us: 

Helderberg Community Energy
PO Box 236, Knox, NY, 12107
Russ Pokorny: 518-669-6459


Halfmoon Roofless Solar for NYSEG Customers

Clean Energy Collective has built a large array of solar panels in the town of Halfmoon, NY. They have a contract with NYSEG to sell that energy to NYSEG customers. They are currently pre-enrolling people who are interested in buying their electricity from these solar panels. The panels are built and ready to go, but they are still dealing with red tape. They hope to be on-line by this Spring. There is no cost to pre-enroll. If you are pre-enrolled they will contact you when they are ready to go on-line and at that point they will do a credit check and get specific. They are offering a guaranteed 10% savings from what you would be paying NYSEG. They are starting with a one year contract.

If you are a NYSEG customer and you are interested, we can give you the pre-enrollment forms. If you want to talk to a Clean Energy Collective customer service representative, call 1-844-232-7253