« From Maine to DC: Why I’m Making the Trip to the White House for the Keystone XL Tar Sands Rally | Main | New Ads in DC Metro Focus on Risks of Mercury to Pregnant Women and Babies »

November 04, 2011

How Community Solar Lets Everyone Participate

Renewable energy is great for the planet and human health. And unlike fossil fuels, anyone can become a clean-energy producer by adopting some panels or a small turbine. But one of the overlooked aspects of renewable energy is the innovative ways in which it can be financed.

Take Solar Mosaic for example, which last month turned on the switch of a 120-panel system at the Asian Resource Center, a non-profit in Oakland, California. This wasn't a typical purchase or leasing deal. This "community solar" project had the backing of supporters who invested $100 toward a portion of the panels. With this deal, Solar Mosaic then leases the panels to the Center at a rate below what utilities typically charge. Then the solar company takes that money and gives it back to the investors, who get their money back in full within eight years.

Thanks to this financing structure, just about anyone with $100 can go solar without having panels physically placed on his or her property. Solar Mosaic's CEO Dan Rosen told greentechmedia, "This is definitely the way to unleash solar to everyone. We are creating a virtual product that lets anyone go solar on someone else's roof. More than anything else, it's a desire to make the world a better place and see solar developed. We invest in the community, create jobs and solarize the world."

The Center will save more than $100,000 on its utility bills over 20 years. Solar Mosaic is now "partnering with the Ella Baker Center, a human rights and environmental activism nonprofit in North Oakland, to find organizations that serve low-income communities and communities of color, and might be good sites" for more community solar projects. Have you ever heard of community coal or community oil? Of course not. Need more details on how this works? Learn everything you need to know about community solar here.

-- Brian Foley


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How Community Solar Lets Everyone Participate:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed

Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.