Berkeley, CA – Today, a team of RE-volv volunteers known as “Solar Champions” launched a crowdfunding campaign for a 10.7 kW solar array for permanent affordable housing provider Northern California Land Trust (NCLT) in a collaborative effort with nonprofit GRID Alternatives. This project is the first time the solar nonprofits GRID Alternatives and RE-volv are partnering together in an effort to bring clean affordable energy to those who need it most.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with RE-volv” said Renee Sharp, Bay Area Regional Director for GRID Alternatives. “This project simply could not have happened without the unique financing that RE-volv provided and we are excited to be able to bring solar to this affordable housing property with their help.”
The residents at multi-family affordable housing complex, Unity Gardens, will now be saving money on their electricity bills through the solar energy system leased to them by RE-volv and installed by GRID Alternatives.
“GRID Alternatives is a pioneer in the field and one of the most impactful solar nonprofits in the country” said Andreas Karelas, Executive Director of RE-volv. “Our models complement each other in ways that empower more people at every level of the project — from the crowdfunders who support the project, to the job trainees who install it, to the families who benefit from it.”
RE-volv empowers people to take direct action on climate change by donating to local solar projects. GRID Alternatives completes solar installations and provides workforce training for low-income communities. These two organizations are now teaming up to crowdfund $26,000 which will save the low-income residents and the affordable housing provider over $60,000 during the lifetime of the system and stop over 590,000 pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
RE-volv’s Solar Champions who are volunteering to run the crowdfunding campaign for NCLT are solar enthusiasts with varying levels of industry experience that wanted to get involved to serve their local community.
“I came across this project and was excited about the good work NCLT is doing,” reported Solar Champion Kelsey Jonat, who works at SunPower when she’s not volunteering with RE-volv. “I am grateful for the opportunity to help them save money by harnessing the power of the sun.”
NCLT is going solar because it values sustainability as part of its mission. Just as community land trusts are set up to provide a sustainable housing solution, solar power is a sustainable energy solution. Solar adds value to the propertyand puts more resources in the hands of the community. In this project, part of the energy savings will go directly to the tenants, and part of it will go to NCLT, which will help them create more affordable housing.
“We are really excited to have RE-volv and GRID alternatives partnering with us to make a solar PV system available to the these folks that normally would never have access to clean renewable energy,” said Northern California Land Trust Program Coordinator Francis McIlveen. “These people are completely marginalized in this high cost Bay Area and this solar project is radically shifting their ability to participate in producing renewable energy.”
The crowdfunding campaign will conclude August 17th. The project is expected to be installed and operational in fall 2018. Individuals can make tax deductible donations to the campaign at www.re-volv.org/unitygardens.
RE-volv empowers people to take direct action on climate change by crowdfunding solar energy projects for nonprofit organizations. Donations made to RE-volv’s crowdfunding campaigns grow a revolving fund that provides solar financing for nonprofits across the nation. RE-volv also raises awareness about solar energy through its flagship Solar Ambassador Program, which trains college students to solarize nonprofits they care about. RE-volv is an inaugural member of the White House National Community Solar Partnership and is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Learn more at RE-volv.org.
About Northern California Land Trust
The Northern California Land Trust (NCLT) is a nonprofit holding dozens of properties in the Bay Area in the interest of the community. Most of these properties are housing units, structured to serve low-income residents. This particular project is for an apartment complex in Berkeley, CA. About a mile from downtown, but in a peaceful and beautiful neighborhood. It has 6 family units, creating communal space and providing affordable housing to people who need it.
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, and offers solar education and hands-on job training to help people jumpstart their solar careers. Our work brings together affordable housing organizations, job training groups, government agencies, municipalities, utilities and local communities to make solar a win for everyone.