Energy Democracy and Equity in the 51st State

On a Tuesday evening in the spring of 2018 in Washington, DC, an energized group of District residents gathered to select the installer for the first solar co-op to be established with a grant award by Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).  For some, this … Continued

DHA’s Community Solar Project Keeps Housing Affordable

An affordable place to live is not something April Valdez takes for granted. A mother of four young children who also cares for an elderly mother and grandmother, her budget is always stretched to the limit. That’s one of the reasons she’s so excited about Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) new community solar array. In 2017, … Continued

Solar Savings Reach Renters with LIWP Program

In Richmond, California, a city committed to providing economic opportunity and clean air for its residents, 98 families living in the Triangle Court affordable housing development have seen massive electricity bill reductions, thanks to the solar on their rooftops. Nonprofit GRID Alternatives partnered with the Richmond Housing Authority to install the solar, with project funding … Continued

Brownfield to Greenfield

Contaminated former industrial sites and landfills, often referred to as brownfields, can pose a challenge for many communities, but for renewable energy development, they might just be an opportunity. In December, 2016 workers put the finishing touches on a community solar array atop a former landfill in San Miguel County that will significantly lower the … Continued

Inspiring Integration

In 2017, an exciting “first” happened on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota: the integration of community solar with an energy assistance program. In partnership with the Leech Lake community, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance’s “Community Solar for Community Action” (C4CA) program demonstrated a model for improving the lives of underserved … Continued

Protected Place in the Sun

In Southern California, where solar installation is a thriving economic engine, the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians took advantage of a state low-income solar program to build a tribally owned solar company that will create opportunity for tribal members for years to come. In 2014, two individual Mesa Grande members had rooftop solar installed … Continued

Desert Sunshine

Pearl Verre is a retired senior living on a fixed income in Palm Desert, California, a region that regularly experiences summer temperatures in the 100s. Paying energy bills in the summertime was once a huge burden, but after she got solar installed on her home, her monthly electricity bills dropped to pennies. Mrs. Verre’s was … Continued

Solar Empowerment

In the town of Gardner, Massachusetts, a community solar array on the site of a long-abandoned furniture manufacturing plant is now producing both electricity and energy cost savings for GAAMHA, a nonprofit organization supporting those with disabilities and substance use disorders. Budgets are tight for this primarily state-funded organization, which provides a combination of housing … Continued

Community Powered Solar

In the heart of a largely African American community in North Minneapolis, Shiloh Temple International Ministries is getting ready to turn community power into solar power. Construction will begin in May 2016 on the Shiloh Temple Community Solar Garden project, part of the Just Community Solar Coalition that includes Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Sierra … Continued

“Solar chose me”

Job opportunities on the Bishop Paiute Reservation are slim – aside from a small casino, there isn’t much industry in this tourist pass-through town on the eastern side of California’s southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Joseph Lent, like many tribal members, held odd jobs in the construction trade but struggled to find steady work. Then in … Continued