The San Francisco Energy Cooperative is an innovative approach to community-based energy. The Co-op is based on the idea that lots of people would like to support and help propagate solar energy but don’t necessarily have the resources to do so.
Not everyone owns a home with a roof, and those who do don’t all have the money to invest in PV or suitable properties on which to install it.
The Co-op is principally a community-owned fund that provides solar free-of-charge to community buildings (we mostly target non-profits), charges lease or PPA fees, and pays profits back to our contributor/owners.
That’s the basic idea, but there are so many larger implications to it: the capacity to make profits of solar available to anyone, even with a tiny investment, the potential to make green energy an undertaking shared by all, and perhaps most importantly, an avenue to popularize investment in green power for anyone and kick off an energy revolution.
The Co-operative just started up a few months ago, and they are currently funding our pilot project installing solar on our community center via worldwide contributions on indiegogo. However, any California resident can become a member, and it’s membership we’ll really need to get this idea to take off. Please feel free to ask me any more questions you have about the initiative or to peruse our business plan online. I would be very grateful if you’d share our project on your site, and will of course continue to look upon Celsias as an indispensable source of information on green technology and social developments around the world.
Article by Evan Wynns, appearing courtesy Celsias.