Setting up a Cooperative offers the school the opportunity to utilize its own roof to generate clean energy free of costs, free of subsidy, free of any other concern. A group of people and companies provide the money and will be repaid from the earnings of the system. Optionally a part of the roof could generate energy for a development project.
How the Cooperative works
Neighboors of the school and parents borrow an amount to the Cooperative. The Cooperative invests this amount in solar panels on the school. After that, the Cooperative delegates the ownership to the school. So the school purchases the system on installment payments.
The solar panels save on the energy bills every year. This amount will be the annual repayment to the Cooperative, who pays off to the members.
To make the school owner of the solar system creates some advantages. The risks are spread over the parties, the overheads are lower and the continuity is granted.
The school puchases the system from the Cooperative in a variable pay-off schedule. Savings on the energy bill will be determined annually and paid by the school to the Cooperative. On its turn, the Cooperative distributes the revenues to the participants in the project and makes a small reservation for periodic maintenance, each year. The revenues are distributed in proportion to the amount invested.
Because the school itself is owner of the system, it generates its own energy. It would have been different if the Cooperative still was the owner. Then the Cooperative would be the energy provider. For this the Cooperative should have to gain building rights and make an agreement with the current energy supplier of the school. These extra costs and obstacles are prevented.
Fair division of risks
The risks are divided in a logically way.
- The school itself plans roof mainenance and the use of the building. Therefore it bears the costs if the installation has to be (temporarily) reset.
- The Cooperative is responsible for selecting the contractor. It is responsible for the technical operation of the system.
- The municipality insures the system against fire and liability.
After the school has paid off the solar system in 23 years, it will enjoy from the the system benefits for the remaining years, before the materials need to be replaced or removed.
Build your own Cooperative
PicoSol was involved in establishing the Cooperative Zon@School at Amersfoort. Zon@School put much time and effort in setting up adequate bylaws and regulations. The Cooperative focuses on facilitating schools that are aware of their good example to children, parents and neighboors. In line with this goal the Cooperative makes its juridical knowledge and materials available to other organizations. You can download this materials from the website of cooperative Zon@School
- The statutes of the Cooperative.
- The Regulations.
- The model contract between municipality, school and Cooperative.
- A factsheet, to recruit participants.