What is Solarize the Kenai?
Cook Inletkeeper and KenaiChange, with the support of community volunteers, is working to make buying solar more assecessible on the Kenai Peninsula. Solarize the Kenai uses a cooperative buying model to make purchasing solar power cheaper and more convenient for home-owners, businesses, community centers, churches, and other building owners on the Kenai Peninsula. Community groups in the Lower 48 have successfully used the Solarize model since 2009. In Alaska, Solarize Anchorage is in its third year and Solarize Fairbanks in its first. These Solarize programs help to diversify Alaska's energy profile and empower property owners to play a role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Solarize the Kenai pools the buying power of peninsula communities by gathering as many people with an interest in home or small business solar as we can, then inviting local solar installers to bid for the job of serving them all in the coming season. For the installer, filling out their schedule with a known group of customers lowers their logistics and marketing costs, letting them offer services for less. And because the installers are competing against one another for the pool of customers, they’re incentivized to offer even more of a discount.
In summer 2020, Solarize the Kenai will be carrying out two campaigns using this model: one in the central peninsula, covering home and business owners in the Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling, Kasilof, and Clam Gulch zipcodes, and another in the lower peninsula for Ninilchik, Anchor Point, and Homer.