Jul 172011
 
Concentrating photovoltaics in Catalonia, Spain.

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Solar@Work Offers Buildings Discounts For Going Green Together

Group buying is moving into the commercial clean energy space thanks to Solar@Work, a program designed by San Francisco’s Department of the Environment to make solar panels more affordable for business owners. Businesses have three options for acquiring solar panels through the program: Purchasing, leasing, and securing a loan. A federal grant covering 30% of installation costs is also on offer.

Solar@Work hopes to sign on at least 20 building owners in the San Francisco area by the end of the year, which could translate to as much as 2 megawatts of solar power.

While the program is innovative in simplifying solar for commercial buildings, it is not the first to harness group buying power for solar. 1Bog has a similar model for home-based solar installations, and SolarMosaic provides a crowdfunding platform for bringing solar to community buildings such as schools and churches.

The group buying model could discount the panels by 10-15% and reduce the cost of administrative fees by as much as 75%.

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