Solar co-op launches for Sarasota County residents to go solar together

Nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN)  announced today the launch of the Sarasota 2020 Solar Co-op to help the region’s residents go solar.

 

The co-op is made possible with funding by The Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Partnering on the co-op are Sarasota County, City of Sarasota, League of Women Voters Sarasota County, Sierra Club Manatee Sarasota Group, Suncoast Climate Justice Coalition, Peace In Action Center, Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, WSLR Sarasota Community Radio, and Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota.

“As part of our forward-thinking Ready for 100 initiative, the City of Sarasota has committed to 100 percent renewable energy city-wide by 2045 and for city buildings and operations by 2030,” said city manager Tom Barwin. “We invite the community to join us and take part in this opportunity to go solar. Together, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become a cleaner, greener and more sustainable community.”

This is SUN’s third solar co-op in Sarasota County. “The solar panels installed in Sarasota County’s first two solar co-ops will offset over 3 million pounds of carbon pollution over a 25-year period,” said Carol Cooke, natural resources chair for the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County.

The solar co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Sarasota County. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage bulk purchasing to ensure competitive pricing and quality solar installations. “SUN provides unbiased expertise to homeowners, non-profits, and small businesses that helps them make the right decision when it comes to installing rooftop solar,” Cooke said.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.

“The co-op will enable more Floridians to join the growing community of people saving money by harnessing solar power,” said Julia Herbst, Gulf Coast program director for SUN. “Together, we’re building a movement to transform our electricity system into one that is cleaner, fairer, and shares its benefits more broadly.”

Solar United Neighbors will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming information sessions at the co-op web page www.solarunitedneighbors.org/sarasota

Free informational webinars are planned for:

 

Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6:00 p.m.

About Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Florida and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.