Are you an Xcel Energy customer in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Renville, Swift, or Yellow Medicine County? You have an opportunity to “go solar” and reduce your energy bills by joining a new co-op solar garden being developed just west of Clara City!
This co-op solar garden is being developed by Cooperative Energy Futures, a Minnesota community solar organization that only works on cooperatively owned community solar installations.
Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) offers a variety of flexible options to join the co-op solar garden (too many to list in this post). The main takeaway is this: you can join virtually for free and pay for your solar subscription each month or pay a whole subscription upfront. This co-op solar garden project can fit any household regardless of income and you can start seeing energy savings immediately.
As a cooperative, Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) does things differently than other solar garden developers, and this benefits people who become members and subscribe to their projects. By working with all types of communities, including rural West Central Minnesota, they create real community wealth by reducing energy use and producing clean, renewable energy owned by the people in the co-op. CEF reframes the debate by demonstrating how communities are central to building and implementing solutions.
Why is CURE excited about co-op community solar gardens?
The most obvious one is that clean energy—like wind and solar—saves us money and reduces our reliance on electricity from coal and natural gas. BUT the part that really excites CURE about this solar project is that it is a cooperative, meaning that the people who join (possibly you) benefit in more ways. Yes, you get clean electricity and save money, but you have a say in the ownership of our energy system. People and communities, not big corporations, should be the primary beneficiaries of generating and distributing electricity. This is Energy Democracy in action. Learn more about Energy Democracy.
*There are currently several solar gardens being developed around Clara City, MN. However, the only one that CURE is partnering with is Cooperative Energy Futures. We want our community to own its clean energy future.