Local Solar for the Land and Community
Lightstar develops, builds and operates community solar projects in a way that benefits the landowner, their land and the community. We care for and steward the land before, during and after the project is built while maintaining long-term partnerships with landowners.
We provide secure income for landowners and clean energy to the local community
Our projects deliver energy savings to subscribers, stable income to landowners, tax revenue to the local municipality and improve the soil health beneath the arrays
Hosting Solar on
Hosting a Lightstar solar project provides an income stream that can help mitigate annual crop risks and strengthen the financial reassurance that the land will continue to generate income even after retirement.
Our projects are built to make the land more productive. We design for dual-use, which allows for crops and livestock grazing in and around the array, and create pollinator habitats.
Our landowner partners can trust us to treat their land as if it were our own in the way we handle construction, site clean up, and maintenance – all without any cost to them.
to Your Community
Greening the Grid
When community solar is built locally, it means that less polluting energy is needed for the power grid, resulting in less damage to the environment.
In most cases local residents, businesses and public entities can subscribe to the project and receive direct savings on their utility bills.
We prioritize preserving the land beneath the arrays and leaving it in better condition than we found it through planting pollinator habitats and grass mixes that remove more harmful carbon dioxide from the air.
Permitting Solar in Your Town
Here to Help
Our approach to solar development is collaborative and consultative. Our team of seasoned solar developers, engineers and construction managers help towns navigate the complexities of solar regulations.
We understand the importance of local revenue for municipalities. Our projects are a guaranteed source of tax revenue for the life of the project.
Removing the Project
When the solar project is ready to be removed, we ensure full decommissioning of the project and that the land is returned to the same or a better state than before the project was built.
Our Holistic Approach
We see solar as not just about energy generation, but as a tool for conservation and preservation of land and the health of communities.
We design solar projects that maximize energy production while preserving agricultural or ecological activity in and around the array. We want landowners to harvest more than just solar.
Whether it is active or fallow farmland, consideration for the surrounding ecology is at the heart of how we design and construct our projects.
We plant pollinator mixes, native shrubs and deep-root grass mixes to promote carbon sequestration and robust food production for the local area.
We also design dual-use systems that allow for rotational grazing and crop growth, which can increase carbon sequestration and improve soil health.
Our landowner-centric approach takes into account the financial pressures they may face and their concerns around the longevity and health of their land. We offer solar land leases as a method for landowners to meet financial or environmental goals they have for their land, legacy, and community.
Each Lightstar solar project leaves a clean energy footprint in the community, and in our eyes, makes each neighbor a clean energy pioneer. Together, we’re contributing to cleaner air and water for our children.
Dual Use / Agrivoltaics
When applicable, Lightstar enables landowners to double the productivity of their land through dual-use community solar projects. Farmers can continue to raise crops or graze livestock and landowners can continue to offer farm leases while also receiving reliable, long-term income from a solar lease.
Our team works with farmers and landowners to understand specific needs, such as crop rotation, regenerative agriculture, wells and farming infrastructure.
Our goal is to build solar projects that maximize benefits for the landowner while respecting and protecting the land.
Lightstar is a pioneer of community solar development. Our leaders and team helped to define the market from the beginning. The company was founded with the goal of bringing the benefits of solar to the affordable housing community. Ensuring solar is accessible to and benefits all remains central to our mission and why community solar is our focus.
Our pioneering spirit still drives us as we push forward innovative ways to provide additional benefits to landowners, the local community and the surrounding ecology.
We have more than 550MW of solar projects completed or in development in the United states and abroad.
As the developer and operator of our solar projects, we are truly long-term and constant partners. We are an experienced, growing team with 1 gigawatt of combined experience in developing solar projects, backed by an established funding partner.
Magnetar Capital Investment Drives 500 MW of Community Solar
“The need for accessible, clean energy options across the U.S. is rapidly accelerating as more people become attuned to the impact of their energy decisions. Magnetar’s investment in Lightstar Renewables will enable more local communities to participate in the clean energy revolution and reap the benefits of community solar. We believe Lightstar’s leadership team has the right skill-sets to serve as a strategic, long-term partner to residents, cities and towns looking to transform their energy footprint, and we’re excited to support Lightstar in furthering its reach and impact.”
Eric Scheyer, Head of
Magnetar's Energy & Infrastructure
Case Study: Athanas Farm
John Athanas, a first generation American, purchased the 184 acre family farm in New York in 1924. Through the Great Depression and multiple personal setbacks, the resilient family has used the land for a variety of farming operations: raising hogs, chickens and beef cattle; dairy farming; and growing vegetables and hay.
After nearly 100 years of hard work caring for the land, the current farmer and John’s son, Mike, started feeling financial pressures but was committed to keeping the farm and passing it on to his daughter with financial security.
Mike partnered with Lightstar to host a 2.6 megawatt solar array on just four acres of his property. The solar project has enabled Mike to keep ownership of his entire farm and pass it on to his daughter with a reliable income stream. They plan to start an equine sanctuary for retired police and active duty horses.
“My daughter loves and works with horses. If it were not for Lightstar, we would not be able to do the horse sanctuary.” – Mike Athanas
The Athanas’ will have 30 years of guaranteed income and remain a family-owned livestock and horse farm, the way Mike’s father intended it.