AIRE and Co-operate WNC: Making the (co-operative solar) road by walking

AIRE and Co-operate WNC have been in dialogue for several months around the questions of how do we cooperate to incubate a solar cooperative practice that harnesses the power of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost of solar and how do we nurture a cooperative enterprise that sustains solar adoption and creates livelihoods for underserved communities?

We had been following Co-operate WNC for quite some time because we liked it’s mission, and saw particular promise in collaboration because of its leadership, community loan pool and purchasing alliance programs.

Their network of grassroots community organizations and individuals seemed a perfect fit to leverage our deep knowledge of solar development given our penchant for going after the “high hanging fruit” but lacking in the dense network of organizations where it can be applied. But it is in those high places where we can see far if we look, and that’s where we see opportunity for doing cooperative solar. This is something we’ve dreamed about and actually worked on for a decade.

Co-operate WNC’s membership application is HERE. Or if you’d like to discuss directly with Co-operate WNC you may reach out to Zev Friedman ( Co-operate WNC held a zoom meeting last week to roll this program out. We’ll try to post it here so check back if you’re interested.


[1] See Nathan Schneider’s book “Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That’s Shaping the Next Economy.” For a taste, I posted on it in October 2018.

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