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Miami Valley Solar and EV Charger Co-op launches

Residents fill in at the launch of the Miami Valley Solar and EV Charger Co-op at the Gem City Market
Chris Welter
Residents fill in at the launch of the Miami Valley Solar and EV Charger Co-op at the Gem City Market

The Miami Valley Solar and EV Charger Co-op launched at the Gem City Market. Close to fifty residents packed into the market’s community room to hear from the co-op’s organizers.

The solar co-op makes residential solar more affordable because members will be buying panels and paying for installation in bulk. Once thirty people from the Miami Valley join the solar co-op, they will select an installer and since they are combining their purchasing power, the cost will be cheaper.

Dayton City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild says it’s fitting that another co-op is launching at a place like the Gem City Market.

“There's this spirit of co-op in this place,” he said. “That's why I'm so excited about Solar United Energy being a cooperative buying group which brings equity into the whole endeavor.”

The local governments and organizations partnering to launch the co-op said the reduced price will make solar more accessible. Derrick Foward with the Dayton NAACP spoke at the launch.

“The leadership, policy positions and initiatives of solar united neighbors increase the availability of energy efficiency and help put environmental justice within reach of an underserved portion of this town, and we embrace that opportunity,” he said.

Members of the co-op will also have the option to purchase an Electric Vehicle charging station that would be connected to their solar installation.

Information sessions about the co-op will be held over the next few months.

Chris Welter is a reporter and corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.