St. Augustine, FL - Neighbors in St. Johns County joined together last year and formed a solar co-op to save money and make going solar easier, with the help of non-profit Solar United Neighbors. Participants used a competitive bidding process to choose A1A Solar, of Jacksonville, to install solar systems for the group’s homeowners. Included in the company’s bid was a pledge to donate a portion of the revenue it earned from the co-op to local charities. At the co-op’s completion celebration, A1A announced a donation of $7,350 to be split between Compassionate St. Augustine, the lead local organizer of the solar co-op, and the soon-to-open tag! Children’s Museum of St. Augustine.
“A1A Solar is thrilled to have been selected to participate in the St John’s County Solar Co-Op and to have been given the opportunity to help dozens of homeowners and families in St Johns County ‘go solar’ this year,” said Shellie Thies, A1A Solar’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are especially proud of the fact that the community chose us, in part, because of our pledge to contribute a portion of each (job) to a non-profit fund which has resulted in over $10,000 in donations to date.”
“Thanks to the generosity of the Newman Family every dollar donated to the Rich Maguire Fund will be 1:1 matched,” said Kim MacEwan, Executive Director of tag!Children’s Museum. “The Rich Maguire Environmental Stewardship Matching Fund was established by Diane and Chuck Newman in honor of their beloved friend and environmental attorney Rich Maguire.”
“We are honored to have been chosen for this award,” said Caren Goldman,
Compassionate St. Augustine Executive Director. “This donation by A1A Solar will help Compassionate St. Augustine’s Environmental Rights Initiative engage people, businesses and institutions in the shift away from single use plastics, and toward increased demand for clean energy.”
Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida solar policies and its community of solar supporters.
“Solar energy brings people together and builds stronger communities,” said Angela Demonbreun, Solar United Neighbors of Florida Program Director. “We’re excited that this solar co-op was able to benefit not just the homeowners who participated, but all St. Augustine residents as well.”
Solar United Neighbors supports solar co-ops across the country. These co-ops are a part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar as the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment and advocate for fair solar policies. Those interested in supporting the organizations’ work and becoming a member can do so at their website.
More than 200 residents learned about solar energy and 49 homeowners installed solar energy with the help of the co-op. This resulted in more than $893,000 invested into the Northeast Florida economy and 16.85 million pounds of carbon emissions offset.