About Community Solar
"Community solar" is a broad term for a solar array or installation that involves group net-metering, in which a group of customers, or a single customer with multiple electric meters, located within the same electric utility service territory, choose to combine meters in order to offset their utility billing against the output of the solar array.
This is an attractive and practical way to go solar for those who can't install solar panels on their own site -- for example, renters, or a homeowner whose house roof has too many dormers, or the owner of a very shaded property.
There are a growing number of off-site solar options now to choose from, with various factors to consider as you evaluate them -- such as price of the solar panels, the details of the group agreement, and how insurance/maintenance/taxes are handled.
Another, less familiar but important consideration is what the community solar project does with the "Renewable Energy Certificates" (RECs) produced by the project -- whether it sells them or keeps them. RECs are central to sales of renewable electricity, because the environmental attributes (the "renewable-ness") of solar electricity are tracked through RECS. Whether you can truly say you've gone solar depends on who owns the RECs produced by your solar panels.
To understand RECS:
More information on Vermont community solar options: