Community Energy Inc.

Contributors

Contributed date

June 9, 2020 - 4:10pm

Critical Commentary

An organization somewhat similar to the Energy Co-op, Community Energy Inc. was a forerunner in the community energy sphere, providing solar, wind, and energy-storage projects that can be utilized both on-grid and off for organizations or communities. Having been around for 20 years, their main reason for CRE development isn't directly for community empowerment, but for climate-change reasons; they're more geared towards providing green electricity through the energy transition, rather than attempting to break/subvert traditional power structures. That being said, they still do - as does any off-grid power supply - but it's a two-pronged lens which reinforces the overall benefit of CRE development for different purposes. Interestingly enough, they actually spearheaded a CRE project (Keystone Solar - take a look here: https://www.communityenergyinc.com/projects/keystone-solar) which is located in Lancaster, PA, of which Drexel University receives their energy (likely in part) from. That project generates about ~950 households worth of energy p/year, and was (if not, is) the largest CRE initiative in Pennsylvania at the time. The main drawback from Community Energy is in their model - they still play an active, participatory role in management of energy systems once it's done. They allow local residents to provide input on proposed plans and potentially affect those plans, but as for a formal legislative body of which consumers are a part of, they lack that input. The community members in this situation are still consumers, though not producers - they have a degree of say in what goes on, but at the end of the day, it's not strictly within their hands. They do offer outreach activities, however, to better educate people in impacted communities on the virtues of renewable energy initiatives. So, while their business model doesn't intentionally subvert power structures & community members don't have a measurable say in what goes on in communities, they still provide a different look into ways which CRE technology is being implemented and effecting universities of which we are a part of.

Group Audience

  • - Private group -

Cite as

Community Energy Inc, "Community Energy Inc.", contributed by Cam LaPorte, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 9 June 2020, accessed 1 March 2024. https://energyrights.info/content/community-energy-inc