Indiana Borough Partners on First County Solar-Co-op

February 3rd, 2020

Solar Coop

Solar co-ops take advantage of collective purchasing power to make it easier and cheaper for people to install solar systems. Participants select a single installer on behalf of the entire group through an open and competitive bidding process. The chosen installer then provides personalized proposals for all co-op members at a discounted group rate. The bigger the Co-op, the better the deal.

In November 2018, Indiana Borough and other local entities partnered with Solar United Neighbors to create the first Indiana County Solar Co-op. Solar United Neighbors is a non-profit that has helped more than 2,500 homes go solar and facilitated a total of 19,000 kW of solar energy since 2007.

The Indiana County Solar Co-op grew to become one of the most active co-ops in the state in terms of raw numbers and the percentage of participants who signed solar contracts. Eighty-nine individuals signed up to form the co-op. Seventeen of those individuals have already signed contracts and currently enjoy having solar installed on their properties. Solar production in Indiana County has risen 66 percent as a result of the co-op, producing a total of 169.02 kW of solar energy. Additionally, 5 million pounds of CO2 has been reduced as well.

There is more to come in the future. Since the first round of the co-op was so successful, Indiana Borough and Solar United Neighbors are teaming up again for a second round of the solar co-op in 2020. In addition to recruiting more residential participants, we hope to expand more into the business sector of Indiana County, as well as explore options to finance municipal projects as well.