The right place to take energy into your own hands
What is ZEZ Sun?
ZEZ Sun is an energy cooperative, a democratic organization founded as an open platform owned by citizens that enables investment in solar projects.
We develop solar power plants financed by our members, which in addition to generating profit also creates benefits for our local communities.
ZEZ Sun was founded in March of 2023 by Green energy cooperative (ZEZ) together with about 40 co-founders.
In addition to benefits for members, ZEZ Sun is guided by cooperative values: autonomy, responsibility, democracy, equality, fairness and solidarity. In practice, this means that ZEZ Sun will return part of the profit to the community by supporting socially beneficial projects.
What do we want to achieve?
The business model of ZEZ Sun is based on implementing solar power plants, and the produced energy is sold on the market or used on site (self-consumption).
Our first-year goal is to make a portfolio of power plants with a total power of 200 kW. We are very ambitious, but also cautious and conservative in order to confirm the model through the first projects and establish strong foundations for the development of new projects. By 2026, we want to implement 2,000 kW of solar energy financed and owned by our members.
How will we achieve this?
The funds needed for the implementation of projects are collected through membership roles. Funds are collected periodically and as needed, after the cooperative concludes a contract on the construction of a solar power plant.
For the sale of energy on the market, energy purchase agreements are concluded with registered electricity trading companies, and the agreed price depends on the market prices on the electricity exchange.
Self-consumption is a model in which the produced energy is used on-site. The end user achieves savings on electricity bills, from which ZEZ Sun pays a fee depending on the energy produced.
In the long term, ZEZ Sun will aim to produce solar energy for the needs of its members, once the legal framework for energy sharing is established.
What are we currently working on?
The founding board of ZEZ Sun was held on January 25, 2023. We are currently going through the challenging administrative process of registering a European cooperative, but we are successfully solving all challenges so far, one by one.
At the same time, we are actively working on the development of our first projects! The goal for 2023 is to realize the first solar projects with a total power of 200 kW, which requires an investment of around 200,000 euros.
The investment will be financed from membership contributions, and the plan for 2023 is to welcome additional 50-100 members, with an expected average membership contribution of EUR 1,000.
The implementation of the first installations is expected in the second half of 2023 and during 2024.
There is a lot of interest in investing, and the best way to get an investment opportunity is to fill out the application form!
Is this a risky investment?
ZEZ Sun is a pioneering venture in Croatia, which means that we can expect obstacles, bottlenecks, contradictory interpretations and tedious bureaucracy. We are ready for that, it will not sway us, but it represents a risk compared to usual business practice.
In the first step, we want to prove the potential and feasibility of this concept of joint investment of citizens in solar projects.
As with any investment, there are risks involved. Although we will invest in very conservative projects, returns cannot be guaranteed and members may lose all or part of their stake.
About Green energy cooperative
Green energy cooperative (ZEZ) is an energy cooperative that, since 2013, has been building an ecosystem and gathering the community around community energy in Croatia. ZEZ operates on a non-profit basis and is governed democratically. At ZEZ, we are advocating for more solar energy in Croatia, namely that in the development of which citizens directly participate, and which is in the hands and ownership of citizens and local energy communities. In this way, citizens jointly share the benefits of locally produced solar energy.
Through the energy cooperative, ZEZ realized the first two Croatian examples of investment in solar energy projects. In 2018 and 2019 ZEZ built two solar power plants through the Križevci solar roofs projects, (2x 30 kW) – one on the Development Center and Technology Park Križevci building and another on the “Franjo Marković” City Library building in Križevci, in which 90 citizens invested a total of 50,000 euros. The annual return on these projects is 4%.
We mostly carry out our activities through a portfolio of European projects and other organizations and institutions. ZEZ is a partner in the international project LIFE LOOP, through which part of ZEZ Sun activities will be co-financed.