Community Power Network expands effort to educate public about community solar

By Ben Delman on April 13, 2016

 The market for solar is about to boom. Individuals buying into ‘community solar’ projects are sparking this growth. Community solar projects are off-site solar systems that provide electricity and financial benefits to multiple project members.
A recent report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found these projects could account for up to half of distributed solar generation in the next five years. Community Power Network (CPN), with the help of All Points North Foundation (APNF), is working to educate stakeholders and the public about community solar and how it can benefit their communities.

“Solar energy usage and awareness is gaining momentum as a real and viable energy source throughout the country,” said Laura Staich, executive director of All Points North Foundation. “There is a critical need to share information and best-practices from community to community and CPN is working to address this need, helping communities focus their efforts to achieve success.”

CPN will help citizens across the country better understand how community solar projects can generate wealth and create a democratic energy system in their communities. It will do so by developing and sharing in-depth profiles and success stories of CPN members, and other innovative projects from around the country.

As a national convener of locally-based renewable energy advocates, CPN will act as an agent of change to galvanize communities and generate clear pathways toward transformation. CPN will work to make solar an accessible, affordable, and equitable distributed energy source on a massive scale.

“It is daunting to face the challenges of creating community renewable energy alone,” said Anya Schoolman, CPN Executive Director. “Citizens engaged in developing community-based renewable energy are operating on a very local level, often in isolation.”

In developing and deploying a regular, sophisticated CPN newsletter, CPN will be able to generate, share, and use – as a community – the content to implement community-based solar projects. CPN will also expand its social media presence to build the audience for community renewables and connect activists with each other.

APNF has chosen to work with CPN because of its track-record of success strengthening communities of solar supporters. It is dedicated to navigating communities upward. APNF was founded by a family who strongly believes that everyone has a true “North” — a place of achievement. They feel that everyone should be given equal opportunity and access to realize their goals.