(Photo by Flickr user 10 10, used under a Creative Commons license)
It’s no secret that the solar industry in the U.S. continues to gain steam, however the accessibility for most American homeowners remains limited. For example, according to the calculator for Google’s Project Sunroof, an extensive mapping tool that assesses the costs and benefits of installing solar panels, in certain areas of Washington D.C. the savings of solar would only be $1,000 over a 20-year lease.
However, Arcadia Power, a national clean energy platform, recently announced the addition a community solar project that aims to provide consumers with affordable access to solar energy and maximum savings.
Last month, the D.C.-based startup unveiled its Portable Panel program. For only $100 each, customers can buy solar panels—but don’t expect to see new panels popping up in your neighborhoods.
Instead, the model will mirror that of Acardia’s main program. One of their development partners will construct panels for solar farms across the country. As those solar panels produce power, Arcadia will then take the revenue generated and credit their customers’ utility bills.
That way, subscribers across the country can help generate more clean energy without the hassles of installing and maintaining solar panels.
As for D.C. subscribers, Arcadia CEO Kiran Bhatraju explained that they “can save up to hundreds of dollars each month depending on the quantity of panels purchased, enough to zero out their entire energy bill.”
Arcadia built the program with flexibility in mind. There’s no minimum purchasing requirement to join the program and if you decide to purchase a new home, the savings will follow you there.
“We wanted to create a solar program available to everyone that pays a power bill, regardless of roof, apartment, or house, that takes away all the difficulty of rooftop solar,” cofounder and Bhatraju told Technical.ly. “Our Portable Panel democratizes solar access to everyone.”
Arcadia announced its latest project on the heels of raising $6 million to not only jumpstart Portable Panel, but also expand their utility partnerships and product offerings. While Bhatraju preferred to stay tight-lipped on the details, he did reveal that the company looks to roll out energy efficient products for customers “in the near future.”
For now, Arcadia remains committed to impactful ways to change energy consumption in this country—without divorcing customers with their utility companies.
“Utilities want to provide customers a better experience, new programs, and savings opportunities and we’re well positioned to work with them to achieve those goals,” said Bhatraju.