A San Antonio community solar company is looking to expand to provide clean energy to residents and commercial buildings throughout Texas and the southwest. With the cost of solar panels, Go Smart Solar aims to deliver these benefits without the need for installing solar panels through a program called Big Sun Community Solar.
Community solar is a new and efficient means of delivering solar energy to homes and businesses without forcing them to have dedicated panels. As part of Big Sun Community Solar, Go Smart Solar will install solar gardens in commercial lots in San Antonio. The power generated from these installations will be available to businesses and homeowners that opt into the program. In turn, they’ll receive credit on their CPS Energy bill.
The San Antonio community solar company isn’t going to limit itself to one city, however. Officials have been considering taking this project outside of San Antonio to benefit other Texas cities and the Southwest region of the United States. To complete the proposed project, Go Smart Solar will have to invest approximately $150 million.
To secure funding, Go Smart Solar will partner with DSD, a company that specializes in clean energy. BlackRock, Inc., the majority owner, is known for being the world’s biggest money manager and will be able to fund the bulk of the project. DSD is expecting to provide Go Smart Solar with equity and loans per individual project.
Big Sun Community Solar uses solar gardens that homeowners and commercial customers can buy into. This primarily includes panels found in parking lots, which were installed on top of carports at no cost to the property owners. Big Sun does charge a fee for the individual spaces, but that’s passed down to tenants, who pay to rent the covered spots from office management.
As of May 2020, the San Antonio community solar company has 241 residential customers signed up for Big Sun Community Solar. Their power is drawn from 600 carports installed at Rush Enterprises truck dealership. By the end of the year, the program hopes to increase the number of panels to 2,000 throughout 12 locations in San Antonio.