Solar One is a non-profit organization that launched about 15 years ago with the goal of both educating people in the Greater New York community on solar energy and sustainability and making solar energy more accessible to everyone—particularly those who wouldn’t typically have access to it, such as community groups and affordable housing providers.
There are three main programs being run by Solar One: a K-12 environmental education program that’s been implemented in over 800 public schools in New York City, the Green Workforce Training Program that helps people obtain the skills necessary for entry-level positions in building operations and maintenance, electrical, carpentry, plumbing, and solar installation, and Here Comes Solar, a program dedicated to making solar energy accessible to everyone by providing technical support to groups and organizations in need.
Noah Ginsburg is the program director of Here Comes Solar, which identifies organizations that are interested in utilizing solar energy, answers all of their questions, sets them up with preliminary solar designs for their buildings, creates financial savings estimates, and helps them get bids from local solar installers. The program has already helped 20 affordable housing communities go solar, and there are no signs of slowing. Ginsburg discusses several of the projects they’re working on, one of which is a community-shared solar project making it possible for renters to participate in large solar projects occurring somewhere else in the city, and to benefit by not only saving on their energy bill but by gaining shareholder status in the cooperation. For example, their subscription will entitle them to a 15-20% discount on solar credits and a vote as to what is done with any profits from the cooperation. In this way, consumers hold the power, rather than corporations.
Tune in for all the details, and learn more by visiting solar1.org. If you live in the Greater New York City area and are interested in becoming part of a cooperation, visit sunsetparksolar.org and herecomessolar.nyc.