On April 1, 2021, the nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN) announced the launch of the Capital Area Solar Co-op to help residents and businesses go solar. The City of Frederick is proud to share that it is a partner of this new co-op.
This is the first time SUN has run a solar co-op covering the entire DC metro area with over a dozen municipal partners. “The co-op will enable DMV homeowners and business owners to join the growing community of people saving money by harnessing solar power,” said Aaron Sutch, Mid-Atlantic program director for Solar United Neighbors. “Together, we’re building a movement to transform our electricity system into one that is cleaner, fairer, and shares its benefits more broadly.”
The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Montgomery, Prince George's, and Frederick Counties in Maryland. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a competitive price and top quality. After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor-neutral, co-op members will select a single solar company in each state (or district) to complete the installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels, electric vehicle chargers, and storage based on the installer’s group rate.
In addition to The City of Frederick, the Co-op includes the following partners:
- Arlington County
- DC Department of Energy and Environment
- Montgomery County Green Bank
- One Montgomery Green
- Montgomery County, MD Department of Environmental Protection
- Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources
- Town of Poolesville
- Poolesville Green
- City of Bowie
- Green Bowie
- City of Gaithersburg
- City of Rockville
- Positive Change Purchasing Co-op LLC
- Sustainable Takoma Park
“We’re excited to partner with Solar United Neighbors to help more homeowners and business owners in Frederick go solar,” said City Sustainability Manager Jenny Willoughby.
SUN has hosted 113 solar co-ops in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC since 2007. According to the group’s estimates, the 2,310 homes and businesses that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent 16,390 kW of solar power, $45.3 million in local solar spending, and more than 386.7 million lbs. of lifetime carbon offsets. SUN and the co-op partners will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can attend an upcoming information session (preliminary list below) and/or sign up for the co-op sessions at the co-op web page.
Information meetings are planned by Zoom webinar for:
- Wednesday, May 26 at 12:00 pm hosted by Frederick County and the City of Frederick
- Tuesday, June 29, 6:30 pm hosted by Frederick County and the City of Frederick
- Tuesday, July 13, 6:30 pm hosted by Frederick County and the City of Frederick
- Tuesday, August 3, 12 pm hosted by Frederick County and the City of Frederick
(Link details for later meetings will be provided closer to those events).
About Solar United Neighbors
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in the DMV area and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.