County Residents Forming New Solar Co-Op

Solar supporters gather at the recent kickoff meeting.

Neighbors in Palm Beach County have gathered again to form a solar co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters with the help of the nonprofit Solar United Neighbors.

The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County, the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the City of Boynton Beach, the City of Delray Beach, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Audubon Everglades, the City of Boca Raton and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton are the co-op sponsors. The group is seeking participants and will host several information meetings across the county to educate the community about solar and the co-op process. The first two will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the Gardens branch library (11303 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens) and 2 p.m. at the Wellington branch library (1951 Royal Fern Drive).

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’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters. Solar United Neighbors has launched 38 solar co-ops, helping more than 1,000 Florida homeowners go solar, installing more than 10 megawatts of solar power.

The co-op launches just before the National Solar Tour. The tour features hundreds of solar open houses and local solar tours across the country, providing a chance for people to learn about solar, connect with their neighbors and see solar energy in action. Two tours are scheduled to take place in Palm Beach County.

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 off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow co-op participants and the solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Palm Beach County residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, bids from area solar installers will be solicited.