New Orleans, LA [March 25, 2022] – The City of New Orleans today announced the launch of the City’s Community Solar program, the first of its kind in the south. The program will involve constructing local solar gardens shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credit on electricity bills for their share of the power produced. This provides homeowners, renters and businesses equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of whether they own their home, or if the home can support solar panels.
“Our Community Solar program continues to highlight New Orleans’s role in leading the climate fight in our region, and our commitment to green infrastructure throughout the city,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I want to thank our partners Madison Energy Investments and local provider Solar Alternatives. Together, we are ensuring that New Orleans lives up to its reputation as a resilient city.”
The New Orleans City Council established the program, rules, policies and procedures for its deployment throughout the city. The Council also approves the solar garden locations to make sure they align with underserved neighborhoods.
The City is currently exploring city-owned sites such as rooftops and vacant land for developing the solar gardens. Residents and businesses will be able to subscribe to the projects at no cost or obligation.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this monumental program for New Orleans,” said Richard Walsh, managing partner of Madison Energy Investments. “Madison has projects like this across the country and as a southerner who grew up frequenting New Orleans, this project makes me particularly proud.”
Community Solar programs are currently active in 41 states and Washington, D.C., generating more than 3.6 gigawatts between them, which is enough to power almost 2.7 million homes. Within the next five years, programs like these are expected to add an additional 4.3 gigawatts of capacity to the nation’s grid.