Citrus County Solar Co-Op Launched in Florida

On Tuesday, nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors announced the launch of the Citrus County Solar Co-op to help Citrus County residents go solar.

“The co-op will enable Citrus County homeowners and business owners to join the growing community of people saving money by harnessing solar power,” said Heaven Campbell, the Florida 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.”

This launch comes shortly after the Texas electricity blackouts drew national attention and concern.

“Solar panels, combined with a battery system, are a great way to protect homeowners and businesses from blackouts and create a more resilient grid for everyone,” said Campbell.

The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Citrus County. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage bulk-purchasing to ensure competitive pricing and quality solar installations.

“Sierra Club Adventure Coast Group welcomes this opportunity to partner with Solar United Neighbors, the Citrus County League of Women Voters and all our other partners in this win-win project to bring clean energy to homeowners and small businesses in Citrus County,” said Serra Club Adventure Coasts Conservation Chair DeeVon Quirolo.

“The League of Women Voters of Citrus County is pleased that our trusted nonprofit partner, Solar United Neighbors of Florida, will facilitate the Citrus County Solar Co-op by educating homeowners and small businesses on how to how to obtain clean, renewable energy from the sun, an important Florida League mission,” said Maxine Connor, the Citrus County League of Women Voters’ Natural Resources Chair.

This opportunity comes shortly after Congress passed COVID-19 relief legislation that extends the federal solar Investment Tax Credit. With the new legislation, residents will be able to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes, making this the opportune time to go solar.

Partnering on the co-op are the League of Women Voters of Citrus County, Sierra Club Adventure Coast Group, Citrus County Audubon, Florida Springs Council, Nature Coast Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Nature Coast Unitarian Universalists, and Friends of the Chassahowitzka.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by Solar United Neighbors, 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 based on the installer’s group rate.

Solar United Neighbors has hosted 64 solar co-ops in Florida since 2015. According to the group’s estimates, the 1,877 homes and businesses in Florida that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent 18 MW of solar power, $41.2 million in local solar spending, and more than 612 million pounds of lifetime carbon dioxide offsets.

Solar United Neighbors will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op.

Free virtual information meetings are planned for:

  • Tuesday, March 16 at 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, April 7 at 6:00pm
  • Thursday, May 13 at 12:00pm

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.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. There are several such NGOs in Florida that do group buys but never heard them called co-ops which in the grid world is an owner formed utility. Such in Florida generally have 30% lower power rates.
    All of Florida needs to get rid of big utilities and go to city, county, co-op style utilities that welcome owner produced power which in 2 yrs will be 50% of utility cost.
    Now we have to pay the Duke, etc parasites that thrust huge corporate expenses that are just not needed. All we need is a local board to oversee contractors, not a huge corporation.
    And with an open market price will be much lower and all without costly polluting FFs if we get big utility out of our pockets.

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