Outreach Coordinator Erik Hoffner is a volunteer board member of Coop Power, a renewable energy cooperative with 375 members around the Northeastern US, and this week, the coop broke ground on its newest business, Northeast Biodiesel. This multimillion dollar project is majority-owned by the coop and its members, so that the benefits and profits stay local. Note the smiles and thumbs in the air saying we own it!
The plant will make 3.5 million gallons of liquid fuel a year from recycled oil, for use in buses, tractors, cars, and more. Such biodiesel is 86% better for the planet and climate than diesel made from petroleum, and also does not use fresh soybeans, which are not climate friendly and anyhow ought to be feeding people.
It took countless hours over the past 5 years to help make this a reality, so everyone is very happy indeed. Along with two other businesses that Coop Power launched this year, 34 new green jobs will have been created by the coop this year in Western Massachusetts, with more to come in neighboring states in the coming years. But what’s perhaps more exciting is that its successful blueprint for making change through the power of cooperative business is now being adopted by groups across the US.