Monan's Rill Community

The Rill in Print
July 7, 2020, 7:45 pm
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A Rill Runs Through It: As featured in Made Local Magazine!

Above photos by Paige Green for Made Local Magazine.

We are very thankful to Sonoma County’s Made Local Magazine for featuring us in their July/August issue. The magazine’s editor, Jess Taylor, did a phenomenal job listening to us, walking the land with us, and capturing something of the complexity of living collectively in this challenging time. “I’m sitting in the garden area with some 10 community members,” she writes, “and I’m struck by the jovial, thoughtful way they bounce off each other’s ideas, gently clarifying or adding details.”

And Paige Green‘s gorgeous photographs make the piece glow!

We are likely to have two 2-bedroom homes for rent by the end of this year. So please explore our website and get in touch with us if you are curious about long-term community living here:
And we are on Instagram @monansrill

Our Solar Journey
June 30, 2020, 2:20 am
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Our Solar Journey –

We’ve Arrived!

In what feels like the mists of time, the early 2000s, Monan’s Rill began talking community solar. Not solar hot water (some of our houses have that), or single-family home roof solar (we have single family homes but they are all owned collectively), but honest-to-goodness community solar, that could power most or all of our electrical energy needs. 

Where to put it? How to pay for it? Who will maintain it? On-grid or off-grid? Some power or full power? Is maybe Sonoma Clean Power enough? 

We delegated a committee – the Water, Energy, and Technology (WET) Committee – to explore these questions. They gathered energy use data, considered placement, looked for a designer/installer who had experience with community solar (navigating the legal and technical requirements at both county government and utility levels), and talked to the rest of us about what they were learning. 

Along the way, we got sidelined or waylaid by multiple community issues, but we never lost our vision. The Tubbs Fire of 2017, which forced us to evacuate for over two weeks, was distraction on a new and perilous scale. But it also motivated us to address climate resiliency in most of what we do. In early 2019, the entire community approved the WET Committee plan to install a 38,000-watt, 110-module array in a clearing to the south of our community workshop. The array will provide approximately 80-85% of ALL of our electrical energy needs! 

It took until now to get it installed, mostly because we had to work our way through PG&E’s multiple divisions and departments and red tape and transformers to get to our very own PTO (“permission to operate”) moment. Now we are here! 

We are not off grid (maybe someday!), but aggregated net metering allows us to collect the sun’s energy at one site and use it in multiple places, including our HUB (community building) and our homes. It feels so good to turn the lights on now! (Though of course we try to only do so when necessary.)  

We are feeling so much gratitude for Jeff Clearwater and his team at Village Power Design, and for Joanie’s, Gabriel’s, and Chris’s patience and persistence over the past two decades, getting us to this point. And now it’s time to celebrate the sun! 

Joanie, Chris, and Gabriel giving us a socially-distanced solar album cover.
Solar power / girl power!

We’re on Instagram!
June 25, 2020, 4:12 am
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Monan’s Rill has taken one small step into the social media universe. We are now on Instagram! Find us @monansrill for fun and beautiful photos, that will give you a glimpse of who we are and how we live. But come back here for more thorough information, and for news!

We also will have two homes opening up for rent later in 2020. Pandemic has made timelines imprecise, but it will happen. So now is a good time to get in touch with us, if you are interested in long-term community living. Send us a note: