Approach #1: Offsetting electricity in common spaces
The most common approach is to use solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to offset the electricity bills of the building’s common spaces (hallways, laundry room, etc). This allows your condo association to spend less money on monthly bills while also going solar.
Approach #2: Community solar project
Community solar may soon be a reality in Maryland. This past 2015 legislative session a community solar bill was passed in Annapolis. The details of how this legislation will be implemented are to be determined by the Maryland Public Service Commission in the coming months. In the meantime, MD SUN intends to continue fighting for the right of tenants, people with shading roofs, and those renting to homes to share in the benefits of solar power in our state.
Approach #3: Solar thermal project
If your building has a central water heating system you can install a solar thermal system. A solar thermal system helps heat your building’s hot water and is a good option if you don’t have enough space for a large solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
Paying for a solar system
You can either purchase the system outright or opt for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), where a third party owns the system and you purchase the electricity the solar panels produce. More information on direct ownership vs. third-party ownership is available here.