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Denison Students Get Engaged in YES for Solar! Education

Dr. Olivia Aguilar’s Environmental Studies Practicum class at Denison University is working with the Solar Co-op to educate YES youth about the solar panels on their YES Club roof in downtown Newark. Denison students are also helping develop a plan for signage at the YES Club with information about the impact of the 44 solar panels on saving energy. Dr. Aguilar’s class recently presented Tracee Laing and Carol Apacki, members of the Solar Co-op with an overview of what kinds of signage can be most effective, based on students’ research and discussions with YES Club youth.

Here are some options they offered to attract public attention:

–a large and colorful tree piece of artwork with updated information about solar panel energy use;

–a national park-like kiosk with pictures and information about the YES for Solar! project;

–a flip-book with detailed facts and figures that can be shared with visitors.

See the Denison student presentation below:


November 9, 2017




Stuff that matters

at elon last

Tesla solar products are coming to a store near you.

Shoppers will be able to purchase the tech company’s solar panels and Powerwall batteries (home electricity storage units) at all 800 Home Depot locations across the United States.

Kiosks that sell the products are already up and running in some Southern California Home Depot locations, and more will launch in Las Vegas and Orlando next week. Tesla is also in talks with Lowe’s about carrying its solar products, sources told Bloomberg News.

The Tesla-Home Depot partnership will test solar’s performance on the mainstream market. It comes less than two weeks after Trump slapped a hefty import tax on solar panels, which is expected to make solar installation less affordable across the U.S.

Installing a solar panel system in your home can cost between $10,000 to $25,000 before rebates, plus another $7,000 for a battery. But once it’s up, you start saving on electricity bills. Type your address into Google’s Project Sunroof for an estimate of how much you’d save in the long run.



 Solar Enthusiasts:

Licking County Solar Cooperative

The Solar Co-op was formed for the purpose:

  • To assist all households that desire to install solar energy generation at their homes.
  • To learn from the experiences of others.
  • To teach others how to design, plan, permit, construct, and monitor a solar project.
  • To lower the costs of solar energy by obtaining purchasing discounts.
  • To lower the costs of solar energy by sharing in the labor of installation.
  • To monitor and share news about advances in technology.
  • To cooperate with other institutions that are encouraging the installation of solar energy.
  • To demonstrate a commitment to change our impact on the environment and mitigate the trends in climate change.


Solar Installations in Licking County

Here are the websites that provide monitoring of each system that has been installed by co-op members:






  • The Energy Cooperative, 456-panel OurSolar community solar array at the Utica Service Center – December 2016   The Energy Cooperative electric members have the option to participate by subscribing to panels in the solar array. For more information or to subscribe, click here:


  • Denison University – East of Creek (Denison E0C)East of Creek – This is the one in the bio reserve
  • Denison University – Recycling (Red) Barn (Denison RB)Recycling (Red) Barn – This is the one off Route 661


Yes for Solar!

October 2016

Working on the YES for Solar! was an experience of community in action. It all started with one person’s good idea. Last year Richard Downs came to our Licking County Concerned Citizen group and told us that the YES Club’s roof was perfectly positioned for solar panels. And when he offered to install the panels if we could help raise the money to purchase the materials, it was hard to say no. That’s when his good friend Jeremy King, a member of the Solar Coop and Sustainability Coordinator at Denison University, got involved, too.

As our group began to grow, we soon had Penny Sitler, Director of Mental Health America, and Connie Hawk, Director of the Licking County Foundation, working with our small group—and, so importantly, the staff and youth at the YES Club excited and ready to help. As we reached further into the community, more and more people got involved. A few examples:
· Licking County Foundation handled the monies we raised
· Denison University designed and printed our materials.
· The Granville Farmer’s Market promoted and featured our project
· The Newark Advocate did interviews and wrote feature stories
· The Sparta Restaurant and Project Main Street helped us with fundraisers
· Local artists contributed paintings to help raise funds
· Members of local churches told their congregations about the project and collected donations
· Service clubs, the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, the downtown Newark Business Association, and many community volunteers promoted our project through their networks of members
· Newark city officials guided and helped us through the permit process.

Within a 2 ½ months, more than $24,000 in cash was raised, along with the expertise and generous in-kind contributions from local roofing companies, contractors and electricians who worked with us. The results of this wonderful community effort are 42 shimmering, shiny, solar panels providing love and warmth to the YES Club youth. They are also the first solar array in downtown Newark. These panels will substantially reduce the YES Club’s utility bills for the next 25-30 years, AND as the YES Club youth monitor and learn about this new technology on their roof, they will be at the forefront of the future.

To our many contributors, we hope when you pass by these solar panels on the YES Club roof, you will proudly say, “I helped to make this happen.”

Thank you!!

Carol Apacki and Allen Schwartz, Coordinators,
Licking County Concerned Citizens for Public Health and Environment


 Yes for Solar panels are producing power.

Here is the website that monitors the electricity produced by the solar panels on the Yes Clubhouse:

42 panels will produce 12 kilowatts (kW)

On a sunny day, the array provided 62 kilowatthours (kWh)of energy for the Yes Clubhouse.

The benefits over the next 25 years:

  • 352,000 kWh produces saving of $42,000 at current electric prices (that are bound to increase)
  • 535,000 pounds of CO2 emissions will be avoided — the equivalent of planting 6,000 trees

Construction Completed 9/24/2015

photo 1 -Sep2015

photo 2 sep2015 installation crew

  photo 3 sep 2015 finished product

Yes for solar logo w MHA

Fund Raising Progress Report

2015 Oct 1 progress report on 48 panels








YouTube video describing the YES Club:



 Article in The Newark Advocate, Friday, July 10, 2015, page 1

YES Club solar panel project has been successful

When the Licking County Solar Cooperative and Licking County Concerned Citizens for Public Health and Environment launched a fundraiser two months ago to install solar panels on the roof of the YES Club, Jeremy King, one of the project’s coordinators, wasn’t sure what to expect.

But it wasn’t long before donations came pouring in.

Six weeks into their fundraiser, they’ve raised close to $18,000. That means in a few months, solar panels will be installed on the roof of the clubhouse at 100 E. Church St.

“I was pleasantly surprised by where we are,” King said. “I knew we were going to raise money, but I didn’t realize it would come that quickly.”

Carol Apacki and Julie Mulroy, the chairwomen of the fundraising campaign, are hopeful that by the time they end the fundraiser in mid-August, they’ll have met their goal of $30,000. That will give YES Club the opportunity to install at least 48 panels on the roof.

“(This project) brings together the best in our community. It’s about the future and our kids. It’s a really respected program and it’s about education and community spirit in downtown Newark,” Apacki said. “It’s something we can all be proud of.”

Proposed by Richard Downs, a members of the Licking County Solar Cooperative, the project titled YES for Solar was designed to be a grass-roots effort.


A program of Mental Health America, YES Club is an after-school program for students ages 11 to 18. Staff members prioritize education, community services and a family atmosphere.

The club spends roughly $9,000 on electricity every year. But solar panels on the roof could decrease those costs by 25 percent, giving the group $2,000 every year for programming and activities, Downs said.

The panels also supports YES Club’s message of education, King said. Members will be able to learn about solar energy, and science classes around the county will be welcome to visit YES to learn about the technology.

“These kids have a chance that kids in other areas don’t have, Apacki said. “They will be spokespeople for solar.”

The students at YES Club have been organizing creative fundraisers to support the project, but they aren’t the only ones, Mulroy said: Church groups, community organizations and individuals have all stepped up to make donations.

“They are not only interested in helping YES Club, but they are interested in solar and downtown Newark,” King said.

The project will likely be the first solar installation in downtown Newark, but it won’t be the last. King said he’s already been approached by others interested in installing panels.

“We’ve created a a community conversation about solar,” Apacki said. “ Before it was an idea. Now it’s going to be a reality.”

King said he and Downs are hoping to get the panels on the roof sometime in the fall. But for the next month, they’ll be in the community, talking to people about the project’s goals.

Every donation, even if it’s just a few dollars, can make a difference, Mulroy said.

“The idea is to get more people invested and feeling like they are a part of tthis movement,” she said, “We want people to say, ‘We are part of that, we are part of the downtown.’ ”


Twitter: @amsjeffries

How to help

People who the Granville Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday will have the opportunity to meet members of the YES Club and learn about solar energy in Licking County.

In addition, a benefit for the YES for Solar project will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. July 31 at the Sparta, 16 W. Main St, Newark. Half of the proceeds from the sale of food and drinks will be donated to the project. The benefit will be listed on the schedule of events during the Downtown Newark Association’s Final Friday event.

Donation checks payable to the Licking County Foundation with “YES for Solar” on the memo line can be mailed to to the Licking County Foundation, P.O. Box 4212, Newark, OH 43058-4212. Donations also can be made by going to and clicking on “Donate.”

Learn more

For more information on YES for Solar or solar energy in Licking County, go to


Source: The Newark Advocate

By: Anna Jeffries, 4:27 p.m. EDT July 10, 2015




Net Metering

Net Metering: A Comprehensive Guide

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Net metering is the policy that enables a homeowner to be credited by their utility when they generate more electricity from a solar array than they use.

You would think that those who go solar would be celebrated as heroes – because if everyone who could go solar did go solar, we’d all have a lot better shot at a livable climate. But instead, a nasty campaign of rumor-mongering is trying to take these true heroes down.

Here are 5 myths about net metering and why they are wrong:

#1 Myth: Only the Rich can benefit from net metering

The theory is that only the wealthy can afford solar. And as the rich leave the grid, the shared grid costs are split between fewer customers so the rest of us pick up the cost.

Fact: The very broadest middle class is going solar. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, the most solar growth was in the middle class: those with “median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 in both Arizona and California and $30,000 to $40,000 in New Jersey.”

The full range nationwide was from those with incomes ranging from $30,000 to $90,000 per household.

In part, this is because it is not money you need to go solar but a good credit rating, of 650 or more, and good credit ratings are actually found across most income groups.

The benefits of Community solar programs are open to all. These have no credit rating limits, and are open to all who want to cut their long-term electricity bill with a solar subscription, one panel at a time, on a pay as you go, leave when you want basis, funded by savings in electricity costs as you increase your solar supply. The rise in community solar programs is evident in states as diverse as Louisiana and California.

#2 Myth: Too much solar will take down the grid!

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With so many rooftops generating solar during the day, this idea is that the grid would be just completely overwhelmed by the surplus daytime electricity, and blow out transformers, etc.

Fact: Yes, this would be a new problem.

Millions of individual choices can change the world. Look at how landlines are becoming a thing of the past with cell phones and VoIP.

But we have thousands of years of evidence that we are actually capable of working out new solutions to new problems, or we’d never have survived the invention of fire in the first place.

The grid is a publicly shared space, and when it was originally set up with centralized generators, it was easier to predict and control how much energy was let loose on to it. But there’s centralized planning, and then there’s what happens when millions of people make individual decisions to buy something that saves them money.

There’s already an easy fix – storage.

As we add more solar, there will be more innovations about how to redirect it to where and when it’s needed. Storage in batteries, (or even saltwater) not necessarily to go entirely off the grid, but to reduce grid power by more than just daytime generation is one option that will become affordable well before the level of solar becomes an issue.

A cheaper option in use already is using surplus solar to heat water. This cuts the 60% of the average homeowners’ gas bill that goes to heating water, increasing the financial benefit of solar. Net metering has been gone for years in New Zealand, and surplus solar is only paid at the wholesale rate. Solar installers there routinely offer to hook up the hot water heater directly for heating with daytime surplus, essentially storing solar in water.

Heating hot water with electricity may seem silly when you have gas to heat your water as in most of the US, but switching to electric water heaters and using solar saves not just the fossil fuel fracked from under our feet and then burned at big central power stations, but also the fossil fuel we overlook piped right in our homes.

#3 Myth: Net metering disadvantages minorities who have less access

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A typical argument was penned by Matthew Whitaker for the Philadelphia Tribune. He described net metering “as an issue of social justice,” by “tipping the scales against minority and underserved communities like mine in favor of those who are more fortunate.”

The black think-tank National Policy Alliance claimed that net metering policies harm communities of color in particular and low-income communities in general.

Fact: Two-thirds of black Americans live within 30 miles of a coal plant. Low-income communities and communities of color are much more affected by the lack of clean energy on the grid, because the alternative electricity is dirty energy.

Overwhelmingly it is African-American and Hispanic communities whose health is most adversely affected by the proximity of nearby gas and coal plants belching out smog.

Asthma rates increase the closer a person is to a gas power project, and the mercury from coal mining and from coal power generation have a measurable effect on IQ levels in children. These burdens are felt by the poor.

Jeanette Williams, president of the Nevada NAACP explained the thinking behind expanding net metering in a Las Vegas Sun op-ed:
“Segregation forced generations of blacks to live in the least desirable areas, places where pollution has shortened life spans and slowed economic growth. People who live near energy production facilities such as coal-fired power plants are more likely to have health problems. This includes prolonged exposure to smog, lead, asbestos, mercury and arsenic, which are linked to respiratory illnesses, birth defects, learning problems and more. Other effects include compromised educational outcomes and lower property values.”

As solar (and wind farms) replace this dirty electricity, air quality improves and with it, learning problems and asthma rates.

#4 Myth: Net metering “costs” ratepayers so non-solar customers subsidize solar customers

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The argument here is that paying for solar at retail rates has costs. But it doesn’t look at the economic value of the benefits. Numerous studies have calculated the cost/benefit of solar generation right where it is needed as a net benefit, disproving this much-touted myth.

Fact: Net metering benefits outweigh costs.

The economic benefits of local rooftop solar exceeds 20 cents per kWh, according to a report prepared by the state of Massachusetts Net Metering and Solar Task Force – higher than the retail rate in most states except Hawaii.

An Energy and Environmental Economics study testifying before the Nevada Public Utilities Commission in July of 2014, determined that net metering had a purely economic net benefit for all ratepayers equally of $36 million.
The Missouri Energy Initiative, a nonprofit association of public and private sector entities, found in 2015 that “the net effect of net metering in Missouri is positive. This is because, even valuing cross-subsidization effects at their full estimates and including administrative costs as if they were a flow instead of a stock, benefits in every year (2008-2012) are greater than the costs.”

#5 Myth: Net metering raises rates.

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Volatile gas prices are primarily responsible for electricity cost increases, year on year, according to utility documents filed with state PUCs.

These increased costs are passed directly through to ratepayers. Unlike the predictable set rates that utilities credit their net metered customers, utilities buy power from natural gas power producers in two parts. There is a set rate contract, designed to recoup the cost to build a natural gas plant. On top of the predictable set rate, however, utilities also buy natural gas at pay whatever gas costs at that time, then request rate rises to pass through those unpredictable costs directly to ratepayers the following year.

Investment in big expensive power stations like new nuclear or new coal plants raises rates.

(Because most coal plants are 40 – 60 years old and have long since paid off their capital costs, that old coal power is still cheap. But new coal plants are extremely expensive.)

By 2013, the Prairie State Coal Plant in Illinois had a cost overrun of 30% over its initial 2007 budget to $4.4 billion, the equivalent of costing customers up to $63.40 per megawatt-hour.

By the time the Prairie State Coal Plant coal plant was finally finished in 2015, it cost $9 billion.

Bottom line: Net metering is not the problem. It’s the solution.

Image credits: via FlickR under CC license (1, 2, 3, 4)



Licking County Solar Cooperative

Photos of Mike Stairs solar installation:

Mike Stair

Mike Stair









Mike Stair

Mike Stair


Meeting Slides from 12 July, 2015

Presentation Title: Changing Battery Technology Changes Electric Power Network By: David & Jean Rouse Link to a PDF file of the slides: 2015 Jul 12 solar co-op talk by rouse   ====================================#####

Licking County Solar Cooperative

Meeting Notes


State of Solar in Licking County

This past years arrays – 2014

  •  Richard: Concerned Citizens website will be a place to aggregate info on local arrays. 5 out of ca 100 in county already on website. info sharing, creating community, resource for new people.
  • How to get info and create database – perhaps this could be a project taken up by members of the cooperative or a project for a Denison student(s)
  • Arrays that went up in 2015
  1. David Rouse – Roof mounted
  2. Mark McVay – Roof mounted used Dovetail turnkey system
  3. Granville High School Greenhouse – Ground mounted
  4. CTEC Net Zero House – Roof mounted
  5. Polly Anderson Field Station – Roof mounted – used solar optimizers
  6. Steve Finlayson – Roof mounted on two structures
  7. Lakewood Schools – Grount mounted 650kW

We’re starting to see interest by all sorts of people in Licking County including Downtown Newark building owners. We co-sponsored the first annual Licking County Solar Conference. 120 registrants, ca. 100 attendees. We’d like to host another conference and are looking at co-sponsorhip with the Clintonville Coop. Idea — sign showing how many kW [ wonder if we could crowd-source funding for a digital display like Columbus 670 minutes to different exits, alerts to problems ahead] at entrance to a community or at YES Club installation, for instance)

 Looking forward in 2015

Denison plans a 2 MW array with battery system for grid stability. Part of the array will be in the Bio Reserve another part will be by Denison’s community recycling center along Rt. 661. The array will also have single axis tracking that will follow the sun over the course of the day. Yes Club is interested in having the solar cooperative help with putting up an array on their building in Downtown Newark. There’s an opportunity for our collective group to lead a fundraising campaign for the installation and to be directly involved with the installation. The Yes Club building is owned by the Licking County Foundation and they appear to be interested in helping make this happen. We could combine a solar project with an energy audit as well. The ultimate goal is to reduce utility costs for the YES Club so their funds can go further and to increase visibility of solar in Licking County. If you are interested in being involved you can email Jeremy King

CTEC Solar Class

This will be an entry level NABCEP class and the first ever  in county. The class runs from April 14 – May 21 and will be Tuesday and Thursday nights. Richard Downs will be teaching the class. Contact Tina Trombley for more info. Class will cost $775. Incentives and state regulations Fed Res tax credit still on books to end in 2016. State regulators change means or little market for energy credits. Spin-off energy providers don’t have to honor net-metering agreements, however, you can break your contract if you install a solar system.

The Co-op – Where do we go?

We can have more regularly scheduled meetings and host them at locations where we’ve done installations Meetings can be planned around a central theme – like policy, site design, outreach (ex. yes club), incentives, etc. etc. SB 310 in Ohio has impacted renewables. There is a two-year freeze on legislation while the State figures out how it wants to treat renewables and energy efficiency. Liability issues. Either fall under the wing of a nonprofit or…. Clintonville delegation: if act like a group. Ins company can sue other ins co. Have safety session, wear proper gear, safety review before day starts. YES Club project brings up liability issues that will need to be addressed Ultimately, each homeowner has to decide the issue of liability and how it plays into using volunteer labor. The cooperative should probably look into this a little more. Richard is starting a PV business with a target price of $3 / W for simple systems. This price point will get 10 year payback with the tax credit and that seems doable. Richard’s hope is that cost of equipment and installation will drop so that the 10 year payback can occur even without the tax credit. Richard is still willing to do pro-bono work and is willing to allow homeowners to mitigate the cost of installation through direct participation and/or the use of volunteer labor from the cooperative Jeremy is still willing to organize meetings and do initial solar site analysis for anyone free of charge as this is part of his role at Denison – public outreach on sustainability issues. Jeremy will also work with Richard on some installations.


Next meeting. YES Club or fallback David R house – early March date and time TBD. Tod Frolking presented his plan for an eco-development in Granville – 6 acres. Plan to build homes on it. Gentle S facing-slope. (10 houses?.) barn. Early design phase. Still need Granville zoning approval. Will have active solar and other green. Space for garden, and also a barn with rescued siding, so some community resources but not community kitchen, for instance. The solar cooperative members can and should consider writing letters to elected officials at all levels and/or letters to the editor in support of renewable energy projects, legislation, zoning, and other related issues. If we don’t voice support, who will? Above are some notes from last meeting – A big thanks to Julie Mulroy for taking great notes during the meeting.  We’re looking at early March for the next meeting and are soliciting topics for discussion.  We’d like to see meetings shift to be thematic in nature which may also allow them to be more narrowly focused instead of general updates. Jeremy King 740-587-8680 ========================================####

 Recommended Book to Read:

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

April 1, 2014 by Jeremy Rifkin (Author) 

 From —In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods.The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “sharable value” on the Collaborative Commons.Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.

 You may purchase electricity from Wind Power

from AEP Energy website:

ECO-Advantage 100% Renewable Fixed Price Offer

Our 100% wind price offer for residents within AEP Ohio’s service territory Your purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) is supporting electricity production in the United States. You will continue to receive one electricity bill from your utility. For every unit of renewable electricity generated, an equivalent amount of RECs is produced. The purchase of RECs helps offset conventional electricity generation in the region where the renewable electricity generator is located. The purchase also helps build a market for renewable electricity and may have other local and global environmental benefits such as reducing global climate change and regional air pollution. For more information about RECs, please visit View full Price, Terms & Conditions, and Product Content Label

Caution: At the Co-op meeting, someone mentioned that AEP does not have to honor “net metering” when you install solar electric power if you have a supply contract with alternative electric power suppliers.

Lakewood Solar Array – 895 kW lakewood solar array from solar planet

by Solar Planet


Battery Storage


Understand Solar



Unbiased guidance on everything you need to get started.

Evergreen Solar




Introducing Solar United Neighbors


Walter and Diego stand on a roof about to get solar installed.

“Mom, can we go solar?”

When my son Walter asked me this question a decade ago, I would have no idea where it would lead, or what I was getting myself into. He and his friend Diego (both 12 years old at the time) had just seen the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and wanted to take action. So, we looked into go going solar at our Washington, D.C. home. At the time, going solar was a complex and expensive process. About ready to throw my hands up, I said to the boys: “If we’re going to go solar, we might as well do our whole neighborhood.” Sure enough, they canvased the neighborhood and signed up 50 neighbors who expressed interest.

This is how the Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative got its start. We worked with our community for two years to get solar installed. It wasn’t enough to learn about the technology and financing of solar. We also had to fight for policies that ensured our solar rights. Our community’s success in these fights has made D.C. one of the best markets in the country for solar. This community formed DC SUN (D.C. Solar United Neighborhoods).

Anya Schoolman displays a Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative sign in 2007.

Anya Schoolman displays a Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative sign in 2007.

As it turned out, the idea of going solar together is really popular. We’ve worked with communities in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida to create similar efforts under the umbrella of Community Power Network.

Today that changes. We are proud to launch Solar United Neighbors.

The name Solar United Neighbors is a perfect reflection of who we are and what we stand for. We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

This rebranding is just one change. Our work is spreading to Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We look forward to engaging with these communities soon.

Solar homeowners celebrate their new installation.

We are expanding the ways we help people go solar in addition to expanding geographically. Our new membership program will give people more choices to get help going solar with us. It will allow us to help solar homeowners through the lifetime of their systems. But most importantly, it will enable solar homeowners to form a powerful community to support solar.

The most valuable thing we’ve learned by helping more than 2,300 homes go solar is the need to build a community to be successful. We can empower everyone to take control of where their electricity comes from and make solar accessible for everyone. Doing so will make us wealthier, healthier, and more secure. By working together, we can ensure the answer to the question: “Can we go solar?” is always: “Yes!”

Solar United Neighbors of Ohio:


11 October 2017

Solar Enthusiasts,

Many of you will remember that last spring Richard Downs, Chris Ramsey, some Denison students and a number of others in our group were working with Habitat for Humanity to develop a program to put solar on Habitat Homes. We laid a lot of ground work and got as far as identifying a house in Newark. The project stalled on the Habitat side of things, but Mid-Ohio Habitat shared the idea with Third Sun (who is building the Denison array) and they took up the gauntlet and launched a new program.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the original idea and Richard and team should pat themselves on the back for paving the way. I have since learned that the Newark house we identified is on the list to be one of the first to get an array – let’s all hope that happens as that family is both interested and deserving.

See the program announcement below:

Buy One Give One

Third Sun Solar and Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio To Launch Buy One Give One Program

Third Sun Solar is proud to announce an exciting partnership with Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio. From now through the end of 2017, we will donate one solar panel to Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio for every residential solar system sold.

We expect 2017 to be the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations. We believe that partnering with Habitat for Humanity in this way will not just reduce the utility costs for these hard working families, but will bring needed attention to solar and help us to further accelerate the shift to clean energy that is catching on in the Midwest.



Jeremy King ’97

Director of Sustainability & Campus Improvement

Denison University

Doane 304B


Please consider the environment before printing this email.




Sustainable Energy Factbook

This crossed my desk at Denison and I thought many of you might find it useful either for your own knowledge and/or for the work that you do professionally.  It’s a lot of data, graphs and charts, but it is a wonderful resource.


Solar Analysis Tool

I wanted to share a very interesting tool that Google has developed called Project Sunroof.  It is not yet in our immediate area, but is in Franklin county and many other places nationwide. (You can sign up to be informed when it applies to your ZIP code.)


It does a decent job of showing average solar radiation for a rooftop that includes possible shading issues and roof orientation – the magic of GIS data.

Jeremy 3/1/2017


Solar Cooperative Meeting

When: 2/19/17


“In the Solar Co-op we are peas in a pod working together .” Richard Downs

Solar Enthusiasts,

We had a good meeting yesterday with lots of updates and lots of great ideas.

Thank you Jack Shaner for the excellent status summary of Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency standards.  If you missed it, the Ohio legislature voted to essentially continue the freeze, however, Gov. Kasich vetoed that bill.  Thus, the standards went back into play in January.  Here is a nice article that outlines what has happened at the state level:

One of the topics that came up was a question regarding property taxes in Ohio and how solar may impact those.  I promised to get some clarifying info and what I found is this:

Commercial solar installations are exempt from real property tax in Ohio.  Residential systems are exempt in Cincinnati and Cleveland, but nowhere else in Ohio.  This means that the value of a residential system could be included in the value of your house/property.  This doesn’t mean that a taxing authority is going out of its way to include the value.  I can say from personal experience that Licking County has yet to document my array as part of its assessment and others have had similar experiences.

What probably does happen, is that an array may allow you to put a higher price on your home/property when you sell it and thus, the buyer pays more.  This sale price can eventually have an impact on property valuation done by the auditor.

Here is the link I mentioned that has the current incentives for Ohio:

In addition, I found this link today that does a decent job of describing the situation in Ohio:

We discussed next steps for the Solar Cooperative and it was determined that there are two emerging threads:

1) There is still a lot of interest in education around installation of systems (especially DIY) and learning more about the technology itself  – continued work on this aspect is necessary;

 2) There is interest in doing outreach and activism around energy policy locally and beyond – we decided that reaching out to a number of new organizations that have mobilized on environmental and social issues after the election to hold a broader more inclusive meeting, would be a good next step.  It would be good to explore how our group and others can collaborate.

Still left to discuss at a future meeting:

Planning for a 3rd Annual Licking County Solar Conference & Tour

Workshop on the integration of battery technology into home energy system with solar pv

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 26 in the afternoon.  We’ll tentatively plan our next meeting for then and this meeting will focus on policy and outreach efforts.  I’ll work to invite other interested groups.

Another idea that was floated after the meeting that warrants further exploration would be to arrange a private tour of specific solar arrays for some of our elected officials in Licking County.  With some strategic advance planning, we can turn an event like this into an opportunity to promote solar and energy policy with these officials.  This may be best done after the Denison and Newark arrays are completed i.e. this Fall.



Jeremy King ’97

Sustainability Coordinator

Denison University