Community BenefitsAs of March 2015, CPN has installed slightly over 1 megawatt of commercial rooftop solar projects in Northumberland County at a cost of $3,867,264. Our motivations for pursuing community power are to:
- Build stronger communities. Building renewable energy projects that are owned by communities ensures that both financial and environmental rewards are reaped within the community themselves;
- Reduce social friction around new energy development. Community power projects encourages a new perspective on energy infrastructure and it makes us excited about sustainability issues;
- Create additional local jobs. Renewable energy projects create growth opportunities for local service providers and construction companies as well as providing new jobs in a growing clean industry sector.
- Foster environmental awareness and action. When individuals participate in community owned projects, their understanding of environmental challenges like climate change and smog increases dramatically, as does their awareness of the importance to reduce individual energy use;
- Create healthier local environments. Community owned renewable energy projects reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment.
- Provide electricity system benefits. Most community power projects connect to the distribution system locally, thus reducing efficiency losses from long-distance transmission and mitigating against massive blackouts.
To date the economic benefits of community power are already measureable. The co-op has installed new rooftops on municipal and private building, improved building infrastructure, hired local trade contractors, leased municipal and private rooftops, retained local web, marketing and printing services and rented local office space.