The Clean Energy Cooperative, Inc., a community-owned clean energy co-op, was founded in 2014 with the idea to use local investments to develop renewable energy demonstration projects that provide positive economic returns to its members and community.
Looking for local non-profits interested in going solar, Honesdale's historic Cooperage stepped forward as the co-op's first solar project. Originally built in 1861 by a local cooper, the Cooperage has withstood several incarnations since it was home to wooden barrel making. Today, the building is home to The Cooperage Project, a well-loved, non-profit community center, and as of December also to a 27kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system, designed to provide 100% of the building's annual electricity usage. The Co-op received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Renewable Energy for America (REAP) program to fund 25% of the project. Co-op members provided the rest. A family-owned, NABCEP-certified business, Buselli Solutions in nearby Beach Lake PA, designed, and installed the system.
"We are tremendously excited to receive national recognition for our first community-supported solar project," said Jack Barnett, president of the Clean Energy Co-op. "Projects such as these are common in other states that have community solar laws, but much harder here in rural Pennsylvania. We would love to help other local non-profits implement energy efficiency or renewable energy systems. Moving toward greater sustainability is important to our membership and our community."
"Through IREC's 3iAwards - celebrating Innovation, Ingenuity and Inspiration - we're proud to recognize programs, projects and individuals leading the way to a cleaner energy future," said IREC Board Chair Larry Shirley. "Their work is creating solutions to today's complex renewable energy and energy efficiency challenges - changing the national energy conversation and our communities in the process," added Ken Jurman, IREC board member and chair of the 3iAwards Committee.
The Cooperage will also be one of the Upper Delaware River Valley sustainable buildings on the upcoming Green Living Bus tour, hosted by a local non-profit, Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support (SEEDS) on Sunday October 2nd, as part of the 2016 National Solar Tour (www.nationalsolartour.org). For more information or to register for this bus tour, visit seedsgroup.net/get-on-the-bus.
For additional local information about the Clean Energy Co-op, visit www.CleanEnergy.Coop, or contact George Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about The Cooperage Project in Honesdale, visit www.TheCooperageProject.org, or contact Ryanne Jennings at email@example.com. For information about IREC and their 3iAwards, contact Ruth Fein at518.858.7329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.