29 Mar

This week Fox 8 news featured our work building community-owned solar in East Cleveland with the Cleveland Solar Cooperative. Check it out!

(And consider becoming a member owner of Cleveland Solar Cooperative here!)

This story brings to life a core belief of Cleveland Owns: That only when we live in a city where ownership is distributed equitably, will we live in an equitable city. We apply that principle to solar by incubating the Cleveland Solar Cooperative (CSC), Ohio's first community-owned solar developer. 

People join CSC as member owners. That gives them the right to make decisions about where and how CSC operates. It also includes the right to make investments in the solar projects CSC develops.

The story also features our partners at the land bank and a member owner of Cleveland Solar Cooperative, Pastor Darnell Jennings of Lakeside Baptist Church in East Cleveland. 

Fox 8 reporter Jazmin Bailey did a great job showing why this project is important to Cleveland Owns and to residents of East Cleveland, who are seeing new investment come into their neighbor. The question, as always, is who will own that new investment. When it comes to solar, at least, Cleveland Owns' mission is to make sure residents own it. 

We envision solar arrays on roofs all across the city, owned by and for the community. We're starting in East Cleveland.

Bonus: peep some of our favorite protest art in our new office on Lorain Ave (office warming party coming soon!)!

This work is part of our broader Energy Democracy Initiative, which includes supporting a group of residents in Hough with a similar vision for community ownership, and organizing community residents to take direct action for a Just Transition. 

Learn more about the power of community ownership of solar in this report from the Environmental Law and Policy Center (featuring Cleveland Owns!); the report Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance; and the People's Solar Energy Fund, the national group working towards community ownership of solar, of which Cleveland Owns is a founding member. 

An example of community ownership of solar that motivates our work is Cooperative Energy Futures in Minneapolis, with more than 1,000 member owners and $30 million in installed solar!

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