How to Get Involved: Overview for Community-Based Organizations

For community-based organizations (CBOs) like nonprofits and churches, community solar provides a new way to support community members in accessing solar energy. If you represent a CBO, there are multiple ways you can get involved:

1. Manage a Community Solar Project.

The most far-reaching way you can participate is by becoming a project manager. Project managers are responsible for developing and maintaining solar projects, conducting outreach to potential customers, signing contracts with participants and their utility, and various other duties required by the program. The project manager does not need to implement every part of the project—for example, they can work with a construction partner that develops and owns the solar installation—but they are responsible for coordination of all tasks.

Being a project manager requires a significant amount of resource and time commitment (utility contracts last twenty years), but it gives you the greatest degree of control in shaping a  community solar project.

2. Support an Existing Project as a Partner.

If you would prefer not to enroll as a project manager, you can still support the program by partnering with another entity. For example, you could assist a project manager by taking on customer outreach and engagement without being responsible for customer contracts or solar development. And if you have access to a viable site for a solar installation, you could offer to host a project on that site. By taking on a more limited partnership role, you’re able to limit your involvement to the areas that suit your organization best. With the value you provide a community solar project, you can also help shape it to better serve your community.

If you’re interested in identifying potential project managers to partner with, review the roster of registered project managers using our Project Finder. Project managers also have access to a list of CBOs interested in partnerships. If you would like to be added to this list, contact the program administration team at [email protected].

3. Connect Your Community.

If there isn’t a specific project you would like to partner with, you can promote the Oregon Community Solar Program in general and serve as an educational resource to your community. By providing outreach through your usual channels and sharing the program website, you can help your community research the program, compare projects, and select the one that is right for them.

In addition to referring community members to the program, you can also coordinate with the administrative team, low-income facilitator, or individual project managers to host a workshop about the program.

By getting involved with community solar, you can help shape a project to better serve your community and contribute to a statewide movement toward sustainability energy.

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