How Can Utility Companies Help?

A recent article by Greentech Media dives into the possible ways that utility companies can improve the results of their renewable energy initiatives. The success of renewable energy is inherently dependent upon the active engagement of these utility companies, companies that have the capital necessary and the interest in securing portions of the emerging U.S. solar industry. Below are some important points addressed by Greentech:

  1. The “old guard” skeptic management of utility companies must integrate themselves with new, young, and intelligent employees.
  2. Utility companies must better manage pilot technology by not committing themselves to large projects that utilize new and unproven technology, but also by running with emerging technology that has proven its worth.
  3. Multi-stakeholder involvement must begin early. The insular nature of utility companies must be replaced with active outreach to tech companies, consumers, regulators, and environmentalists.
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What is the Levelized Cost of Solar Energy?

The financial advisory and asset management firm, Lazard, recently released a comprehensive report on the levelized costs of various energy sources. Here are some of the key takeaways, which may surprise you:

  1. Without subsidies, wind and solar are cheaper than coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. And, when you account for all the externalities of dirty energy–environmental degradation and human health issues–the costs of wind and solar actually become much cheaper!
  2. In the past seven years, solar has become 85% cheaper. We can attribute this to the large scale deployment of solar energy, the impressive improvements in solar technology, and the various state and federal initiatives that have promoted solar growth.
  3. As the cost of solar continues to fall, the number of solar jobs is steadily increasing. The US solar market now hires more workers than oil, coal, and gas combined!
  4. Last but not least, one very important lesson to remember is that the solar industry is standing on its own two feet. It is no longer a nascent industry subject to every whim of the market, but a prominent new energy sector that is steadily modernizing our grid and cleaning up our climate.



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Solar Panels at Georgetown University Spur Neighborhood Equity

We are thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Root + Branch to initiate the largest project in our Neighborhood Solar Equity program with Georgetown University

Together, we are set to install 1.1 mW on Georgetown’s campus, making it one of the largest on site solar arrays in Washington, D.C. Through an innovative project model the system will produce renewable energy for the University and amplify the benefits of solar for the District of Columbia.

We created the innovative project model to serve the energy needs of the University, while also ensuring the surrounding neighborhoods benefit from the renewable energy.

Profits from the system have been dedicated by the partners toward reinvestment in DC neighborhoods, including through a “Community Investment Fund” which, in collaboration with Georgetown University, will support clean energy projects in low-income areas of the District.

Read more about our Neighborhood Solar Equity project, access the full Georgetown University Press Release , or read more from our friends at Georgetown.

Posted in Finance and the triple bottom line, In the News, Local policy, Nonprofit innovation, Nonprofit partners, Nonprofit partners, Our expertise with nonprofits, Solar finance, Solar power and renewable energy, Solar power in the news, Urban solar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kentucky Coal looks to Solar for Jobs

You read that right. Solar is the job creator that can help the coal industry pivot – and we are THRILLED about this idea. Bringing jobs to rural America through renewable energy technology? Everybody wins. And that’s the kind of solution we love to see.

Read more here in Think Progress. 


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Solar in Schools

Midwest Energy News published an article describing the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation’s effort to integrate renewable energy into classroom curriculum. They are currently providing curriculum, systems and training for 400 classrooms throughout Illinois to encourage the

We love this concept, and are developing similar programs for our own partners. But read on to hear more about how this works in Illinois.

Spoiler alert: the kids love it!


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Americans and Climate Change

New data released by the Yale Program on Climate Communication and summarized by Nadia Popovich, John Schwartz and Tatiana Schlossberg in the New York Times gives a detailed view of public opinion on global warming.

Spoiler alert: Americans believe in global warming, but aren’t convinced that it’s their responsibility to worry about.

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To us the most interesting point though is how much support American voters have for renewable energy, and renewable energy research. Eighty two percent of Americans are in favor of funding renewable energy research, 82%!!!! and yet our elected officials are slashing budgets and cutting departments. It begs the question, Why?

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Continue reading

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Solidarity Sing

After the Women’s March in January, our friends at All Souls Unitarian Church hosted a solidarity sing. From serving as a sanctuary space since November to sponsoring affordable housing in the rapidly gentrifying Columbia Heights neighborhood,  All Souls is always a progressive, active, and conscientious member of our community, and we are honored to work with them.

Get ready to have chills.

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Women’s March 2017

Mother Earth

enough said – L

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Climate Change in Pictures

National Geographic asked a global community of photographers to share their stories about climate change. Photos were submitted through Your Shot, National Geographic’s online photo community, and then editors’ selections were chosen to be in an exhibit at the Conference of the Parties 22 Climate Summit in Morocco.

Next time your friend or coworker tries to tell you Climate Change isn’t real, just show them these pictures. They truly are worth a thousand words.

Photo by Patty Waymire, National Geographic Your Shot


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2016 Solar Trends

10 Top Solar Trends of 2016 according to Greentech Media

  1. Utilities are losing on demand charges and fied charges when advocates fight back
  2. Nevada comes back from the ashes
  3. Storage is the new solar
  4. Rural co-ops come into the fold
  5. Sun rises in Florida
  6. Solar beomes a real electoral force
  7. Mega-solar for large corporates
  8. De-reg and re-reg
  9. Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) takes a few punches
  10. Trump


Vote Solar’s Take on the Top 10 Solar Trends 

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