70% chance of sun, 100% chance of solar growth

On average, there are 251 sunny days per year in Sarasota, which is approximately 70% of the year. As of Earth Day 2019, we should have had roughly 79 wonderful days of sunshine. There’s a reason we’re known as the Sunshine State!

Now, we’re continuing to harness the power of the sun to generate our own power, lower our bills, and make our energy system stronger statewide. In January 2017, local co-sponsors including the Florida House and the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County partnered with a fledgling statewide program called Solar United Neighbors of Florida—FL SUN for short—to launch a solar co-op in Sarasota. The co-op offers homeowners bulk purchasing power to get discounted pricing and quality installation on solar energy systems, as well as expert guidance each step of the way. Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation provided start-up funding for the new co-op. The foundations' investment also provided the leverage for FL SUN to take its vision and model statewide.

Since then, Sarasota’s co-op has remained one of the most successful in the state, and the number of co-ops continues to grow. At this time last year, there was a network of 35 co-ops across Florida. Today, the network has 45 co-ops from Pensacola to Key West, accounting for nearly $27 million invested in solar by homeowners!

“We couldn't be happier with the success of Solar United Neighbors co-ops," said Gulf Coast President | CEO Mark Pritchett. "We are seeing solar installed neighborhood by neighborhood, by contractors of their own choosing. The return on our grant has far exceeded our expectations.”

To learn more about going solar in Sarasota County, go here.


MORE NEWS

Foundation Funds “Engineering Innovators” Stipends for Summer Internships

Published: An impressive 41 University of Florida engineering students recently completed intensive summer internships at a diverse group of Sarasota and Manatee County employers. To help ensure successful, high-impact work experiences in the region, nearly half of the interns received $3,000 stipends funded by Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Gulf Coast Philanthropy Team Grows Stronger by Two

Published: Gulf Coast Community Foundation has added two philanthropic advisors to its Philanthropy team, further strengthening the foundation’s ability to meet its mission of transforming the Gulf Coast region through bold and proactive philanthropy.

Venice Urban Forest: Good for the environment, good for the soul

Published: Gulf Coast Community Foundation has provided $200,000 in matching grants to Venice Area Beautification, Inc., to support its Urban Forest initiative. In the last six months, more than 400 trees have been planted, in addition to dozens of different species of native plants. Beyond increased wildlife traffic already seen in this greenbelt, the Urban Forest provides another crucial function: It will serve as an environmental buffer separating industrial areas from the Intracoastal Waterway, helping to protect Southwest Florida’s most prized resource.