Solar Energy2019-08-15T15:14:09-04:00

Solar Energy

Solar for the Eugene Science Center

www.everybodysolar.org

Everybody Solar, a 501(c)3, believes that giving the gift of solar energy can help alleviate some of the economic burdens borne by nonprofit organizations by significantly reducing electricity costs while simultaneously reducing their environmental impact. By harnessing the growing power of solar energy, Everybody Solar helps nonprofits cut electricity costs so they can focus on what they do best – provide essential services to their communities.

Through the Solar for the Eugene Science Center (ESC) project, over 36,000 visitors will learn about solar while exploring their new interactive solar exhibit and solar array. Formerly known as the Science Factory, and under new leadership, the ESC has great ambitions to upgrade their facilities and bring new exhibits and program spaces through a new initiative. At the center of this effort is the new hands-on solar exhibit, and also a state-of-the-art 32.5 kW photovoltaic system. The solar array will improve the ESC’s carbon footprint by producing an estimated 380,000 kWh of electricity, averting over 625,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere over the next 10 years. The electricity cost savings can then be diverted to their discounted access programs, educational exhibits, participatory activities, and planetarium shows.

The transformative experience at the Eugene Science Center inspires others to help make communities more sustainable. As Everybody Solar attests, everybody has a right to affordable energy and clean air.

Photo Credit: Eugene Science Center

Bringing Solar Power and Solar Job Training Home to Rosebud Sioux Nation

www.gridalternatives.org

Winters can be severe on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Todd County, SD, with icy winds and temperatures regularly in the teens.   These harsh conditions combined with aging, inefficient homes and heating systems drive up the cost of electric utility bills for the majority of Tribal members and the Tribe itself, exacerbating the economic struggles faced on a daily basis on the Reservation.

In its efforts to improve the standard of living for Tribal members, the Rosebud Tribal Utility Commission and the Housing Authority are looking at investing in renewable energy, and solar PV in particular, to bring down long-term electricity costs. The effort will save the community millions of dollars and help the Tribe realize its goal of gaining more control of its energy expenditures

With support from All Points North Foundation, the tribe is partnering with GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer to install solar electric systems for low-income tribal families, targeting the highest need first. In the process, GRID is providing “classroom on the roof” training to tribal members interested in hands-on skills building in solar PV and increasing their employment opportunities in the growing solar jobs market.

This “triple bottom line” model of “People. Planet. Employment” is part of GRID’s larger effort to bring solar PV to scale on tribal lands throughout the United States through innovative partnerships.  To date, communities in seven states have established solar PV as a sustainable economic development strategy for their tribes. And, GRID is confident that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe will set a precedent to becoming a scalable and sustainable model of solar for all of its homes.

Since its founding in 2001, GRID has stayed true to its simple vision not just for tribal lands but the nation’s underserved communities: free, clean electricity from the sun should be available to everyone.

Photo Credit: Grid Alternatives

Instituto Nueva Escuela To Install Solar Plus Storage System to Ensure School Has Reliable Electricity

www.inepr.com

Following the devastation from Hurricane Maria, the non-profit Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE) did what community leaders do without hesitation – it began to rebuild to meet the needs of the schools and communities it serves. With a grant from All Points North Foundation, INE is working to provide reliable electricity to San Juan’s School Victor Parés Collazo and its 100 students (including its special needs youth), and their families, the majority of whom live under the poverty level.

Regarded as the worst natural disaster on record to affect Dominica and Puerto Rico, the hurricane also triggered the largest blackout in history. Although electricity has since been slowly restored, the grid supplying energy to the INE network of schools remains vulnerable. To avert another potential natural disaster in the future, INE began boldly developing a solar energy initiative for providing a more resilient energy system.

The solar plus storage system is designed to run the school’s critical loads such as lighting and refrigeration for over two hours in islanding mode. If the grid goes down, the school will continue to receive electricity. During the day, the school can run loads with a 30kW solar PV system while still being able to sufficiently recharge the batteries. The design allows for expandable storage should the school see a need for more autonomy in the future. The provision also enables the school to serve as a community center for distributing aid and providing shelter during future natural disasters. On top of its resiliency factor, the solar system is estimated to produce over 41,000 kWh annually of clean electricity.

While the disaster has left an indelible imprint on the lives of many, more than a year later INE is intent on ensuring its schools are equipped with a more resilient grid.  The catastrophic event has not dampened INE’s spirit as it remains focused on its primary mission of quality education and “to achieve peace in Puerto Rico through an excellent school for all.”

Photo Credit: Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE)

The Leelanau Community Cultural Center to Install PV Solar System to Stem Energy Costs and Protect the Future of this Cultural Landmark

www.oldartbuilding.com

For over 96 years the Old Art Building has been both a touchstone and a welcome home sign for the residents of Leland, Michigan and for those who come back every year to enjoy a variety of over 600 programs focused on education, arts and culture. Today, the Old Art Building is known as one of the oldest, continuous art centers in the state, where young and old can come together and learn how to dance, paint, or see a world class concert.

Since becoming a nonprofit in 1992, the nonprofit Leelanau Community Cultural Center (LCCC) has been administering these cultural programs and working on maintaining the Old Art Building. In order to mitigate the rising costs of energy and find a cleaner way to protect the future of this landmark, the LCCC will install a solar PV system thanks to the support of All Points North Foundation. A real time monitoring display unit on the outside of the building will provide the public with information on energy consumption and savings, creating constant awareness about the benefits of solar energy. Local students will have the opportunity to be educated on PV energy, as the LCCC will coordinate on-site visits for both private and public area schools. In addition, LCCC will highlight the positives of solar energy through lectures and tours of the building, and by producing a flyer for the 16,000 visitors who come through the doors every year.  A special celebration will also be held to commission this new solar system during a dedication ceremony, where local dignitaries, politicians, members and the public will be invited to attend.

While the mission of the LCCC is primarily to promote cultural enrichment programs and events, and provide a gathering place for the community, the new PV solar system guarantees that the Old Art Building will continue to be a significant part of Leelanau history for years to come.

Photo Credit: Leelanau Community Cultural Center

Through Its Opportunity Build Solar Training Program, Rising Sun Provides Entry To Careers In the Solar Field

www.risingsunopp.org

For over 25 years, Rising Sun Center for Opportunity has been empowering individuals to create environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. Today, Rising Sun is a leading green training, employment, and residential efficiency organization in Northern California. Wanting to build upon their success preparing people for sustainable careers, and with increased solar employment demand, Rising Sun developed the Opportunity Build Solar training program.

Through a grant from All Points North Foundation, Rising Sun’s Solar training program will enable case management and job placement for 20 low-income individuals. This 12-month program will allow entry into solar field careers. The training will include experience installing solar photovoltaic systems on the homes of low-income residents in partnership with GRID Alternatives, but also will explore other potential job opportunities within the solar industry including design, sales, and permitting. Opportunity Build graduates receive certificates recognized by the solar industry.

All Opportunity Build Solar participants are low income and have experienced roadblocks to consistent employment. Through this program, Rising Sun offers these individuals a pathway out of poverty through a career that offers livable wages and good benefits, while building the clean energy future we need.

Rising Sun adheres to four key values which will all play a role in this project: 1) belief in human potential: when people realize their potential, they can make a difference in their communities, 2) belief that economic, environmental, and social opportunities should be accessible to everyone, 3) belief that resource conservation is a shared responsibility, 4) commitment to achieving tangible results through environmental and social impact.

Photo Credit: Rising Sun

Solar Energy International Partners with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center to Increase Native American Solar Trainers

www.solarenergy.org

For almost 30 years Solar Energy International (SEI) has been empowering and educating people about sustainable practices. During this time, many technologies have been developed but SEI’s mission has remained the same – to provide technical training and expertise in renewable energy, as SEI envisions a world powered by solar energy.

SEI has worked with Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCR) for over 20 years, and will partner with RCR on the “Train the Trainer” program to increase the numbers of Native American trainers, who will teach and manage Tribal community projects. The idea behind this project is for SEI to provide training, equipment, curriculum, and execute co-teaching/mentorship to RCR. RCR will then have an increased capacity to offer and implement week long, hands-on solar electric lab classes to Native Americans.

Currently there are 567 federally recognized Native American and Alaskan Native Tribes in the U.S. Many in these communities suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment. The Energy Information Administration estimates that 14 percent of households have no access to electricity, which is 10 times higher than the national average. Incidentally, the green job sector has grown in the past five years. The U.S. government has new data which shows that the solar installer will be the fastest-growing job in America over the next 10 years. Programs like ‘Train the Trainer’ provide opportunities to further increase these numbers, and allow employment, training and entrepreneurial start-ups to thrive and prosper while also increasing energy sovereignty for Tribal communities.

Photo Credit: SEI and Marie Kills Warrior

Spark Northwest’s New Solarize Model to Improve Affordability for Homeowners

www.sparknorthwest.org

Like many high-cost metro areas, high housing costs in the Seattle metro area have put home ownership out of reach for moderate income workers, and with it, the benefits of rooftop solar. Through a new partnership with All Points North Foundation, Spark Northwest will help low to moderate income homeowners in the Homestead Community Land Trust go solar with Solarize the Land Trust.

Spark Northwest, a nonprofit organization founded in 2001, works at the local level to speed the region’s transition to affordable, community-controlled clean energy through renewable energy programs and policy reform in Washington and Oregon. Spark Northwest’s Solarize program has to date educated almost 5,000 people and helped over 1,000 families and businesses go solar through a grassroots group purchase model.

Solarize the Land Trust is the first solar group purchase for a community land trust, which will provide affordable solar installations for Homestead’s income-qualified homeowners. A community land trust creates permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income residents. By combining a group purchase negotiation with low-interest financing and grants, Solarize the Land Trust will bring affordable solar to permanently affordable housing. Spark Northwest will work together with the Homestead to educate 200 people about adding solar to their homes, and to help six homeowners install solar with very little upfront cost. The project will be a model for other land trusts across the country to bring the benefits of solar to affordable homes, including reducing housing-related energy costs.

Photo Credit: Spark Northwest

Solar Energy

Solar for the Eugene Science Center

www.everybodysolar.org

Everybody Solar, a 501(c)3, believes that giving the gift of solar energy can help alleviate some of the economic burdens borne by nonprofit organizations by significantly reducing electricity costs while simultaneously reducing their environmental impact. By harnessing the growing power of solar energy, Everybody Solar helps nonprofits cut electricity costs so they can focus on what they do best – provide essential services to their communities.

Through the Solar for the Eugene Science Center (ESC) project, over 36,000 visitors will learn about solar while exploring their new interactive solar exhibit and solar array. Formerly known as the Science Factory, and under new leadership, the ESC has great ambitions to upgrade their facilities and bring new exhibits and program spaces through a new initiative. At the center of this effort is the new hands-on solar exhibit, and also a state-of-the-art 32.5 kW photovoltaic system. The solar array will improve the ESC’s carbon footprint by producing an estimated 380,000 kWh of electricity, averting over 625,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere over the next 10 years. The electricity cost savings can then be diverted to their discounted access programs, educational exhibits, participatory activities, and planetarium shows.

The transformative experience at the Eugene Science Center inspires others to help make communities more sustainable. As Everybody Solar attests, everybody has a right to affordable energy and clean air.

Photo Credit: Eugene Science Center

Bringing Solar Power and Solar Job Training Home to Rosebud Sioux Nation

www.gridalternatives.org

Winters can be severe on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Todd County, SD, with icy winds and temperatures regularly in the teens.   These harsh conditions combined with aging, inefficient homes and heating systems drive up the cost of electric utility bills for the majority of Tribal members and the Tribe itself, exacerbating the economic struggles faced on a daily basis on the Reservation.

In its efforts to improve the standard of living for Tribal members, the Rosebud Tribal Utility Commission and the Housing Authority are looking at investing in renewable energy, and solar PV in particular, to bring down long-term electricity costs. The effort will save the community millions of dollars and help the Tribe realize its goal of gaining more control of its energy expenditures

With support from All Points North Foundation, the tribe is partnering with GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer to install solar electric systems for low-income tribal families, targeting the highest need first. In the process, GRID is providing “classroom on the roof” training to tribal members interested in hands-on skills building in solar PV and increasing their employment opportunities in the growing solar jobs market.

This “triple bottom line” model of “People. Planet. Employment” is part of GRID’s larger effort to bring solar PV to scale on tribal lands throughout the United States through innovative partnerships.  To date, communities in seven states have established solar PV as a sustainable economic development strategy for their tribes. And, GRID is confident that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe will set a precedent to becoming a scalable and sustainable model of solar for all of its homes.

Since its founding in 2001, GRID has stayed true to its simple vision not just for tribal lands but the nation’s underserved communities: free, clean electricity from the sun should be available to everyone.

Photo Credit: Grid Alternatives

Instituto Nueva Escuela To Install Solar Plus Storage System to Ensure School Has Reliable Electricity

www.inepr.com

Following the devastation from Hurricane Maria, the non-profit Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE) did what community leaders do without hesitation – it began to rebuild to meet the needs of the schools and communities it serves. With a grant from All Points North Foundation, INE is working to provide reliable electricity to San Juan’s School Victor Parés Collazo and its 100 students (including its special needs youth), and their families, the majority of whom live under the poverty level.

Regarded as the worst natural disaster on record to affect Dominica and Puerto Rico, the hurricane also triggered the largest blackout in history. Although electricity has since been slowly restored, the grid supplying energy to the INE network of schools remains vulnerable. To avert another potential natural disaster in the future, INE began boldly developing a solar energy initiative for providing a more resilient energy system.

The solar plus storage system is designed to run the school’s critical loads such as lighting and refrigeration for over two hours in islanding mode. If the grid goes down, the school will continue to receive electricity. During the day, the school can run loads with a 30kW solar PV system while still being able to sufficiently recharge the batteries. The design allows for expandable storage should the school see a need for more autonomy in the future. The provision also enables the school to serve as a community center for distributing aid and providing shelter during future natural disasters. On top of its resiliency factor, the solar system is estimated to produce over 41,000 kWh annually of clean electricity.

While the disaster has left an indelible imprint on the lives of many, more than a year later INE is intent on ensuring its schools are equipped with a more resilient grid.  The catastrophic event has not dampened INE’s spirit as it remains focused on its primary mission of quality education and “to achieve peace in Puerto Rico through an excellent school for all.”

Photo Credit: Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE)

The Leelanau Community Cultural Center to Install PV Solar System to Stem Energy Costs and Protect the Future of this Cultural Landmark

www.oldartbuilding.com

For over 96 years the Old Art Building has been both a touchstone and a welcome home sign for the residents of Leland, Michigan and for those who come back every year to enjoy a variety of over 600 programs focused on education, arts and culture. Today, the Old Art Building is known as one of the oldest, continuous art centers in the state, where young and old can come together and learn how to dance, paint, or see a world class concert.

Since becoming a nonprofit in 1992, the nonprofit Leelanau Community Cultural Center (LCCC) has been administering these cultural programs and working on maintaining the Old Art Building. In order to mitigate the rising costs of energy and find a cleaner way to protect the future of this landmark, the LCCC will install a solar PV system thanks to the support of All Points North Foundation. A real time monitoring display unit on the outside of the building will provide the public with information on energy consumption and savings, creating constant awareness about the benefits of solar energy. Local students will have the opportunity to be educated on PV energy, as the LCCC will coordinate on-site visits for both private and public area schools. In addition, LCCC will highlight the positives of solar energy through lectures and tours of the building, and by producing a flyer for the 16,000 visitors who come through the doors every year.  A special celebration will also be held to commission this new solar system during a dedication ceremony, where local dignitaries, politicians, members and the public will be invited to attend.

While the mission of the LCCC is primarily to promote cultural enrichment programs and events, and provide a gathering place for the community, the new PV solar system guarantees that the Old Art Building will continue to be a significant part of Leelanau history for years to come.

Photo Credit: Leelanau Community Cultural Center

Through Its Opportunity Build Solar Training Program, Rising Sun Provides Entry To Careers In the Solar Field

www.risingsunopp.org

For over 25 years, Rising Sun Center for Opportunity has been empowering individuals to create environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. Today, Rising Sun is a leading green training, employment, and residential efficiency organization in Northern California. Wanting to build upon their success preparing people for sustainable careers, and with increased solar employment demand, Rising Sun developed the Opportunity Build Solar training program.

Through a grant from All Points North Foundation, Rising Sun’s Solar training program will enable case management and job placement for 20 low-income individuals. This 12-month program will allow entry into solar field careers. The training will include experience installing solar photovoltaic systems on the homes of low-income residents in partnership with GRID Alternatives, but also will explore other potential job opportunities within the solar industry including design, sales, and permitting. Opportunity Build graduates receive certificates recognized by the solar industry.

All Opportunity Build Solar participants are low income and have experienced roadblocks to consistent employment. Through this program, Rising Sun offers these individuals a pathway out of poverty through a career that offers livable wages and good benefits, while building the clean energy future we need.

Rising Sun adheres to four key values which will all play a role in this project: 1) belief in human potential: when people realize their potential, they can make a difference in their communities, 2) belief that economic, environmental, and social opportunities should be accessible to everyone, 3) belief that resource conservation is a shared responsibility, 4) commitment to achieving tangible results through environmental and social impact.

Photo Credit: Rising Sun

Solar Energy International Partners with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center to Increase Native American Solar Trainers

www.solarenergy.org

For almost 30 years Solar Energy International (SEI) has been empowering and educating people about sustainable practices. During this time, many technologies have been developed but SEI’s mission has remained the same – to provide technical training and expertise in renewable energy, as SEI envisions a world powered by solar energy.

SEI has worked with Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCR) for over 20 years, and will partner with RCR on the “Train the Trainer” program to increase the numbers of Native American trainers, who will teach and manage Tribal community projects. The idea behind this project is for SEI to provide training, equipment, curriculum, and execute co-teaching/mentorship to RCR. RCR will then have an increased capacity to offer and implement week long, hands-on solar electric lab classes to Native Americans.

Currently there are 567 federally recognized Native American and Alaskan Native Tribes in the U.S. Many in these communities suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment. The Energy Information Administration estimates that 14 percent of households have no access to electricity, which is 10 times higher than the national average. Incidentally, the green job sector has grown in the past five years. The U.S. government has new data which shows that the solar installer will be the fastest-growing job in America over the next 10 years. Programs like ‘Train the Trainer’ provide opportunities to further increase these numbers, and allow employment, training and entrepreneurial start-ups to thrive and prosper while also increasing energy sovereignty for Tribal communities.

Photo Credit: SEI and Marie Kills Warrior

Spark Northwest’s New Solarize Model to Improve Affordability for Homeowners

www.sparknorthwest.org

Like many high-cost metro areas, high housing costs in the Seattle metro area have put home ownership out of reach for moderate income workers, and with it, the benefits of rooftop solar. Through a new partnership with All Points North Foundation, Spark Northwest will help low to moderate income homeowners in the Homestead Community Land Trust go solar with Solarize the Land Trust.

Spark Northwest, a nonprofit organization founded in 2001, works at the local level to speed the region’s transition to affordable, community-controlled clean energy through renewable energy programs and policy reform in Washington and Oregon. Spark Northwest’s Solarize program has to date educated almost 5,000 people and helped over 1,000 families and businesses go solar through a grassroots group purchase model.

Solarize the Land Trust is the first solar group purchase for a community land trust, which will provide affordable solar installations for Homestead’s income-qualified homeowners. A community land trust creates permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income residents. By combining a group purchase negotiation with low-interest financing and grants, Solarize the Land Trust will bring affordable solar to permanently affordable housing. Spark Northwest will work together with the Homestead to educate 200 people about adding solar to their homes, and to help six homeowners install solar with very little upfront cost. The project will be a model for other land trusts across the country to bring the benefits of solar to affordable homes, including reducing housing-related energy costs.

Photo Credit: Spark Northwest