The Permanent Community Energy Cooperative is a model for scaling renewable energy development that accelerates an equitable transition to renewables by enabling widespread grassroots crowd-financing and community-led development of new energy projects designed for long-term community ownership and control. It's a model designed to involve everyone, including you!
UPDATE (Nov. 15 2018): We are working to incubate the first PCEC, a new separate entity called People Power Solar Cooperative, with the long term goal of creating resources for others to replicate the model. Visit the new website for People Power Solar Co-op to learn more!
The PCEC model has three awesome qualities:
Our Community: Everyday people can get involved, have fun, and make friends while creating new solar projects! That's because each solar project will be spearheaded by a small group. That group will do the fun stuff: choose a site, get the community excited about it, and help raise money by urging the community to buy shares. The cooperative staff will handle the dry technical stuff and long-term management of the solar.
Our Money: Everyday people can invest! We can each take $1,000 out of Wall Street and big banks, put it in local solar, and get our money back later. Saving our money while saving the planet!
Our Power: The community will own and control the energy in the long term. This is important for reasons of economic justice, community resilience, and disaster preparedness. Our society faces the risk that large corporations and wealthy people will end up owning all the power, so we need to create vehicles for permanent community ownership now. The PCEC will grow to own a lot of solar projects and have a large membership base that will democratically decide how that energy is used. Power to the people!
The model enables anyone in the community to buy a share for up to $1,000, so that everyone can drive the switch to renewables. It focuses on building or tapping into social groups to combine the otherwise dry, technical nature of project development with the fun and camaraderie of social events. Ultimately, as it scales, the PCEC will drive the creation of good jobs and build the movement for a rapid and just renewables transition.