EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

9.8 Learning Activity: Community Solar Garden



Imagine you are part of a superior design team based in PA, a state with a restructured electricity market such that community solar is possible. Your integrative design team is already capable at commercial and residential PV installations, but wants to branch out and take advantage of this "community solar" concept. Your job is to make a short survey of best practices available elsewhere and suggest a model for developing community PV in an urban community in the Philadelphia area. Understandably, your report would be based on limited information of the actual site, but you can leverage extensive access to general information about the types of building and potential stakeholders in the locale of interest. Based on your findings, you need to prepare a concise but convincing summary document for your supervisor to review.


1. Find and review a case of community shared solar anywhere that would align with a prospective community solar scenario in Philadelphia area. Make sure to state the commonalities in that real case with those in the potential project scenario.

2. Develop a 2-3 page executive summary that includes:

  • background information of the locale
  • client base and stakeholders
  • proposed model for community solar
  • comparative analysis (cons and pros) for community solar vs. individual solar. (If you like, you can present this information in a table).

3. Provide a conclusive statement about the feasibility and benefits of the project.  


Submit your Summary as a PDF document into the Lesson 9 Learning Activity Dropbox: Community Solar in Canvas. Remember to appropriately cite any sources of information used in your report.

Grading Criteria

You will be graded on your ability to develop a compelling outline that provides scope for applying the community solar concept in a residential Philadelphia neighborhood. The activity assesses your knowledge of investigating the potential client and stakeholders at the locale when planning to maximize solar utility in the pre-design phase. Please see specific grading rubrics in Canvas. 


Please see the Canvas Calendar for specific due dates.