On August 14 the CVUUS Board voted to invest in Acorn Energy Coop’s AES2 community solar project, whose 612 photovoltaic panels will feed 150 kilowatts peak power into the electric grid. CVUUS is eligible to invest in this project through our membership in the Interfaith Climate Action Network (ICAN). Each investor will receive credits against their electric bills for energy produced by their share of AES2’s solar panels. Our investment is limited to $10,000, which buys us 17 panels, with peak capacity of nearly 6 kilowatts.
Here’s why investment in AES2 is good for CVUUS:
- It furthers our commitment to the UUA’s seventh principle (respect for the interdependent web of existence). Reducing dependence on environmentally damaging energy sources puts our energy money where our principled mouth is. Although Green Mountain Power has one of the “greenest” energy mixes, it still includes about 24% fossil-fueled electricity.
- It furthers our commitment to the UUA’s second principle (justice, equity, and compassion). We will contribute an additional 10% “mission fee” to help ICAN purchase solar panels for a low-income advocacy organization.
- It makes economic sense: Acorn expects an annual return of 9.36%, paid as electric-bill credits. That translates to about $1000 per year, or some 25% of our annual electricity cost. That 9.36% is a lot more than we earn with money in banks or most other investment vehicles.
If all goes as planned, AES2 should start producing power this fall.