Our First Project

PEOPLE POWER HAS INSTALLED OUR FIRST PROJECT ON THE HOUSE OF ‘NO COAL IN OAKLAND’ ACTIVIST, LORA JO FOO

On March 2019, People Power Solar Cooperative announced the construction of its first solar project, piloting a new model for community-owned energy in California. We believe it's the first cooperatively-owned residential project in California! Read our press release here.

The residential-sized 7 kW project was financed entirely by small investments from more than 50 local community members and leaders -- the cooperative’s Owners -- who have each purchased up to ten $100 shares of People Power. The cooperative will earn revenue in the form of bill payments from Ms. foo and pay dividends to members. It’s a simple, but powerful model.

People Power chose lora jo foo’s roof from a shortlist of other sites around the East Bay. Ms. foo was introduced to us by a group of five community leaders, all women of color, who we worked with to choose this site and build people power.

"For the past six years I've been active in the Keep It in the Ground movement, keeping oil and gas in the ground in my anti-fracking work and coal in the ground by stopping the building of a coal export terminal on the Oakland waterfront. While the work of fighting against the causes of global warming is important, equally important is the fight for renewable energy to replace fossil fuels. I am excited to be able to contribute to bringing more renewable energy to our community.”

- lora jo foo


How it Works

An investment of just $100 allows anyone to access the benefits of solar ownership.

1. Members invest $100 to $1,000 in the cooperative to become Owners of People Power Solar Cooperative. They are now co-owners of a solar project! They will receive dividends on their shares and play an important role in governing the cooperative.

2. The cooperative pools Owners’ investments to build a solar project on lora jo foo’s house. The project was installed by a partner organization.

3. After installation, lora jo foo begins to pay the cooperative for electricity. We project that she will save up to 15-20% on her utility bills.

4. Owners recoup the shared financial benefits of the project in the form of annual dividends on their shares. They are also Owners in the cooperative, helping to steer it toward hundreds of future projects!


Pilot Cohort

We developed our model with a group of five community leaders. The group gathered around food in a fun, social atmosphere while working to advise us, find a pilot project site, and grow interest in the community.



Franki Velez

Franki Velez is a coopertist organizer with People of Color Sustainable Housing Network and Alliance for California Community Empowerment, specializing in creating sustainable, community-led housing solutions for poor people and people of color.

Yavette Holts

YaVette Holts is the founder of Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses (BAOBOB) and Cowery Village that works to encourage and support resilient economics for the community.

Vivian Huang

Vivian Yi Huang is the Campaign and Organizing Director for Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), organizing alongside immigrant and refugee community members to develop collective power and leadership for social justice.

Angela Scott

Angela Scott is the East Oakland Community Organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, organizing in and with low-income communities of color around poor air quality and land use in the East Oakland flatlands to achieve environmental justice.

Jessica Tovar

Jessica Guadalupe Tovar is an organizer with the Local Clean Energy Alliance demanding clean energy solutions for low income and people of color. After battling dirty corporations, it’s time for a just transition to local clean energy for jobs, community control and climate justice for communities often shut out of the energy sector.


Future Sites

We are currently working with other local partners to plan our second and third solar projects. To stay tuned for more updates, or if you know of other great community-oriented sites, contact us or sign up for emails!