Oregon’s cooperative electric cooperative, Salem Cooperative Bank, has partnered with solar company SolarCity to create a solar-powered ATM.
Cooperatives have a long history of working together to generate revenue from solar installations, but the new partnership with SolarCity could be a boon to local businesses.
The Salem Cooperative Banks has been running a cash-flow generator to fund solar projects since 2012.
The ATM is being built to allow customers to withdraw cash from their account without the need to pay an ATM fee.
The Salem Cooperative Electric Cooperative Bank will use the ATM to buy and sell solar panels, and is partnering with Solar City to bring in solar power to the bank’s Salem substation in Salem, Oregon.
The ATM will allow Salem cooperative customers to pay with a debit card and will not require an ATM or a credit card to make purchases, according to a statement from Salem Cooperative.
The cooperative is also partnering with the National Solar Energy Alliance (NSEA) to partner with solar companies to install solar panels on the bank.
The NSEA has installed solar panels at more than 1,400 cooperative-owned locations, according the company.
The partnership with the bank is another sign of the cooperative movement becoming more mainstream, said Dan Moseley, executive director of the Oregon Cooperative Development Center.
Cooperative members have a history of creating and operating their own businesses.
In 2011, the Oregon Agricultural Cooperative Council created the Oregon Community Cooperative, a model that has been replicated in a number of states, and in 2015, the cooperative bank started a solar loan program.