What would you do if you were passionate about solar energy but couldn’t afford to buy panels for your house? You would lease panels from Sungevity, of course, but let’s say you rent your home or live in a state not served by Sungevity. If you’re like 90 residents (1% of all homeowners) of Ellensburg, Washington, you would pony up a few thousand dollars to invest in a community solar project.
That’s right, the tiny city of Ellensburg owns its own solar power generating station that powers 25 nearby homes. The station already generates 58 kw of solar electricity and is in the process of adding another 24 kw. Investors are paid back quarterly over a 20-year period.
Ellensburg’s solar power array by itself is small fry. But it’s a testament to the power of innovation and dedication demonstrated by the project’s architects and investors. Undaunted by naysayers, these folks cared enough about our energy and climate future to do their bit. Imagine if 1% of the population of NYC or Los Angeles did the same.