A new solar co-op is being formed in Sarasota to leverage the power of group buying to get solar power installed in homes and businesses. The co-op will begin Wednesday.
Solar power is growing in Florida - at least 34 co-ops have been formed since 2015. They use bulk purchasing with designated suppliers to keep costs down. This is the second co-op being formed in Sarasota, said Angela DeMonbruen, director of the Florida branch of Solar United Neighbors.
"Those same homeowners who went solar, those were trailblazers for that area. They will reach back out to us and hear from interest around their communities - whether it's a neighbor or family member - and they want to help develop a second go-around," she said.
The co-op will be open to Sarasota County residents for three months. About 225 people will be allowed to participate. An information session will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Mote Marine Laboratory, 1703 Ken Thompson Parkway.
Here's some information on the event:
What: Representatives from the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County, Sierra Club, City of Sarasota, Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, Peace Education and Action Center, Florida House Institute, Mote Marine Laboratory, Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota and Solar United Neighbors of Florida will host a press conference announcing the opening of a new Sarasota County Solar Co-op!
Solar co-ops assist a group of homeowners who are interested in purchasing solar panels to leverage their bulk purchasing power while learning about the benefits of distributed solar energy. As part of a solar co-op, citizens benefit from the educational process and each participant signs his or her own contract with the installer, and everyone gets the high-quality, competitive bid. All homeowners who reside in Sarasota County are eligible to participate in the co-op.
Sarasota County partners include the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County, Sierra Club, City of Sarasota, Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, Peace Education and Action Center, Florida House Institute, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota.
When: 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 23
Where: Mote Marine Laboratory, Marine Mammal Center
1703 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota
Vice-Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, City of Sarasota
Carol Hartz, President, Sarasota League of Women Voters
Evan Barniskis, Assistant Vice President for Mote Aquarium
Sean Sellers, Lynn Nilssen, Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition and Ready for 100 Sarasota
Julia Herbst, Solar United Neighbors of Florida
More information: solarunitedneighbors.org/Sarasota