Dual-axis solar-tracking Strackers demonstrate Ashland's virtual net metering policy.

What is Virtual Net Metering in the City of Ashland?

Did you know that the City of Ashland offers Virtual Net Metering for its electricity customers? What is virtual net metering?

Some people that own a home in Ashland don’t have good solar access. This is because of shading from trees or the south hillside in Ashland. If you own a second home in Ashland and use it as a rental unit, you can place solar on its roof (if it has good solar access) and then have the energy from the system credited to your main home.

Another example of virtual net metering is with Community Solar projects in Ashland. The largest project was for the Ashland Food Co-Op. Ashland Food Co-Op maxed out the number of panels on their existing business roof on A street. They wanted to further offset their electric costs, so they became part of a Community Solar Project. Oak Street Tank and Steel, which is on the complete other side of Ashland hosted their roof for the Co-Op to place another 80 kw of solar electricity generation. The electricity that is harvested on their roof is credited to the Co Op.

Virtual Net Metering (VNM) is a City of Ashland policy which enables energy produced at one electric meter, to be credited to another meter within the Ashland electric utility. The policy creates new options for construction of community solar systems and off-site solar generation.
The Virtual Net Metering policy increases access to solar for all citizens, but it is especially enabling for community solar projects, those who have a poor solar resource, and for those who rent.
The Oak Street Tank & Steel building in Ashland is covered with solar panels which provide energy for the Ashland Food Coop.

Another community solar project in Ashland is for the A Street Cottages. The system is installed next to Science Works (the large Strackers in the field next to the railroad tracks, pictured above), but all of the electricity is credited to the A Street Cottages on A Street in Ashland.