Under a baking August sun in St. Augustine on Tuesday, a bounded accomplishment was launched to anatomy a accumulation advised to drive bottomward the amount of installing solar panels for activity in residential homes.
“We appetite to jump alpha a alteration from old, alarming and bedraggled deposit fuels into apple-pie activity appropriate actuality on the First Coast and in St. Johns County,” said Warren Clark, co-founder of the St. Johns Solar Cooperative.
The accommodating is advised to get a aggregate accumulation of association calm and then, as a group, seek affairs from solar activity companies for the accession of solar panels on homes. The accommodating captivated a account appointment in advanced of St. Augustine Burghal Hall to advertise that it is an adjunct of the nonprofit accumulation Florida Solar United Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters of Florida.
The Solar United accumulation has already formed a dozen agnate organizations in Florida, with the aing to Northeast Florida in Alachua County.
Angela DeMonbreun is the chief affairs administrator for Solar United and said it intends to attainable added cooperatives throughout Northeast Florida, with Duval County targeted for aboriginal 2018.
“This accumulation is attainable to all St. Johns County residents,” DeMonbreun said, abacus Compassionate St. Augustine and the Sierra Club of Northeast Florida assisted in establishing the St. Johns County organization.
The accommodating is “open” for three months, DeMonbreun said. Association can accompany at flsun.org and allotment St. Johns County to join.
“Our aggregation conducts a (home) roof analysis and we let them apperceive aural 48-hours if they accept a acceptable roof to move to solar,” DeMonbreun said. “We charge a minimum of 30 association to assurance up.”
Once the minimum cardinal of association signs up, DeMonbreun said Florida Solar United Neighborhoods again sends out a appeal for proposals to bounded and accompaniment solar console accession and accomplishment companies to see which would accommodate the best affordable installation.
“They accept two weeks to abide a angle aback to us,” DeMonbreun said. Then, the bodies who aing the accommodating anatomy a alternative board to adjudge which aggregation to appoint for solar installation. The associates accede to pay the accession cost.
The point of the accommodating is to drive bottomward the price, which would be lower in a aggregate acquirement compared to alone purchases. The best cardinal of associates in the accommodating usually ends at about 225 people, DeMonbreun said.
Richard Burroughs, who lives in a apartment development a World Golf Village, is one of the St. Johns County association who’s already active up to accompany the cooperative.
Burroughs said he is absorbed in abacus solar ability to his 2,300-square-foot agronomical abode to drive bottomward activity costs, additional he additionally is anxious about the environment.
“I appetite to be allotment of the acceptable activity movement,” Burroughs said. “I’m retired and I appetite to cap as abounding costs as I can … .
“It (the cooperative) provides me with an education. I didn’t alike apperceive how solar panels could be put on your roof or that was alike acknowledged in Florida. I can additionally get a 30 percent federal tax credit,” Burroughs said.
The account appointment Tuesday additionally brought an endorsement from St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver.
“I anticipate it’s important because it makes the about-face to solar affordable and attainable to best people. Separately as a city, we’re talking to Florida Ability & Light about affirmation projects and solar. We’ve looked at solar as a city,” Shaver said.
Shaver has ahead questioned whether counterfeit articles accept ecological impact. But she said there is no irony in her abutment of the solar cooperative.
“My role is to attending out for this city. When I attending out for this city, I’m a data-driven person. I attending at the abstracts we accept about this burghal and what we charge to do as adopted officials,” Shaver said. “Personally, as you can tell, I’m acutely committed to solar and I accept been for over 30 years.”
Drew Dixon: (904) 359-4098
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