Enphase Energy has been in the news a lot recently. Its partnership with Vivint helps ensure a large market base for its inverters, while its partnership with Technology Credit Corp. offers financing options to customers. The newest partnership for Enphase is a little bit different, though. It has now entered into a charitable partnership with the Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund (BDR Fund) to install PV systems in over 25 schools across the nation at the K-12 level.
Enphase’s donation will contribute to the fund’s goal of installing 20,000 solar PV systems on U.S. schools by the year 2020, bringing solar awareness and education to young children. In addition to education, these installations will provide cost savings to schools, which will incur none of the costs typically associated with going solar.
“Enphase believes educating the public about solar is crucial to the success of the emerging clean energy economy,” said Paul Nahi, CEO of Enphase. “We are proud to partner with the BDR Fund, which does a commendable job of putting solar in the classroom, both as an educational tool and a source of clean power.”
The local environmental nonprofit Climate Circle completed the first joint BDR Fund – Enphase PV installation in April 2014 at the Josephine Locke Elementary School in downtown Chicago.
The next phase of the partnership calls for Enphase to donate up to 100 microinverters and 25 Envoy communication gateway devices for small educational PV systems at approximately 25 schools this year alone. The BDR Fund will identify and select the recipient schools, handling all installation logistics.
“The generosity of donors such as Enphase has allowed us to reach thousands of schoolchildren and promote renewable energy education,” said Yolanda Seabrooks, program director of the BDR Fund. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Enphase and increasing solar awareness among the nation’s youth.”
Once deployed by the BDR Fund installer partners, the solar systems’ visibility helps educate not only students but also teachers, parents, and the community about the benefits of solar energy. Teachers at schools with Enphase systems will also be able to include relevant “hands-on” solar data in their curriculum by using the proprietary Enlighten monitoring software.
The BDR Fund completed 21 installations and has an additional 35 projects in the pipeline. Furthermore, the organization is currently discussing new solar projects at school districts in Maryland, New York, Colorado, and the District of Columbia.