ACCESSolar: Community Solar Gardens at NYCHA


As part of the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, NYCHA committed to siting 25 MW of renewable energy capacity on its properties by 2025.

To make sure that small businesses and non-profit organizations in NYCHA communities directly benefit from NYCHA’s solar commitment, NYCHA has created a tailored program, ACCESSolar, which stands for “ACcelerating Community Empowered Shared Solar”. Rooftops made available through ACCESSolar generally have 40 kW or less of solar capacity per rooftop – the right size for a small start-up or non-profit project.

Be one of the first!

NYCHA is accepting applications for the first five teams to participate in ACCESSolar. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, August 3rd.

To apply:

  1. Select a project location from the available sites list on NYC Open Data.
  2. Download and fill out a Site Proposal Form
  3. Fill out the online application and upload the Site Proposal Form

An ACCESSolar project must:

  • Be proposed by a non-profit organization or a small business located in a NYCHA community
  • Be Community Solar Garden, also known as “Community Shared Solar,” meaning that the electricity generated will belong to the project subscribers, not to NYCHA. The project subscribers receive a credit on their electric bill, as if the solar panels were on their own roofs.
  • Pledge to employ NYCHA residents and develop career-path green jobs
  • Pledge to enroll low-income customers as subscribers, to help lower their electric bills

In exchange, NYCHA and its partners provide:

Selected teams will receive license agreements that allow them to come into NYCHA sites to conduct their design investigations, after which they will submit a full proposal to NYCHA.

NYCHA encourages solar developers and local community organizations to work together to enroll low-income subscribers. Register your organization on the Shared Solar NYC Gateway to receive assistance in finding a match.


Are you a NYCHA resident who pays your own electric bills and wants to “go solar?”

Whether you live in public housing or have a housing voucher, if you pay your own electric bills, you may be able to save 10-20% by participating in NYCHA’s solar program.

NYCHA expects that its first solar installations will be complete in 2019. Sign up on CUNY’s Shared Solar NYC Gateway to register your interest in subscribing to community shared solar.

Key Dates

  • November 2017. Initial list of available sites available on NYC Open Data portal.
  • February 2018. Updated list of available sites available on NYC Open Data portal.
  • April 19, 2018. Application Portal opens.
  • August 3, 2018. Final day to submit applications for first round of ACCESSolar sites.
  • Summer 2018. Selection of up to five pilot teams.
  • Up to 12 months (Summer 2019). Audit and License Agreement provides site access for 12 months. Submit complete proposals for development
  • 6 months (End of 2019). NYCHA reviews and approves final list of projects for development. Negotiate Lease Agreement.
  • 12 – 24 months (During 2020 and 2021). Install the solar systems on NYCHA buildings per agreement.

Links and Resources