Today we're releasing a new case study about our work building community owned solar with Cleveland Solar Cooperative.
In the case study, authored by our friend and ally Will Cuneo, we describe our early days in library basements hammering out the who, how, and what about our vision for community solar in Cleveland.
This document is a guide for anyone working to build grassroots community ownership. It lays out the questions our group set out to answer (who am I? who are my people? what is our shared purpose? our shared commitment?) and how we tried to answer them, starting with building relationships grounded in trust and shared values.
The case study describes the incredible support we received from People Power Solar Cooperative in Oakland, California and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and other collaborators we are lucky to have across the country. It’s our hope this information will jump start other grassroots groups looking to build community owned solar as part of a just transition.
So where are we now? Today Cleveland Solar Cooperative has bylaws, an elected board, and 35 member owners. We’re about to hire a community organizer to do deep member recruitment and engagement. And we’re close (very close!) to closing our first deal with a host, a critical – and very difficult -- step towards building the first community-owned solar array in the state of Ohio.
Big thanks to The Climate Advocacy Lab for funding this work, and to Will Cuneo, writer, organizer, counselor extraordinaire and, once again, to People Power Solar Cooperative for sharing the beautiful image of Energy Democracy above.