Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Centre County’s first solar co-op closing soon

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STATE COLLEGE — The new Centre County Solar and EV Charger Co-op is open to new participants until Jan. 31 to help Centre County residents go solar.

The solar co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Centre County, and co-op members are not obligated to purchase solar panels.

Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a competitive price and top quality.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor neutral, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations.

Members will then have the option to individually purchase panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.

The co-op was announced in front of the groundbreaking new solar installation at the University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) wastewater treatment plant.

Prominent local officials provided updates about the Council of Governments’ Climate Action and Adaptation Plan and discussed the new solar co-op as a way to empower residents and small business owners to go solar.

“Partnering with the co-op aligns well with the actions included in the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan we are currently drafting,” said Pamela Adams, sustainability planner at Centre Regional Planning Agency.

“Increasing the number of community members installing solar will help improve our air quality and make our community more resilient.”

Other official partners of the co-op also include the Sierra Club Moshannon Group, College Township, Patton Township and the Borough of Bellefonte.

SUN has hosted a dozen solar co-ops in Pennsylvania since 2018.

According to the group’s estimates, the 79 homes and businesses that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent: 730 kW of solar power, $1.9 million in local solar spending, and more than 19 million pounds of lifetime carbon offsets.

“The co-op will enable area homeowners and business owners to join the growing community of people saving money by harnessing solar power,” said Henry McKay, Pennsylvania Program Director for Solar United Neighbors.

“Together, we’re building a movement to transform our electricity system into one that is cleaner, fairer, and shares its benefits more broadly.”

Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op at the co-op web page: www.solarunitedneighbors.org/centrecounty.