At first glance, a "Community Solar" or "Solar Garden" project looks like any other solar project. There are, however, three significant differences; ownership, financing, and metering.
Metering is provided in such a way that each individual knows the monthly output of his or her portion of the solar production. The CSP owners then receive 'credit' for this output through an online production report, an investment report, and in many cases, as a credit toward their own monthly electric bill.
Financing: The primary purpose of the CSP is to make 'solar ownership' available to anyone who has an electric bill. There are more options available than this space would allow, but the good news is that this flexibility can foster a win all around for the stakeholders and the community as a whole.
Ownership of a typical solar project has most often been by a single entity. This entity might be a major utility, the owner of a business, an investment group, or a homeowner. Community Solar changes all that. Inside a Community Solar Project (CSP), there can be multiple owners; an unrestricted combination of local government, businesses, and homeowners. These owners are typically referred to as subscribers and are able to purchase a part of the power that is produced from the community solar array. The power the subscriber purchases from that array will then appear as a credit on their bill saving money each month.