The Alachua County Solar Co-op recently launched at the Millhopper Branch Library, which features an impressive array on the roof. Neighbors in Alachua County have formed a solar co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. League of Women Voters of Alachua County, The Sustainable Design Group, Unitarian Universalist Church of Gainesville, Living Arts Meta Program, Sierra Club Suwannee – St. Johns Group, Hands On Gainesville, Ygrene and Solar United Neighbors are the co-op sponsors.
“We need to enable private citizens to take steps to further our community,” said Gainesville City Commissioner AdrianHayes-Santos. He furthered shared, “Recently, we passed a resolution that by 2045 the City of Gainesville, including fleet vehicles, will be all renewable.”
Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida solar policies and its community of solar supporters.
“We are so excited that other homeowners and businesses will have the opportunity to go solar through the co-op like we did,” said, Carole Fernandez, Alachua County Solar Co-op participant who went solar in 2017.
Co-op participants will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save up off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group participants and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.
Alachua County homeowners interested in joining the co-op can sign up at the co-op web page: www.solarunitedneighbors.org/alachua. The solar co-op is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.
Solar United Neighbors supports solar co-ops across the country. These co-ops are a part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar as the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment and advocate for fair solar policies. Those interested in supporting the organizations’ work and becoming a member can do so at their website.