Homeowners in Bemidji forming bulk purchase group to go solar together, get a discount

By Ben Delman on April 5, 2018

Neighbors in Bemidji have formed a rooftop solar bulk purchase group, or “solar co-op,” to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. Bemidji State University Office of Sustainability, Security Bank USA, Harmony Food Co-op, and the Clean Energy Resource Teams are the solar co-op sponsors. The group is seeking participants and will host an information meeting April 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Beltrami Electric Cooperative to educate the community about rooftop solar and the solar co-op process.

Residents of Bemidji and its surrounding communities interested in joining the solar co-op can sign up at the co-op web page. The group is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the solar co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Solar co-op participants will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save on the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group participants and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.