With two informational meetings held today and tomorrow, Cuyahoga County and Solar United Neighbors are starting a local solar co-op. The group will apply a bulk-purchase structure to solar panel installation, providing discounts to participants and more personalized education.
According to the group: "Volunteer co-op participants choose an installer on behalf of the entire group through an open and competitive bidding process. The selected installer provides co-op participants a personalized proposal for their consideration."
Meetings will be held Nov. 14 (6:30 p.m. at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights, 2537 Lee Road) and Nov. 15 (6:30 p.m. at Rocky River Memorial Hall, 21016 Hilliard Blvd.).
“We’re forming this co-op to help residents reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make saving money with solar energy as simple as possible,” Mike Foley, director of the county's Department of Sustainability, said in a public statement. “Working with the group helps members learn about the technology so they feel confident in their decision to go solar.”
County leaders noted that: "Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels." The group discount, if and when a bid is finalized, tends to be around 20 percent off the typical market value.
United Solar Neighbors has arranged this co-op format around the U.S., saving some $98,445 in the first round of installations and a total of 8,824,117.62 total lbs. of carbon offset, according to the group.