Friday, July 25, 2008

Solar North Cooperative

As recently reported in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, a group of neighbors on Spinach Creek Road have started up a power cooperative that will generate electricity from the sun.

In an update e-mail sent out on Monday, Solar North described the results of their July 18 meeting. The group hopes to get more pledges for shares in the cooperative ($500 a share):
We are close to the final decision of building the largest solar panel (photovoltaic) system in Alaska.... A land lease is prepared, an ideal site is selected, permits are in hand, borough support is strong, an operating agreement has been prepared with the help of a lawyer, a management team is in place, 5 bids are in, the most appropriate materials are selected, etc. Under current assumptions (which are full of variables difficult to predict), the revenue for the share holders will not be very high (partly due to the increased number of producers in the SNAP program) and there may be years with a bit of a minus initially. However, this - we feel - is a very timely project and a great example of alternative energy in the land of oil.
For more information, contact the organizers at or call Franziska Kohl at 452 2916.

One of the problems the organizers are having is that if they build this year, then a 30% solar tax credit is available--until the end of 2008. This means that they have to raise the money AND build in a very short time frame. The tax credit was not renewed for 2009. This has Greens, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and sensible people everywhere hopping mad. The Solar Energy Industries Association breaking news page has information on an extension bill and other legislation that will help keep tax incentives to invest in solar power.

(cross-posted at the TY-Greens blog)

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