First Meeting for Citizens Interested in Monadnock Community Solar Initiative

The Monadnock Sustainability Network (MSN), in collaboration with students from Antioch University New England, will be hosting an informational meeting with a core group of local citizens interested in developing, funding, and implementing a community solar project in the Monadnock region. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:00pm at Antioch University New England.

Community solar (CS) systems are cooperatively owned. Typically, a core group of local citizens provides the initial investment to begin project development, with the remaining capital raised by selling shares of the solar array within the broader local community. This allows citizens to invest as little or as much as they desire, and accrue a proportional return on investment from the electricity produced. CS projects take advantage of federal and state financial incentives and generate income for owners who may not otherwise be able to invest in solar energy.

There are several examples of successful CS projects across the country. The Brattleboro Food Coop’s rooftop solar array and Putney, Vermont’s Solar Garden are just two examples of projects completed locally. The Monadnock Community Solar Initiative (MCSi) is the first CS project to be developed in the Monadnock region.

At the meeting on March 13, citizens interested in developing the MCSi will assemble to learn more about community solar and about this exciting opportunity. Participants can expect details on the mechanisms behinds community generated solar energy. Various project models will be discussed, including non-profit vs. for profit ownership, and an overview of hosting options will be reviewed in considering the management of the solar array itself. Ultimately, the core group will select the model that best fits our local community to serve as the project’s organizational framework.

Upon establishing MCSi’s framework, MSN and the Antioch University team will work with the core group through the formal organizational process. Potential hosts for the solar array will be identified from within the local community for the core group’s consideration, and the Antioch team will draft a detailed business plan outlining project development through completion.

Anyone considering an investment in CS or interested in learning more about opportunities to provide in kind resources such as professional expertise, is invited to attend. This is an amazing opportunity to become part of a core group of citizens sponsoring the Monadnock region’s first community solar initiative. To RSVP or learn more about the project, please contact John Kondos, President of MSN, at (603)363-9969 or jkondos@home-efficiency.com.

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