Home > 1Future > Community Solar Projects, 3rd Way For Renewable Development

Community Solar Projects, 3rd Way For Renewable Development

As we in most of the United States swelter through another hot summer my thoughts turn to how much energy is being wasted. We are being blasted by solar energy so many of us turn up the air conditioning causing massive strain on the grid and causing even more pollution as fossil fuel plants strain to meet demand. Wouldn’t it be so much better if all that solar energy were being converted into energy that could be used for things …like air conditioning.
While we are increasing our commitment towards solar this development has followed two main options. Massive corporate owned solar parks meant to serve large numbers of people and individuals who are adding solar panels to their own properties. So we either are still dependent on large corporations for our power or we go it alone.
But there is a third way that offers an alternative to these others. Community solar gardens where people band together to create local development projects. The attraction of this alternative is first you don’t have to depend on a large corporation for your or those who don’t own their property or can’t afford the setup costs of solar can get in on the action. In short it is a way of building community. In the past few months I have come across a couple of posts about this attractive alternative.
The first is about an organization called Solar Mosaic and this is what they are about:

Solar Mosaics

“Solar Mosaic is a marketplace that anyone can use to create solar projects and finance them from their communities, locally and online. Our mission is to flip business-as-usual energy development on its head and democratize it through clean energy.

We started Solar Mosaic to create more solar for our communities. Solar Mosaic connects people who want to go solar with the buildings that have the ideal roofs and space to go solar. Mosaics are works of art where many pieces come together to form a whole. With Solar Mosaics, many people come together to build community solar projects.”
To find out more or join Solar Mosaics click here.

The second is this story about community gardens I found on the Gigom site:

Community solar gardens are starting to bloom

By Ucilia Wang Jul. 22, 2011, 12:00am PT
“Community solar gardens ideally are located within a town or city limit and serve a bunch of residents who either pay to own a piece of it or subscribe to the project without owning the equipment. Electricity from the solar panels goes to the grid and is sold to the local utility, which then credits the sale to the owners or subscribers of the solar garden. The credits then show up on each of their utility bills.

The goal is to allow renters, or anyone who doesn’t or can’t put solar on their rooftops, to still benefit from localized solar electricity generation, which is encouraged by federal and many state governments through rebate and tax incentive programs.

“We think of it as owning a garden plot in a family solar farm,” said Matt Cheney, CEO of CleanPath Ventures, at the Intersolar conference in San Francisco last week.”
To read the entire story click here.
I’ve also found a couple of videos about cooperative solar ventures in Washington state:

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: