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SolarCity's Collective Power Program Taps Communities Into the Sun

SolarCity, a community-wide installer of solar systems, has successfully completed two additional cooperative solar power programs to enable and accelerate the migration to renewable energy sources.

In the communities of Mountain View and Woodside, California, residents together subscribed to 557kW of renewable, neighborhood-produced energy during the six-week program, which completed on April 30. SolarCity will complete installation on all the homes this summer.

The Collective Power Program is an innovative solar purchasing program that encourages community residents to join purchases together in order to receive special pricing incentives on solar installations.

In Mountain View, community solar advocate Bruce Karney helped rally 118 homeowners to together install systems producing 355 kW of power. "There were only 85 residential solar PV installations in Mountain View before the start of this program," Karney said. "The power of collective pricing made a strong argument for going solar, more than doubling the number of solarized homes in the city."

Mountain View's mayor, Laura Macias, also came out in support of the successful community initiative. "Mountain View residents made a powerful environmental and economic statement by adopting clean, renewable energy," she said. "The city can take pride in this step to answer its own power needs."

In the town of Woodside, SolarCity subscribed 202kW of solar power, averaging 7kW of power generation per household. With the help of community advocate and town resident Sally Hartman, the company helped usher in solar programs both by hosting the Collective Power Program and by working with Woodside officials to revise their solar permitting process. In response to an expected increase in the number of such permits and to address concerns with installation standards, the city collaborated with SolarCity and CSG Consultants, a third party engineering and inspection company, to create new town standards that ease permit demands, reduce consumer cost and speed installations.

"These successful programs in Mountain View and Woodside demonstrate just how much can be accomplished when communities take a stake in their energy future," said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's CEO. "Their collective efforts allow us to not only provide industry-leading pricing, but also help encourage the changes necessary to boost solar adoption in the community," he said. "The result is lower energy bills and clean energy from the sun. It's a win-win for everyone."

The Collective Power Program has already become a proven model for increasing residential and commercial solar power, attracting a total of 934kW worth of solar installations to date. A previous program in Portola Valley, CA drew 77 households to subscribe 377 kilowatts-worth of renewable power, eliminating 11 million pounds of carbon emissions.

SolarCity is currently working on additional Collective Power Programs with communities in San Jose, Castro Valley, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Berkeley, San Carlos, and Santa Monica. The company will continue to bring innovative programs like the Community Power Program to other communities throughout the state, as it expands to new markets in the Los Angeles and Fresno areas.

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