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Bitney Charter School PV Install & Local Power Program Kick-Off
January 20, 2018 @ 8:00 am - January 21, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
With the award of Prop. 39 funds, and with the help of Local Power, the local organization arising from the Department of Energy’s Sunshot program to enhance solar PV access in our community, Bitney Prep will be installing a rooftop solar PV array, connect the solar to their local grid, and begin saving power and money.
We’ve scheduled the installation in January. We anticipate loading in the materials that week, beginning the install Friday afternoon and hoping to wrap it up, with the newspapers, cameras and invited guests sometime Saturday midday, or possible Sunday if it takes longer to complete the install. Thus the launch will be a festive event, something like a celebration of solar and of Local Power’s vision.
What is Local Power’s vision, you ask? Through collaborative efforts with local government, non-profits, community groups, the business community, local utilities and the local professional solar installation and design community, we intend to bring solar power to as many low to middle income (LMI) families as possible. We plan on establishing a community fund into which partners and beneficiaries will donate a percentage of their utility cost savings, and from which additional low income households may benefit, either via sweat equity or volunteer installations, low- or no-interest loans, non-profit lease-to-own power purchase agreements and other similar ideas.
In addition, we intend to support solar education through collaboration with Bitney Prep in the formation of a Solar Learning Lab, using donated and provided resources to offer hands on instruction and pre-certification training to young people from the community, including a crop of interns working within the local professional solar industry. The Solar Learning lab will donate projects to low income and non-profit facilities to be used as well pumps, charging stations, greenhouse fans, and more, and to function as solar education kiosks.
The Bitney Prep installation/Local Power launch event will, in a perfect world, include representatives from various local government entities, professional solar installers, LMI families and agencies working with them, local schools, teen groups, environmental action groups, and other members of the community interested in working with these ideas to spread solar power to a broader base. It might look a little like a solar power or green energy fair, with booths and such. We will be sending out invitations over the next few weeks.