Nonprofit Solar United Neighbors (SUN) announced a version of the organization’s popular group buy program that empowers people to save money on solar for their home, small business or farm. The program includes customizations to benefit members of the Midwest’s largest electric cooperative, Connexus Energy, and is also open to people served by other North Metro electric utilities.
“We are excited to introduce this program to the community and to have Connexus Energy representatives on hand to assist with questions. Distributed solar at homes and small businesses is a growing part of the energy mix of the future,” said Bobby King, Minnesota State Director for Solar United Neighbors. “Connexus is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative electric co-ops and it is great to see them supporting their members’ decisions to invest in the electric grid.”
SUN’s solar group buy is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners. The SUN group buy program is independently organized by SUN and not a program of Connexus Energy. Together, members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a competitive price and top quality.
After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor neutral, members of the new group organized by SUN will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Attending an event or webinar or participating in another way does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, participants will have the option to individually purchase panels, as well as electric vehicle chargers, based on the installer’s group rate.
Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric co-op, among the 15 largest cooperative electric utilities nationwide and has been nationally recognized for its “perfect power” service reliability, grid innovation and solar land-use practices.
“The common denominator for these two great organizations is commitment to empowering individuals through cooperative organization and their work together can serve as a model everywhere,” said Karl R. Rabago, a SUN board member and national energy expert. “Many utilities are facing a surge in demand for EV charging. By welcoming investment from their members in on-site solar generation, while also providing options for people with unsuitable roofs to go solar, Connexus will save money for all its members as the EV market grows.”
Virtual and in-person Solar 101s are planned for January and February. More information, including how to register for the meeting is at solarunitedneighbors.org/connexus. SUN’s Bobby King and a representative of Connexus Energy are participating in the meetings. Connexus Energy’s role in the meetings is to provide information about rates and interconnection.
News item from Solar United Neighbors
“Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric co-op, among the 15 largest cooperative electric utilities nationwide and has been nationally recognized for its “perfect power” service reliability, grid innovation and solar land-use practices.”
Nice, it seems like an expansion of the original San Francisco based 1BOG started in 2010 was a Co-Op to allow individual residential customers to get solar PV systems at wholesale prices by bulk buying components and installations for several projects rather than one project at a time to lower labor rates and overall installation costs. Former CEO of NRG Energy David Crane also had this ‘vision’ that the “electric company” should also be in the residential, commercial and industrial solar PV installation and operation and maintenance business. By 2015 some of his programs were beginning to gel, the stock price of NRG Energy slipped and the (brilliant)/s board of directors at NRG asked David Crane to leave.
Why does it have to be so hard?