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Local energy co-op wins national award


September 21, 2016

HONESDALE, PA — At an awards ceremony in Las Vegas, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) recently announced that Northeast Pennsylvania-based Clean Energy Co-op was the winner of the 2016 Community Renewables Project of the Year award.

The Clean Energy Cooperative, Inc., a community-owned clean energy co-op, was founded in 2014. When it heard that the co-op was seeking a non-profit to become its first solar project, Honesdale’s historic Cooperage stepped forward. Originally built in 1861 by a local cooper, the Cooperage has withstood several incarnations since it was home to wooden barrel making.

Today, the building is home to The Cooperage Project—which provides a wide variety of community programming at the center, from a farmers’ market to lectures, musical performances and dances—and as of December also home to a 27-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system, designed to provide 100% of the building’s annual electricity usage. The co-op received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy for America program to fund 25% of the project. Co-op members provided the rest. A family-owned business, Buselli Solutions in nearby Beach Lake, designed and installed the system.

The Cooperage will also be one of the Upper Delaware River Valley sustainable buildings on the upcoming Green Living Bus Tour, hosted by a local non-profit, Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support (SEEDS), on Sunday, October 2 (visit seedsgroup.net/get-on-the-bus). For more information visit www.CleanEnergy.Coop.