People Power Solar Cooperative is like a grid for the transmission and distribution of another kind of power: the combined, connected, and amplified potential of many people sharing resources, ideas, skills, connections, and labor in infinitely creative ways.
By ensuring that communities are leading the projects, the solutions we implement meet the needs of our communities based on our lived experiences, cultivating true energy democracy.
Here are some examples of how People Power Members come together to tangibly implement our shared vision of the decentralized, democratized, distributed and diversified energy systems:
PEOPLE POWER BATTERY COLLECTIVE
The People Power Battery Collective is a self-organized mutual-aid collective in the San Francisco Bay Area with the purpose of providing backup power to support people who are facing power emergencies. The Collective provides an efficient way to allow people and communities to manage and share energy resources with one another in times of need.
1) Members safekeep the batteries until there is a need for power in the community.
2) During a power emergency, the person in need of power is connected with the person with the battery and delivery is arranged.
3) After the emergency has passed, the person who received power will re-charge the battery so it’s ready to share with the next person experiencing a power emergency.
FREEDGE IN WEST OAKLAND
The Freedge Movement is a grassroots effort to build a stronger community and reduce food insecurity and food waste by deploying free-food refrigerators. People Power Members partnered with Freedge to make one of these fridges solar powered! Read more on NPR.
DIVIDENDS RETURN COMMONS MODEL
Through People Power, community members now own and operate 3 revenue-generating solar projects that will provide dividend returns over the life of the systems. Right now, changes to rooftop solar policies are being deliberated in a California Public Utilities Commission proceeding that will impact our ability to continue organizing these “Commons Model” projects. You can learn more about the power dynamic upholding the extraction of our wealth and health in this article or this 7 min video.
"Our family's (and our collective) future depends on completely rethinking how we produce, use, and importantly, govern energy. People Power restores power to the people, literally, both through decentralized production of solar and also through democratic governance of the cooperative. Plus, going solar with the coop will save us money, so even if we didn't care about anything else, it still makes sense!”
- Lilly, Naomi & Neil, who use electrical power from a 3.6 kW (10 panel) rooftop solar system
"We were researching solar companies when we learned about People Power from a neighbor. The opportunity to be part of this movement - to produce clean energy while building community wealth with like minded people, made this an easy choice.
- Amethyst & Lena, who use electrical power from a 5.18 kW (14 panel) rooftop solar system
OUR FIRST PROJECT
In March 2019, People Power Solar Cooperative installed our first project on the house of ‘No Coal in Oakland’ activist, lora jo foo, piloting a new model for community-owned energy in California. We believe it's the first cooperatively-owned residential project in California! 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. You can read more in our press release here.
"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 building a cooperative energy movement in California.”
- lora jo foo, who uses electrical power from a 7.04 kW (22 panels) rooftop solar system
HOW WE ADVANCE ENERGY DEMOCRACY
As a community, we know that energy democracy is about more than clean power… it’s about community powered people! Check out this Project Gallery presentation to hear directly from People Power Members how we are actively advancing the energy democracy movement: