New approaches for creating community value

By Emily Stiever on October 24, 2013

When we discuss community-based renewable energy projects, it’s easy to point to small, local examples like solar panels on schools or micro wind turbines owned by farmers. But as this movement continues to grow, we’ve also begun to see ways that policies on the federal, state or utility level can also promote community benefits for renewable energy projects.

The projects described below show a variety of approaches to creating community value by:

  • Creating policies that encourage project developers to incorporate community benefits when developing projects:
  • Empowering local communities to prevent projects from being developed unless they provide tangible benefits to local stakeholders:
  • Creating opportunities for hybrid projects to benefit a wider range of community members:
    • Washington, DC passes law to allow shared solar projects. Legislation to allow shared solar projects in Washington, DC is a policy mechanism that could lead to new, creatively structured shared solar projects. These projects could open up access to renewables for low-income customers, for example, by offering tiered pricing for solar shares based on the customer’s income.

We are interested in hearing from you about other examples and also how Community Power Network can best amplify and increase the impact of these efforts.

What do you think about these different approaches? Do you think there is a roll for CPN helping to push these policies in Washington, or helping you push them elsewhere? Should we be building a community power agenda? We’ve started a discussion thread over on our Facebook page, so check it out and share your thoughts.

Support offshore wind projects that provide community benefits? Sign the petition

It’s not too late to sign Vineyard Power’s petition in support of offshore wind projects that provide direct benefits to local communities. Sign the petition and please share with your networks!