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Park Spring Flower

Solar One in the Time of Coronavirus

Dear friends,

On behalf of the staff and Board of Solar One, I sincerely hope this email finds you and your families well and safe. In these unprecedented times, communication and continuity are more important than ever, and it’s in that spirit that I want to check in with you about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, as it now seems likely that this pause in normal life is not going to end anytime soon.

Like other organizations, our entire staff is working from home, having regular team and staff meetings via teleconferencing, and are working up plans to continue serving the communities that depend on us while keeping our staff, our students and trainees, and our partners from falling ill.

Like virtually every nonprofit in NYC and around the country, many of our programs have been cancelled because they require in-person delivery.  While this has had an effect on our budget, we are adapting and trying to transform our programs to meet a new reality: remote delivery.  This is particularly true of our Workforce Training and Green Design Lab programs, both of which serve populations (public school students and workforce trainees) who often bear a disproportionate brunt of hardship in a severe financial downturn.  To continue providing high-quality, practically useful information, education and training despite inhospitable conditions is a central part of Solar One’s mission.

Here are some of the ways we’ll be continuing our programs during this time of social distancing:

Our Green Design Lab team had been ramping up for our busiest Spring season ever with the delivery of our programs in classrooms throughout the city; understandably, those classes have been cancelled.  As the New York City Department of Education transitions to distance learning, our team of K-12 Educators is working to modify our hands-on lessons for a virtual learning environment. The GDL team hopes to be able to provide online environmental STEM curriculum and resources for NYC teachers and students that explore energy efficiency, climate change, and solar. Our Educators are also developing webinars and other interactive content to share with our networks.

At the same time, Stuyvesant Cove Park staff are also working with the GDL team to create virtual field trips, webinars and other topics that complement current school science and nature-based programming, while continuing to virtually manage our high school internship program, and creating and sharing free content on Instagram, with a focus on nature-based solutions to climate change, organic gardening and pollinator insects.

As with our GDL program, our Workforce Training program had classes fully booked for March, April and May.  Now that those classes have been cancelled, our Workforce team is working with our partners to establish ways to deliver webinar-based training for already scheduled April/May classes. We have already created an online curriculum for one of our NYSERDA projects and hope to be able to do this for other courses like OSHA (occupational safety) and NABCEP (certifications for renewable energy practitioners). Additionally, workforce instructors are looking at ways to adapt our regular green construction, building operations and other courses to a virtual delivery system.

Our CECP (NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities) program is continuing its emission reduction work with the NYC Mayor’s Office and Division of Energy Management remotely, helping with policy proposals and consulting with building owners and operators to get their buildings into compliance.

Here Comes Solar is continuing to deliver solar technical assistance services for high-impact solar projects in NYC. Our team is offering clients remote solar consultations, and we are working closely with our partners to modify our community solar outreach strategy to minimize face-to-face interactions. To join a community solar initiative, please fill out the form at herecomessolar.nyc and someone from our team will follow up in 1-2 business days.

As with all of you, we do not yet know when the ground will settle or when we will be able to resume in-person delivery of our programs.  We are planning for a long ride and will continue to keep up our communications with you through our weekly eNewsletter.  But, as you can see, we’re having no trouble keeping busy, and we’ll send out more info on what we’re doing programmatically as the situation changes.

Stay safe and healthy,

Chris Collins
Executive Director

Is the Spirit of Giving Contagious?

December 3, 2019

Today is Giving Tuesday, a coordinated effort of year-end giving that was started in 2011 to help counteract the overwhelming and exhausting consumerism and anxiety that often accompanies the demands of the holiday season. And while Giving Tuesday can itself seem overwhelming, the fact is that over the past eight years, it has been a tremendous success. From raising about $10 million in 2012 to as much as $400 million last year, the Giving Tuesday groundswell shows that the spirit of giving is contagious.

And it turns out that there’s a scientific basis for that: Giving has measurable effects on the brain, promoting both physical and mental health. According to research from the Cleveland Clinic, the benefits of charitable giving include:

Giving to a cause we are passionate about can also help soothe feelings of helplessness and stress, even in the face of crisis and uncertainty. It lifts us up out of ourselves and makes us part of something much bigger.

When you choose to make a gift to Solar One, you are supporting a clean energy revolution, innovative ways of teaching sustainability, the empowerment of environmental justice communities, and offering the hope of dignified employment to the formerly incarcerated and addicted. This Giving Tuesday, help yourself by helping the many students, teachers, trainees, and low-income residents who depend on Solar One’s programs to enrich their lives and improve their futures.

All gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law, and gifts can be split into monthly donations.

Thank you in advance for your support, and thank you for being part of the Giving Tuesday community.

Chris Collins
Executive Director

S1-Climate-week

Solar One’s Climate Week Events

Here Are The Upcoming Climate Week Events We Are Participating In

September 21st
September 21st
September 25th
September 26th

 

Sarah and Karen React

Solar One’s Green Design Lab Selected as a Winner of 2019 UL Innovative Education Award

Solar One’s Green Design Lab Selected as a Winner of 2019 UL Innovative Education Award

Sarah and Karen ReactWe have exciting news to share with our Solar One friends – Our Green Design Lab program has been honored for our excellence in environmental STEM education as a 2019 UL Innovative Education Award (ULIEA) winner!

The UL Innovative Education Award is celebrating five years of recognizing organizations in the United States and Canada that demonstrate effective educational programming and community engagement. The program is supported through a partnership between Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). To celebrate UL’s 125th Anniversary, six ULIEA winners were selected.

We are thrilled to be honored as a second tier winner and to receive $50,000! (Want to see our team surprised with the announcement of winning? Watch this fun video to see our reaction!)

While winning $50K provides invaluable support for us to continue to refine and develop our programs, we are also excited to join the established network of ULIEA alumni awardees. In early August we will meet with our fellow 2019 winners, along with experts from UL and NAAEE, to further discuss environmental STEM education and how we can collaborate on social impact projects to engage youth, inspire leadership, and drive sustainable change.

“It is truly a privilege to recognize the important work of the UL Innovative Education Award winners, and to help them continue to bring unique and engaging learning opportunities to students in their regions,” said Cara Gizzi, VP of Education and Outreach, Underwriters Laboratories. “Over the past five years, 26 total winners received over $1.275 million to support environmental STEM programs, and they’ve built a strong network with like-minded organizations around the U.S. and Canada. This year’s cohort reaches a diverse group of audiences with innovative programming that can serve as a model for programs around the globe.”

To learn more about the UL Innovative Education Award, please visit ulinnovationeducation.naaee.net.

 

Solar Shines Throughout 2018

Solar Shines Through 2018

Although there were some setbacks at the Federal level, there was plenty of good news in the world of Solar Power last year. More and more Americans are working in the solar industry, and there were plenty of installations last year in all sectors of our society. The more solar we install, the more we reduce our CO2 emissions and mitigate the effects of global warming. The infographic below is just a small sampling of some recent numbers. Enjoy and feel free to share!

Here Comes Solar’s Juan Parra Talks to Univision about Community Solar

Watch Solar One’s Juan Parra explain how community solar makes renewable energy accessible to every New Yorker on the Spanish language television network Univision.

In the clip, you can see Juan and correspndent Berenice Gartner on the roof of an HDFC co-op building in Crown Heights. The solar installation, including the cool canopy for the panels, was installed by Brooklyn Solar Works. You can also catch a glimpse of Daroga Power‘s community solar installation, which you can sign up for on the Here Comes Solar website here.

Ansd while the segment is in Spanish, even non-Spanish speakers will be able to follow along. Congratulations to Here Comes Solar, Brooklyn Solar Works and Daroga Power on the great press for their great work!

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