Joule Assets, through Joule Community Power, has secured separate contracts with Luminace and BQ Energy, for a combined 31,000 MWh of community solar expected in the first year of operation.
A large portion of the capacity will be used for opt-out community solar programs that Joule calls “community choice solar” in Marbletown, Beacon and Philipstown, New York, that are expected to launch in early 2022. Part of Hudson Valley Community Power, a Joule-administered community choice aggregation clean energy program, the community choice solar offerings will be available to more than 4,500 households and small businesses, approximately 35 to 50% of which are expected to be low- to moderate-income (LMI) residences. One of the offering’s key benefits to participants is a solar credit on their monthly electric bills that equates to a discount of up to 10% on an annual basis.
“Hudson Valley Community Power will be the first opt-out community solar program that explicitly prioritizes LMI residents for solar benefits,” said Jessica Stromback, CEO of Joule Assets. “We have already brought thousands of New Yorkers monthly savings on their utility bills while promoting clean energy, and these deals will help those who need it most.”
A two-month community outreach period will soon begin to introduce the program to residents through local news outlets, social media accounts, public events, open Q&A sessions and more.
Traditional community solar programs, which rely heavily on individual outreach to enroll program subscribers, typically sign up less than 5% of those eligible. Alternatively, eligible participants of community choice solar programs are automatically enrolled without having to sign an individual contract, undergo a credit check, or receive a separate solar bill. Under this format, engagement increases to roughly 90% of eligible program participants. Solar developers are also able to add thousands of new subscribers almost instantly.