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Solar co-op launches for SWFL residents to go solar together




The nonprofit group Photo voltaic United Neighbors (SUN) has introduced the launch of the Southwest Florida 2023 Photo voltaic Co-op to assist Lee and Collier residents go photo voltaic. The current results of Hurricane Ian underscore the urgency of serving to owners rebuild a stronger neighborhood. Rooftop photo voltaic when paired with battery storage can assist energy properties and life-saving tools throughout energy outages.

A quick launch announcement was made on January 17 in the course of the SWFL Local weather & Group Summit on the Arthex One Convention Middle.

“The co-op allows Southwest Florida owners and enterprise house owners to hitch a rising neighborhood of people who find themselves saving cash by utilizing solar energy,” mentioned Julia Herbst, Gulf Coast Program Affiliate for Photo voltaic United Neighbors. “Collectively, we’re constructing a motion to remodel our electrical energy system into one which’s cleaner, fairer, and shares the advantages extra broadly. And with the fixed menace of hurricanes, no higher time to strengthen the ability grid.

As Floridians proceed to rebuild and recuperate from this previous hurricane season, rooftop photo voltaic is a method shoppers can rebuild stronger communities and put together for the subsequent hurricane. Photo voltaic panels can deal with excessive climate occasions and, if the house owner additionally has battery storage, photo voltaic can hold essential home equipment and medical gadgets up and working. Photo voltaic methods put in in hurricane zones are designed to face up to hurricane drive winds.

The co-op is free to hitch and open to owners and enterprise house owners in Lee and Collier counties. Collectively, co-op members can find out about photo voltaic power and use their numbers to buy particular person photo voltaic methods at a aggressive worth and of the very best high quality.

After a aggressive bidding course of initiated by SUN, which stays vendor impartial, co-op members will choose a photo voltaic firm to finish the installations. Becoming a member of the co-op doesn’t obligate members to buy photo voltaic. As a substitute, members have the choice to individually buy panels and electrical car chargers based mostly on the installer’s group charge.



Companions within the co-op are the Metropolis of Sanibel, Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, Bailey’s Basic Retailer, Sanibel-Captiva Renewable Vitality Working Group, All Faiths Unitarian Congregation, Committee of the Islands (COTI), Have interaction Estero (previously ECCL) . ), Rising Local weather Options, The Local weather Actuality Mission – Lee County Chapter, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Basis, League of Girls Voters Collier County and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Pals of the Refuge.

“We’re excited to assist this photo voltaic co-op for Southwest Florida,” mentioned James Evans, Chief Government Officer for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Basis. “Utilizing power from the solar simply makes good financial sense and ought to be embraced by everybody within the Sunshine State.”

“Bailey’s Basic Retailer has loved nice success since we first adopted the photo voltaic co-op mannequin in 2020. We’re excited concerning the alternative to extend our power manufacturing past the 480 panels at the moment in operation. The photo voltaic roof matches effectively with our environmental and monetary enterprise technique for the financial restoration over the subsequent 24 months,” mentioned Richard Johnson, proprietor of Bailey’s Basic Retailer. “We had been fortunate, most of our 480 panels survived the Class 5 winds throughout Hurricane Ian. As we plan to rebuild, photo voltaic and different renewable power applied sciences will play a significant position in -open our doorways once more and get again to regular.

SUN has hosted 76 photo voltaic co-ops in Florida since 2015. Based on the group’s estimates, the two,341 properties and companies that now have photo voltaic panels because of the co-ops signify: 23,000 kW of solar energy, million in native photo voltaic spending, and greater than 698.7 million lbs. lifetime carbon offset.

“We’re excited to have the chance to introduce residents and companies within the better Estero to this co-op. It would save photo voltaic co-op members cash, contribute to decreasing the adversarial results of local weather warming and good influence on our high quality of life,” mentioned Jim Gilmartin, president of Have interaction Estero (previously Estero Council of Group Leaders (ECCL).

“Our rooftop photo voltaic set up is one of the best funding we’ve ever made. In contrast to the inventory market, photo voltaic is a low-risk, high-reward funding. Our native contractor could be very responsive even years after the set up,” mentioned Mario Wolf, Naples resident and member of the Southwest Florida 2020 Photo voltaic Co-op.

SUN will host free info classes to teach neighborhood members about photo voltaic power and the co-op. People involved in going photo voltaic can join the co-op or one of many upcoming info classes at www.solarunitedneighbors.org/swfl.

Informational conferences are deliberate for the next dates. Conferences are digital — to register go to www.solarunitedneighbors.org/swfl and choose Occasions:

¦ Florida Photo voltaic 101: Webinar Monday, January 30 • 6 – 7:30 pm

¦ Florida Photo voltaic 101: Webinar Tuesday, February 28 • 6 – 7:30 pm

About Photo voltaic United Neighbors

Photo voltaic United Neighbors is a nonprofit group that works in Florida and throughout the nation to signify the wants and pursuits of photo voltaic house owners and supporters. Photo voltaic co-ops are a part of the group’s mission to create a brand new power system with rooftop photo voltaic on the cornerstone. Photo voltaic United Neighbors holds occasions and academic applications to assist folks turn into knowledgeable photo voltaic shoppers, maximize the worth of their photo voltaic funding, and advocate for honest photo voltaic insurance policies. ¦

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