Solar Co-op Launches for NWI Residents

Solar Co-op Launches for NWI Residents

Nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN)  announced recently the launch of the Northwest Indiana Solar + EV Charger Co-op to help residents in and around LaPorte, Porter, and Lake Counties go solar and explore options for faster electric vehicle charging at their home or small business.

Partnering on the co-op are the Michigan City Sustainability Commission, Northwest Indiana Green Drinks, NWI Region Resilience, 219 Green Connect, Citizens Action Coalition, Earth Charter Indiana, Hoosier EVA, Hoosier Environmental Council, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, and the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter.

“Electricity costs in the area are high and rising, and more Hoosiers are turning to solar energy to save money,” said Zach Schalk, Indiana program director for SUN. “Through the solar co-op, we’ll teach homeowners and business owners how solar energy works and how it can benefit them and their communities.”

The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in and around LaPorte, Porter, and Lake Counties. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to ensure competitive pricing and quality solar installations.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.

SUN has hosted five solar co-ops in Indiana since 2019. According to the group’s estimates, the 54 homes and businesses that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent: 446.1 kW of solar power, $1.37 million in local solar spending, and more than 16.4 million lbs. of lifetime carbon offsets.

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