Germany, and to a lesser extent other nations, have championed community-owned sustainable energy production. In many ways it gives power to the people. Indeed, one way to encourage mass adoption of sustainable energy is to make policies which favour decentralized and community owned production. This means that big utility companies often oppose such efforts.
In British Columbia the city of Nelson may be the first city in Canada to take on this German-insipred approach. They are looking to open a solar facility which not only provides energy to the people it provides added revenue.
A community solar garden is a centralized solar panel farm that gives homeowners and businesses access to solar energy without having to install and maintain panels on their own roof.
The price of the electricity purchased from the proposed solar project in Nelson would cost residents more, but initial community feedback indicates people would be willing to pay the extra costs, said Proctor.
It’s about more than trying to save money, she said, and added costs eventually will even out.
Nelson Hydro is still working out detailed costs, but says people could end up investing something like $1,000 for a solar panel space for 25 years. They can either pay a lump sum up front or make monthly payments of about $3.47 until the solar panel space is paid off.