Community Solar on State
Penn State University and local community groups wanted to align stakeholders around the purpose, outcomes and process for developing and installing community-led solar farming in State College, PA, called Community Solar on State (CSOS). 7group facilitated a series of four community-sourced workshops through Penn State’s Sustainability Institute’s Reinvention Fund that deeply valued the role of all stakeholders in a collaborative co-creative process, where community members clarified and aligned around the Purpose of the project at the first workshop, as follows:
To develop a community-created solar photovoltaic array, In a way that evolves transparently, enhances living systems, and values the voices of the community (both individual and collective), so that future local energy projects embed energy resilience as a cultural value that enhances the quality of life in our region and empowers imaginations in this community indefinitely.
The remaining workshops empowered community members to take action by developing leaders and vocal advocates who knew why they were involved and were excited about their role. This multi-stakeholder community engagement enabled solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the area by reducing soft costs of PV installation associated with permitting, zoning and interconnection. The emerging outcomes of the CSOS effort also demonstrated a strong collective will to grow solar capacity within the community, as community leaders continue to seek education and generate local community advocacy surrounding solar energy in the local schools, in the surrounding area’s municipalities, and on the University campus.
Click here for more information.