Our mission is to create a just and inclusive transition to renewable energy by enabling everyone to own and shape our energy future.
ENERGY IS A TOOL FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY POWER
With the growing emergency around the climate crisis, there is soon to be a national shift to renewable energy. If we don’t act now we risk a further consolidation of power by the for-profit fossil fuel companies, utilities, financiers, and developers that have been extracting wealth and health from our communities for decades.
Growing The Movement. People Power Solar Cooperative is building a movement toward grassroots-led and community-owned solar, a critical piece of a justice-based transition to a sustainable economy. We believe that this transition requires:
- Democracy and self-determination: Communities must democratically shape the energy sector and have long-term control over and access to energy, so that we can build wealth, health, and jobs for ourselves and future generations.
- Centering frontline communities: We must build power among low-income communities, communities of color, and frontline communities that have been disproportionately harmed by our fossil fuel economy.
While climate justice groups everywhere are advocating for energy democracy, very few community-owned solar projects exist in California or most of the United States due to the substantial technical, financial, and legal barriers to community-owned solar. This is why we’re building the skills, leadership, and people power in our communities to overcome these barriers and get everyday people involved in solar development. Two key innovations allow us to work:
- Our cooperative structure makes it easier to navigate securities requirements that make other community solar projects so difficult to organize.
- We don’t rely on shared-solar policy. By focusing on the flow of money and not the flow of electrons, we create a platform for community investment and ownership that is agnostic of state community solar policy.
People Power is centered on the creation and success of its “Project Groups”. These Project Groups are initiated by individuals and organizations, and include, for example, a community group coming together to organize a solar project or a group of people spearheading a policy advocacy campaign. Many Project Groups function much like self-governing “cooperatives” under the umbrella of the broader Cooperative, much as fiscally-sponsored projects do in the nonprofit sector.
We prioritize decentralized governance because it builds people power, creates resiliency, and fosters a strong sense of ownership, activating people to build and steward our energy resources in the long-term. To offer a visual explanation of what decentralization under People Power looks like: If People Power were a galaxy, many Project Groups and other activities within People Power would be solar systems within that galaxy, and the owners involved in that project would be planets orbiting these solar systems.