This article was written by Noah Ginsburg, Director of Solar One’s community solar initiative, Here Comes Solar:
Earlier this week the Trump Administration announced that it was levying a tariff (tax) on all imported solar panels. This tax was supposedly levied to protect American manufacturing jobs, but in reality there are very few USA solar manufacturing jobs to protect. Less than 2% of American solar jobs are in solar panel or cell manufacturing, and the tariff will marginally increase the cost of solar to consumers and therefore slow the growth of more robust sectors of the USA solar industry, which currently employs more than 260,000 Americans.
Those of you reading the headlines may be wondering “How big will the impact be?” or “Will this impact my ability to save money with solar?” Read on for answers to these questions and to learn more about the tariff and what it really means for our domestic solar industry, and for all of us as potential consumers of clean affordable solar energy.
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This letter, by Solar One BFF Joy Garland, appeared in the December 28, 2017 Letters to the Editor in Town & Village newspaper.
Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.
We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.
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If you’ve been curious about Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program, thanks to the awesome folks at BRIC TV, you can learn all about it in this informative video. Professional futurist Garry Golden will show you his own rooftop solar array in South Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Here Comes Solar program director Noah Ginsburg explains how the program works and its goal to help solarize Brooklyn…and beyond.
Solar One, GRID Alternatives Tri-State and Co-op Power today announced the launch of Affordable Solar New York. The nonprofit initiative will bring low-cost solar power to affordable housing providers in New York, which provide critical housing and services to low-income residents. Solar can significantly reduce energy costs for both operators and tenants, yet up-front costs, credit scores and complex financing remain significant barriers for this sector to access the technology.
Affordable Solar New York will address these barriers by providing no-cost technical assistance, reduced-cost installation and zero-down financing options to Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives and other affordable housing providers in New York City. Projects will include both job training and energy efficiency education opportunities for residents.
“To reach Mayor de Blasio’s landmark OneNYC vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient New York City, all New Yorkers will need the ability to tap into the cost and energy saving benefits that solar energy can provide,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud Solar One, GRID Alternatives, and Co-op Power on the launch of Affordable Solar New York, an important step toward a more inclusive energy landscape in New York City.”
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Our third group of solar homeowners has now officially launched in Brooklyn! With three contractor selections under our belt, we’ve seen our group solar model produce real savings for our members: each group has secured pricing over 20% cheaper than the average solar installation cost in the borough!
We are excited that our newest group shaped up to be four rowhouse owners on the same block of Windsor Place in the South Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Even with just four households, the efficiency of synchronized site visits and installations and the greater visibility of four new solar arrays on one block makes the project more attractive to installers and therefore more affordable for our members.
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Solar One’s newest initiative Here Comes Solar helps homeowners aggregate their economic power and physical proximity to “solarize” their communities, one block at a time.
Check out this article from DNAInfo that explains how it’s done, how homeowners feel about the process and then go to the Here Comes Solar website and fill out the survey to see whether your home might be a good fit for solar!