Access the Benefits of Solar Power

When you think of solar energy use, you may think first of rooftop solar. But with community solar, clean, renewable energy is produced at a solar project and sent through the utility grid to the community. Renters, homeowners, and business owners don’t need to own – or even have a roof – to sign up for a local community solar project, making it easy to access solar power.

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Nearly half of Americans can’t install solar panels on their own roof because they rent, find it unaffordable, or have other physical barriers.1 With community solar, you don’t even need a roof!

Community solar is for everyone.

If there’s a community solar project near you, you have a great opportunity because community solar gives you an alternative to rooftop solar for supporting solar energy use. When you compare the requirements for rooftop versus community solar, you’ll see that community solar is very accessible:

Community Solar

  • No Upfront Costs or Fees
  • No Maintenance Costs
  • No Insurance Costs
  • Can Rent or Own Your Home
  • Can Lease or Own Your Office Space
  • No Roof Needed At All
  • Save On Energy Costs (Amount Varies Based on Project and State)

Rooftop Solar

  • Panels and Installation Costs: Average of 5-Digit Cost to Install Panels
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Insurance Costs
  • Must Own Your Home or Office Space
  • Must Have Roof (And Meet Requirements for Panels)
  • Must Wait Years to Recoup Investment in Panel Installation

For all of these reasons, community solar is an easy, affordable way for anyone to access clean, renewable energy.

What do you need to participate in community solar?

All that’s needed is a community solar project near you feeding clean, renewable energy to the utility grid that serves your home or business. Plus, you’ll need an available spot to participate. (Each project offers limited spots – and they go fast because people who participate save on their energy costs. If there’s not a spot available, you may be able to join a waitlist.)

Field full of solar panels

Learn more about how community solar works.

Still have questions about exactly how community solar works? Let’s get you answers.

Community solar is flexible.

Since there are so few requirements with community solar, life’s many changes aren’t a problem. With rooftop solar, if you need to move, you may end up leaving your home long before you recoup your investment in solar panels. But what happens with community solar?

  • If you’re moving, just contact us. You may still be eligible for the same (or a different) community solar project. We’ll help you make any needed changes.
  • If you change your mind – or if there’s no community solar project where you’re going – all you need to do is give us written notice. There’s no hassle or fee for cancelling.

Access community solar now.

Who is Nelnet Renewable Energy?

Nelnet Renewable Energy

Nelnet Renewable Energy is an affiliate of Nelnet, a purpose-driven company started more than 40 years ago. Our leadership and associates are committed to supporting renewable energy – and our organization is known for providing exceptional customer experiences. That’s our promise to you.

To learn more about who we are, visit About Us.

Proudly Supporting Our Industry

We’re a proud member of organizations working to power communities with renewable energy.

Explore More About Community Solar

Community Solar or Rooftop Solar: Which is Right For You?

If you’re interested in using solar energy to help support renewable energy use, you may wonder what your options are.

Read More about Community Solar or Rooftop Solar: Which is Right For You?


A community solar project, farm, or garden is a collection of solar panels called an array that supplies electricity to a local power grid serving the region. Community solar projects offer residents and small businesses a way to support clean, renewable energy without start-up costs, maintenance fees, or installation hassles. In addition to helping save the environment, people who subscribe to community solar projects can save on their annual energy costs by receiving credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. For more information, see How Does Community Solar Work?

No. You’re not responsible for any costs related to insurance, installation, or maintenance on your portion of the solar project.

No, there are no upfront costs or fees.

Yes, you can. As long as the third-party ESCO supply charges are included on your utility bill, solar credits you receive from your community solar subscription will offset some, if not all, of the supply and delivery per kilowatt-hour charges on your residential utility bill. Let’s say you're billed and pay for your supply charges directly to the third party ESCO and not through your utility. In that case, the solar credits will offset only the delivery per kilowatt-hour charges on your utility bill. ESCO rates are slightly different from standard utility rates, but you’ll still receive savings on your bill from signing up for community solar. Still not sure if it makes sense for you? Give us a call, and we can talk through it together.

If you move and your new address is in the same project territory, you can remain subscribed to the same project – but please let us know so we can update your information. If you move outside the project coverage area, please call us. We may have another project available in your new neighborhood. If you change your mind, there’s no fee to cancel. Notice is often required, and the length of any notice needed is explained in your agreement. Contact us with any questions about the unsubscribe process.

You may be eligible for several solar projects - and different projects have different contract terms. The specific terms of your community solar subscription will be presented during sign-up. Contracts are flexible so if you move or change your mind, there’s no fee to cancel.

First, we must determine if there’s an available project near you. To find out, enter your ZIP code, county, and utility provider here. If there is, we collect basic information to set up your community solar account. We ask you to provide your estimated average monthly utility usage (or you can log into your utility account instead) and then select your plan. Lastly, if your project uses dual billing, you set up your preferred payment method; if it uses single billing, you’ll be billed and pay through your utility company. It all takes just a few minutes. For more on single and dual billing, see Community Solar: How the Billing Process Works.

Let’s Get Started

To find the right community solar project for you, we’ll first need to gather a bit of information.

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Let’s Chat

If you have questions or need help with the sign-up process, just give us a call. If you prefer to sign up over the phone, we can help with that, too. 844.584.3213