A solar panel atop a home in Venice.

A solar panel atop a home in Venice.

A $30,000 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation will enable Solar United Neighbors (SUN)—a national organization dedicated to representing the needs of solar owners and supporters—to expand its mission in Sarasota County. SUN will use the $30,000 grant to launch two new residential solar co-ops, which help neighbors affordably install quality rooftop solar-energy systems at a group rate. The funding also will allow SUN to expand its youth education and community outreach programs, work with local governments to reduce barriers to going solar, and assist more businesses interested in converting to solar energy. 

Since 2016, when an earlier Gulf Coast grant helped SUN ramp up its operations in the Sunshine State, the organization’s network of neighborhood-based co-ops across Florida has grown from two to 56. That includes two completed co-ops in Sarasota County. SUN’s two newest Sarasota County co-ops will each have room for as many as 200 members; SUN hopes to begin a three-month sign-up period for the first co-op in September 2020.

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