Sunday, June 27, 2010

Community Energy Directory

Community Energy Installations & Groups

 Thanks to Solar Gardens Institute researchers for helping to document the mushrooming movement for community based energy around the world!

Stanley Florek - Research Chair, Solar Gardens Institute - CEO, Tangerine Solar

General Resources

Group dedicated to sound policy for community energy at national, state, and local levels.

Solar Gardens Fan Page on Facebook
Folks from around the world, interested in community solar energy.


Off-grid communities in Africa can leapfrog to solar PV.


British Columbia

Worker’s cooperative solar energy company.

The Ontario Power Authority is offering North America’s most generous feed-in tariff.

Countryside Energy Co-Op - Milverton, ON
For solar PV projects, Co-operative Members can buy Preference Shares to enable the Co-op to raise the equity to buy & install the equipment, and to give those Members a dividend based on the number of Shares that they hold after projects are connected to the grid and generate revenue.

Our Power - Toronto, ON
Provides on-line and in-person solar education, information and tools for decision making support.

In development for two years now, SolarShare is a co-operative that will build multiple rooftop solar- electric projects of up to 250kW in size, which it will finance, develop, maintain and operate.
All Ontarians will be able to invest in the SolarShare projects, which are aimed at generating up to 8% return on investments.

WindshareToronto, ON
A for-profit co-op with a mandate to provide renewable electricity to the people of Ontario through community ownership.
Proposed 20 Megawatt community owned wind farm.


Solare CollettivoRacconigi, Italy
40+ individuals finance a 20kW solar energy system.

United States

Interfaith Power and Light - San Francisco, CA
A religious response to global warming, including rooftop solar.
Represents 30 states and over 10,000 congregations.

Interstate Renewable Energy CouncilLatham, NY
National organization since 1982.
Has prepared a template for state laws- the Community Renewable Power Proposal.

For those who can’t go solar on site, provides opportunities to own solar panels elsewhere in their communities.


Municipal utility-owned program that lets users buy blocks of solar energy.

Arizona Public Service project approved April 2010. Customers on the same feeder line can own or lease solar panels. See also:

Soaring HeightsDavis – Monthan AFB, AZ
6,000 kilowatts of community solar on a military base, developed by SolarCity.

Solar Commons - Phoenix, AZ
Advocates for the common law principle of right-of-way applied to electric power. A 10 kilowatt demonstration project, owned in trust, has been proposed. The array will produce revenue for energy efficiency in low income households.


Clean Power Cooperative - Nevada County, CA
Grassroots cooperative advocating for those without solar potential on site to participate in state and local solar initiatives. The group plans to organize local power in Nevada County.

Solar installation company owned by buyer’s co-op.

Go Solar Co-op - Wilton, CA
Employee owned solar installer.

SMUD Solar Shares - Sacramento, CA
1,000 kilowatt project developed by municipal utility. Subscribers pay a
flat monthly fee to rent a share.

A solar power system installed through California Solar Initiative’s Multi-family Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program. Residents at each property will receive 50 percent of the energy produced by the solar system free of charge.
Real Goods Solar hired residents to install the solar panels. MASH program details


Solar Gardens Colorado on Facebook:

Colorado Harvesting Energy NetworkGreenwood Village, CO
Facilitates the development of community-based renewable energy projects that advance Colorado's New Energy Economy.

Westminster seed gardenWestminster, CO
10kW existing array to use as a “test bed” for solar gardens models. Headquarters of the Solar Gardens Institute. Managed by The Solar Panel Hosting Company

Founders Garden Jefferson County, CO
70-acre site with proposed 2,000 kW solar garden and wholesale distributed generation. Uses the “Open Garden” model, allowing multiple solar companies to participate. Managed by The Solar Panel Hosting Company

Clean Energy Collective - Carbondale, CO
80 Kilowatt for-profit community project on Holy Cross Rural Electric. Subscribers join a limited liability corporation and gain ownership of equipment. A 900 kilowatt follow on project is planned.

Carbon Zero - Durango, CO
Proposed 1,000 kilowatt “virtual power plant” on 300+ rooftops.

Nonprofit grassroots group has proposed a 17 acre solar, wind, and small hydroelectric project owned by members.

Town and nonprofits working together for energy efficiency.

For those who can’t go solar on site, provides opportunities to own solar panels elsewhere in their communities.

Utility owned 10 kilowatt project opened in May 2009. Customers receive a 25-year lease on a specific solar panel, gaining approximately 3% return.

District of Columbia

Community solar group. The idea is that members will merely have to sign up—and they will get solar power installed on their roof.

Georgetown EnergyWashington, DC
Cooperative solar buyer’s group.


In return for leasing one or more panels for $999 each, members receive monthly bill credits for the full retail value of the electricity generated by their leased panel(s) for 25 years.


Weatherford Place Roswell, GA
Eight LEED Platinum certified homes. Southern Company engineered and installed a hybrid metering system for the neighborhood. With this system, the homes will be billed for electricity at the regular residential rate, but will have a second meter to register the production of electricity from their solar roof systems. Georgia Power will "buy back" electricity produced by the solar panels.


University Park Solar - University Park, MD
21.9 kilowatt system installed on a church- dedication June 12, 2010. Members join a Limited Liability Corporation and receive a return on investment.

Common Cents Solar Bethesda, MD
Non-profit solar installer.


Members join for-profit LLC and receive proportional returns from a community solar system under Massachusetts’s Green Communities Act

Members join for-profit LLC and receive proportional returns from a community solar system under Massachusetts’s Green Communities Act

For-profit company specializing in Community Solar Gardens™ under the Mass. Green Communities Act.

Co-Op Power – Greenfield, MA
Buyer’s co-op of efficiency and renewable solutions. Uses a “neighbor-to-neighbor” method to spread solar hot water solutions.

New Jersey

Mars Solar Garden Hackettstown, NJ
Did you know 20% of M&M's® are now produced using solar power? (Maybe the yellow ones...) It's worth going to the link just to see the spokescandies in front of a 2,000 kilowatt solar array.

New Mexico

Community solar projects will be built to provide power for specific numbers of homes within a neighborhood and subsidized by KCEC. The residents will own a portion of these arrays. the cost of a one-panel share might be $571, so the buyer would pay 2-3 cents more per kilowatt for renewable energy, but also receive a one-time tax credit of about $230.

KTAO Solar RadioTaos, NM
Radio transmitter powered by a solar array – also sports a solar carport at its offices.

Roswell Community SolarRoswell, NM
Part of XCEL Energy’s “Community Solar” program, based at Eastern New Mexico University.

New York

Community group dedicated to a feed-in tariff and “green renters”.

North Carolina

Group has installed a 2.4 kilowatt community system.


Solar Gardens Pacific Northwest on Facebook

Ashland Solar Pioneer II - Ashland, OR
63.5 kilowatt community owned system. Customers purchase the output of the panels for 20 years.

Corvallis High School- Corvallis, OR
2.3 kilowatt system (100 kilowatts planned over 10 years.) Several more sites planned around Corvallis. Developed by Tangerine Solar.

Solarize PortlandPortland, OR
Community group taking hundreds of homes solar in Portland, Oregon.
Bonneville Environmental Foundation Portland, OR
Helped fund the first community solar project in Ellensburg, WA. Among other projects, has created 158 solar PV projects on schools.


SunSmartSt. George, UT
Community solar array completed January 2009. Participation will be sold in whole and half units of 1 kilowatt installed solar PV capacity. Purchasers of SunSmart will own the unit for a minimum of 19 years, when the panels will be evaluated to determine if they need to be replaced or repaired. The purchaser will have the choice to pay the cost, if there is one, and continue owning the unit or they can decline and the unit will be available for others to purchase.


Conceived in 2003, with Phase I built in 2006, this project was the first of its kind. With the third phase in place the project will total 81 kilowatts. Members participate in financing and receive bill credit at wholesale rates. (See also )

Solar for SakaiBainbridge Island, WA
5 kilowatt array on intermediate school, funded by community donations.

Community Energy SolutionsBainbridge Island, WA
Advocates for and sponsors community energy projects, provides
information for community groups, and advocates for legislation.

Cascade Community Wind Bellingham, WA
Members purchase a share of power produced by wind turbines for a 20-year period.

For-benefit company specializing in community solar. Offers shares in solar arrays called SunSlices™.


Lots of great resources, spreadsheets, and case studies on community solar development.

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