Why Community Solar
Many people in our community face high energy bills, asthma, and unemployment. Solar can cut energy costs and air pollution while creating local jobs, but many people can’t put up solar themselves because:
- They rent their building/ rooftop
- Their building does not have a structurally sound south-facing or flat roof
- Their roof is too shaded by trees or buildings
- They don’t have the financial resources or ability to access private financing to afford it.
Community Solar Gardens (CSG) make solar affordable by building a large solar array on a sunny roof or open area. CSGs can also make solar available to anyone who pays an electric bill by allowing renters, home-owners, businesses, and organizations to subscribe for solar power. Xcel Energy is required to give a bill credit to anyone who subscribes to a CSG for the power produced by their portion of the array.
Now with community solar gardens, solar is possible for anyone who pays an electric bill. As a cooperative, we’re keeping costs low, creating jobs for those who need them most, and ensuring community ownership and control.
Pilot Project: CEF Shiloh Community Solar
Cooperative Energy Futures is developing our first community solar garden on the roof of Shiloh Temple International Ministries in North Minneapolis. The solar garden will provide enough power for about 50 households, and members of the congregation and local residents will have first priority to subscribe. CEF is working in partnership with Renewable Energy Partners to conduct on-the-job training for local North Minneapolis residents through this project to advance racial equity in hiring in the solar industry. CEF is collaborating with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and organizers connected with Shiloh Temple, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, and Sierra Club Northstar to engage local community members and communities of faith in this solar garden.
Have questions about the solar garden on Shiloh Temple? Check out our FAQ page.
Join the Team: Please contact General Manager Timothy DenHerder-Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 250-1621 if you are interested in joining future planning meetings.
Recommend a Host Site: If you know a potential location interested in serving as a host site of a community solar array, you can send a recommendation to Solar Site Assessor Bruce Konewko at email@example.com, (612) 568-2334. Please include your name, contact information, the specific address (street, city, state, zip) of the site you are recommending, and a sentence or two about your connection to the site and its owner.