Solar Group Purchasing on Steroids Brings Huge Economic Benefits

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Nothing says “Sustainable Future” better than neighbors working together to get stuff done — as is seen in solar group purchasing programs. A study of Alameda County’s program shows the results of a community getting together to buy solar installations in bulk.

By now, many communities are interested in jumping on the solar wagon. But how to do that?

One answer: Start a solar group purchasing program, similar to Alameda County’s in California.

Alameda County is facilitating wide-scale renewable energy adoption through a groundbreaking solar purchasing project, in collaboration with Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Contra Costa Economic Partnership. The Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project (R-REP) is the largest multi-agency solar procurement project in the U.S.

A case study on the program, “A Model of Collaborative Solar Purchasing: The Alameda County Renewable Energy Procurement Project,”  is available on the website of the Clean Energy State Alliance’s (CESA)

The R-REP project is the largest solar group purchasing program in the U.S. to date, spanning 4 counties and 19 public agencies, and including 186 installation sites. It will create 839 jobs throughout the participating counties, and generate 200+ million dollars in local economic activity. The 20 – 50 MW of installed capacity will offset greenhouse gas emissions of 6,300 homes per year.

“We want to highlight this project because it is impressive in its scale and scope, and because it is a different model than we have seen before,” said Warren Leon, CESA Executive Director. “R-REP represents a comprehensive approach to collaborative solar purchasing, and there is much to learn from it.”