Charts showing cumulative production

The NW Philly Solar Co-op organized 2 buying groups. All are installed and fully operational. Marion likes to periodically check on each project and chart the data for the 27 households.

Chart 1 shows the step up in installed capacity from April 2017 thru May 2019 — when we managed these projects.

Chart 2 shows the combined electricity generated over the years.

Chart 3 stacks up the generation over the years.  Kinda cool!

On average, these households generate about 440 kWhs per day, and will continue to do so over the next 20 years. Our personal investments generate clean energy not only for our homes, but also add clean energy to the grid when we’re at work.

We have a 2nd group buying rooftop solar

Congratulations to the 14 households joining the clean energy revolution by electing the Northwest Philly Solar Co-op and Solar States for their rooftop solar installations. Soon, they’ll be making their own electricity!

Together, these systems total over 64 kW and should generate 75,935 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year. Based on the EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, this should offset 124,588 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. That’s 56.5 metric tons! This is also equivalent to taking 12.1 passenger cars off the road, or the amount of CO2 sequestered by 66.6 acres of US forests. Hard to believe, right?

How soon might each household be making their own electricity? Though an installation may take only 2-3 days, the whole process from signing a contract to PECO “flicking” the switch could take 4 to 5 months. Because, in between, the installer (Solar States) applies and waits for approval from the utility (PECO) and the municipality (City of Philadelphia) before scheduling their own team for the install.  Once installed, both utility & municipality inspect the installer’s work and grant them permission to operate. So, expect an early summer switchover.

Our team at the Northwest Philly Solar Co-op will be tracking each install with weekly calls to the installer and updating the progress chart shown below.

Y – axis lists stages of installation. X – axis is count of households. Green = completed stage, Red = incomplete stage. This is a group process, not a competition. And we’ll be pushing to get each of your installations completed.

We want to hear from you, especially if you have any questions or surprises along the way. Please write or call Marion Biddle (215.740.1080) or Meenal Raval (267.709.3415). And thank you for joining the rooftop revolution!

Our 2nd buying group – now closed

Live in the Northwest? Have a sunny roof? Wondering how to harvest that roof to generate your own electricity?

We invite you to consider joining our second buying group. It’s in full swing now, with Solar States as our selected installer. We have secured excellent group pricing, with price breaks at 5, 10 and 15 households.

Having educated over 40 households about their options with rooftop solar in just the last couple of months, we’re confident we can answer yours as well!

Call Meenal at 267.709.3415 or write or look for us at these upcoming events in the neighborhood…

  • Friday November 3rd @ 5pm at the Weavers Way Fall General Membership meeting
  • Monday November 6th @ 7pm at our informational gatherings next door to Weavers Way Mt Airy, 555 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia
  • Monday November 20th @ 7pm, also at 555 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia

Know that you have until December 15th to join this buying group. So help yourself, and help a neighbor, by buying rooftop solar as a group! Get started now…

[contact-form-7 id=”662″ title=”sign-up-form”]

In case you missed our kickoff party last week…

In case you couldn’t make it to our kickoff party last week…here’s what you missed!

Several members of our Board were present, notably Arthur Waskow, Barb Bloomfield,  Chris Hill, Meenal Raval & Peter Winslow, plus Cheryl Pyrch, Pastor of Summit Presbyterian Church and Chair of Philadelphia chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.

Barbara opened up the P’Nai Or space inside Summit Church with a nice spread of snacks. We were honored to have Arthur’s presence for the opening as well as the closing, and for bringing us all together.

Our guest speaker was Anya Schoolman of Community Power Network (CPN) in DC. Anya’s passion was infectious, as she shared how her organization was formed, initially as Mt Pleasant Co-op, then DC-SUN (Solar United Neighborhoods).

We spoke of our recent decisions…

  • to bring together people in Northwest Philadelphia to buy into rooftop solar;
  • to work on clean energy advocacy at the City & State level;
  • to help folks who can’t install solar on their roofs to still participate; perhaps initially with a local lending club to assist others to solarize and later, with community solar where they could invest in solar on someone else’s rooftop (or parking lot) and still get credited on their electric bill.
  • to working with CPN, which is a non-profit supporting multiple communities engaged in adding solar to their homes. That perhaps over next next few months, we could morph into a Philly-SUN.
  • to working with Exact Solar on the first round of installations while we learned about the industry, coordinating a weekly check-in, and a pledge towards collaborative problem solving.

We also spoke of our need to build teams for

  • Outreach – to speak at community events and recruit more people
  • Roof Assessment – to see if roof of an interested participant could indeed be viable for solar
  • Bid Selection – for a later stage
  • Loan Committee / Legal – for our neighborhood lending program, because we want no rooftop left behind, especially for lack of funding.

And  of the history of local solarization projects…

  • Solarize Northwest – Organized by Clean Air Council and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadephia in January of 2015, in partnership with solar contractors Exact Solar and Solar States, this resulted in about 15 homes in the Northwest getting solarized. One resident who participated in this and has rooftop solar on her home, was present tonight.
  • Solarize Greater Media – Organized by Transition Town Media and Solar States this Spring of 2016, about 50 households signed up. More about this effort is found here. Sari Steuber, the President of Transition Town Media was present to share their experiences. Of note is that about 30% of the households were denied inter-connection by PECO because of antiquated lines. PECO needs to prepare for more and more people demanding clean energy.
  • and lastly, Solarize Center City has their kickoff event coming up on Wednesday Oct 5, 2016. It’s organized by Center City Residents Association and Solar States. Read about it here, and if you’re a Center City resident reading this, please plan on attending by registering here.

Also present were…

  • Ron Celentano of Celentano Energy Services and Pennsylvania Division of MSEIA (Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association. Ron suggested we support a campaign; that of Vera Cole for State Rep in Bucks County, who has worked tirelessly at the MAREA, the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association.
  • Robert Monk of Solar States
  • Eileen Flanagan and Duncan Wright of Earth Quaker Action Team, who spoke of their campaign to push PECO to power local green jobs, notably to build up PV installations within Philadelphia.
  • Rita Varley, a resident of Far Northeast Philadelphia was present. Rita mentioned comparing her electric bill with her neighbors this past very hot summer (hers was $50, theirs was about $250), and now has their interest in how she acheived this. We’ve been asked to perhaps speak on energy conservation, insulation & draft sealing, with their civic association.
  • and about 13 neighbors considering solar! We tried to field the questions bubbling up, and agreed to meet again, as a smaller group to work on roof assessment.

Meenal will be learning about roof assessment from Exact Solar this week, and plans to share her learnings with interested neighbors the following week.

Kickoff Party for Solar Co-op

38717fb4-3423-4c83-9cea-dc37268babb3Next week, we’re having a kickoff party for our budding co-op, the Northwest Philly Solar Co-op. All are invited.

  • When? Thurday September 29 2016, 7 – 9pm
  • Where? Summit Presbyterian Church, Greene & Westview Streets, Philadelphia PA 19119.
  • RSVP or questions, contact Barb at

Our guest speaker will be Anya Schoolman. In 2007, Anya looked into solarizing her house, and then her street, which led to the founding of DC SUN and the solarizing of hundreds of homes in Washington, DC.

Our other speaker, Meenal Raval, Treasurer of NPSC, will also speak, explaining next steps in gathering memberships and working with solar-collector installation companies to begin solarizing homes and other buildings in NW Philly.

Below is a video of Anya speaking to a prospective group of bulk buyers in Maryland. The video is about an hour long, and covers all of the basics.

Of course, Pennsylvania has different rules, and we will have to develop our own way of doing things, but how exciting it will be to meet the one of the creators of a powerful force for community and environment in our country.

Become the future that we want to see: a world empowered by renewable energy!