Community Solar Offers Now Live on the Lumen Platform

March 27, 2024
5 min read

The world is in the midst of an unprecedented transition to renewable energy, as concerns about climate change, higher fossil fuel prices, and energy security intersect with technological advances and falling costs of solar and wind power. 

At Lumen Energy, we’re focused on helping commercial real estate owners deploy and profit from on-site solar systems effortlessly and at scale. Since our founding in 2020, we’ve been advancing our mission by giving customers new tools to realize the untapped solar and storage potential within their real estate portfolios: first by remotely evaluating the solar feasibility of every property in their portfolio, then by connecting them with tailor-made options for financing, including loans and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind product feature that lets building owners receive instant offers for hosting community solar projects—right in the Lumen app. Not only does Lumen instantly evaluate community solar eligibility for your properties based on local policies, we also provide competing offers from leading developers. Owners can compare the potential returns of these community solar offers side by side with cash purchases, loans, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). For owners who have historically had challenges with executing cash purchases or third-party PPAs, community solar unlocks a simpler path to capturing new net operating income via roof rent. This new offering transforms Lumen into a true one-stop shop for solar feasibility and financing.

How community solar works

Community solar is a collective solar power model in which multiple participants (individuals, businesses, nonprofits, local governments, and/or other parties) each subscribe to a share of a centralized solar facility, granting them proportional rights to the electricity it generates. Property owners in eligible geographies can choose to host community solar projects on the rooftops of their buildings in exchange for roof lease payments from a community solar project developer.

The solar developers pay for the upfront installation costs and ongoing maintenance of the solar panels, plus recurring rent to the building owner for use of the rooftop or land space. For owners with complex, multi-tenant relationships, like triple-net lease (NNN) industrial or retail segments, community solar can offer a streamlined way to solarize properties without the headaches of gathering energy data and synthesizing local net metering regulations.

In addition to receiving rent for hosting the system, building owners can subscribe at a discount to a portion—typically up to 50%—of the electricity generated by the solar array they host on their property. The rest is purchased by the local community. 

As of this announcement, Lumen has launched community solar partnerships in select states, including Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland, and we’re rapidly expanding our market coverage. 


Are you a building owner interested in exploring hassle-free roof rent at your properties? Or a community solar developer interested in accessing vetted projects from leading commercial real estate firms?

Get in touch with a Lumen community solar expert.

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