Document Type



Energy and Utilities Law


As the movement toward cleaner energy has gained momentum within the United States, a growing number of scholars and policymakers have made the case for community-scale renewable energy: mid-sized energy sources supported by resources pooled from several private par-ties in close geographic proximity. When built and utilized at the community level, these energy facilities may allow for economies of scale that their owners could not achieve working individually.' Individual distributed generation, such as solar infrastructure on the roofs of homes, involves high transaction costs and creates relatively small impacts. At the same time, community-scale renewable energy has advantages over largescale projects, which are sited beyond our central cities, leading to energy sprawl and inefficiencies in transmission. Furthermore, in many neighborhoods, installing relatively new on-site distributed generation is still a bold leap even for the most innovative of consumers; those adopting new technologies benefit from the mutual support and understanding of other nearby adopters. Community projects ensure the presence of this type of shared support and understanding, thus lowering individual risks.