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Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Solar power advocate takes to Edmonds roof to promote cooperative

  • Carlo Voli occupies the rooftop above the Fabric of Life boutique in Edmonds earlier this month to promote clean, community-based solar power.

    Jeff Faddis / Special to The Herald

    Carlo Voli occupies the rooftop above the Fabric of Life boutique in Edmonds earlier this month to promote clean, community-based solar power.

EDMONDS -- Inspired by Occupy Wall Street activists, Carlo Voli took to a downtown Edmonds roof earlier this month to draw attention to the progress the city's solar cooperative has made in the past year and what ground still needs to be covered.
Voli, an Edmonds resident and a member of the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative, occupied the roof of the Fabric of Life boutique, 523 Main St., from Dec. 9 to Dec. 11.
"Cooperative solar energy initiatives bring communities together," Voli said. "They also stimulate the local economy since the solar panels are manufactured in Washington state."
Voli stayed in a tent and with the help of a solar-powered oven enjoyed a couple of hot meals.
The Edmonds cooperative formed late last year and has a 4.2-kilowatt solar panel project in place atop the Frances Anderson Center. They plan to install a 60-kilowatt system in the summer of 2012.
The co-op is looking to raise $30,000 from investors before federal money is expected to disappear Dec. 31. So far, the group has raised $12,000.
Each investor buys a SunSlice, a share of the co-op solar system, for $1,000. The shares are available through Tangerine Power, a Seattle-based firm that connects manufacturers, engineers and citizen groups to make solar systems a reality. Any resident of Washington state can invest in SunSlice and up to 10 slices can be owned by an investor.
Edmonds' system is the first citizen-owned community solar project in the state. The co-op has 37 members. Project leaders expect the system to provide energy for the community center.
The rooftop idea was spurred by Carol Schillios, who operates the fair-trade Fabric of Life Boutique. In 2009, she took to the roof for more than three months to create awareness of global poverty.
"It's time to occupy all the rooftops in our state with locally manufactured solar panels to create clean, renewable energy and jobs," Schillios said.
Learn more
To find out more about the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative, go to www. tangerinepower.com/edmonds.
Story tags » EdmondsAlternative Energy

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