In 2014 in West Virginia we completed the first “Solar Holler” project, a 16 kW solar system on Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. The model used a crowd funding approach allows community organizations, like churches or schools, to go solar by having their supporters sign up for an electric hot water tank regulator. This regulator is controlled remotely to generate revenue in the regional grid (PJM) ancillary services market. The homeowners then dedicate the income from the regulator to the church solar project. This model has gained nationwide attention and is a promising way to scale up deployment for nonprofits and community entities.
In 2014, one of our staff members then spun off the Solar Holler project model and created a stand-alone private enterprise that has completed several crowd-funded projects.