Solarize Atlanta to Launch Bulk-Purchase Solar Community Campaign on Thursday, June 3rd

Posted by: Jennette Gayer

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2021

Campaign includes aggressive goal for solar on low-income homes

Atlanta, GA—Solarize Atlanta is back to give the residents of Atlanta another chance to leverage the power of group purchasing and save on the cost of solar energy. The first Solarize Atlanta program in 2018-2019 was a huge success with 130+ installations, adding 890kW of new solar capacity, and avoiding over 1.6 million lbs of CO2 emissions annually. Solar installer Creative Solar won a competitive bidding process to again serve as the installer for the duration of Solarize Atlanta.

Solarize Atlanta is a community-based group-purchasing campaign that makes solar energy and battery storage more affordable to participants. A virtual launch event on Thursday, June 3rd at 6:30 p.m. feature Rep. Nikema Williams and Solarize Atlanta Steering Committee members.

Dozens of Atlanta homeowners and business owners have signed up for a free solar evaluation at their properties since the campaign began accepting advance registrations. Interested residents and businesses may go to www.solarizeatl.com now to learn more, receive advance information on campaign details, register for the June 3rd virtual launch event, and sign up for a free evaluation. Descriptions of tiered pricing and equipment options will be forthcoming as well as details about other incentives available in 2021.

Solarize programs always include a solar array donation. In the 2018 campaign Quest Communities received a free solar array on their affordable housing development via Solarize Atlanta. In this iteration of the program, organizers have set a goal of installing solar on 30 low-income homes around Atlanta.

“The path to a 100% clean, renewable, and just energy future in Atlanta happens one roof at a time,” said Jennette Gayer, the Director of Environment Georgia and a longtime participant in Solarize programs. “Solarize Atlanta makes solar so much easier and cheaper by doing a lot of the leg work for Atlantans.”

The organizers of the campaign include the Atlanta Office of Resilience, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Partnership for Southern Equity, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Ayika Solutions, Solar Crowdsource, and several local volunteer citizens. Organizers sought bids from local solar contractors to be the exclusive contractor for the program, and Creative Solar USA was ultimately selected. 

"The team at Creative Solar USA is honored to have again been selected as the trusted solar and battery storage installer for the Solarize Atlanta program,” said Russell Seifert, CEO and Founder of Creative Solar USA. “We're excited to be able to provide high-quality, reliable, and cost-effective energy to Atlanta's home and business owners.”

Solarize Atlanta is open to all property owners in the city of Atlanta, and follows a campaign model that has been successful in more than 300 other communities across the country. A tiered “bulk” purchasing platform allows for more participation from local residents and businesses, which means more savings for everyone.  Solarize Atlanta is unique in its additional focus on equitable workforce development in the solar industry and affordability initiatives. 

"Solar power can cut energy bills in half, but few low-income families have access,” said Daniel Blackman, Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter. “Clean energy programs like Solarize can be a catalyst for communities in our pursuit for a clean and equitable future for all"

Workforce Development

The Solarize committee included a goal of fostering local workforce development in order to create long-lasting pathways to clean energy jobs in the new clean energy economy. 

“An equitable Southern clean energy economy will only be as strong as the workforce supporting it.” said Dr. Erica Holloman-Hill of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Ayika Solutions, Inc. “Solarize Atlanta has an opportunity to grow a stronger, more racially equitable, solar market in Atlanta by supporting frontline solar  worker education and apprenticeship programs that not only create employee’s but employers as well.

Affordability

Going solar can decrease energy and economic [link to energy burden map] burdens for all participants, especially for low- and moderate-income community members that are disproportionately made up of people of color. Another priority for the Solarize committee is to create deeper cost reductions for solar energy for low- and moderate-income community members via fundraising and financing. 

“Partnership for Southern Equity is proud to serve as a community partner for the Solarize campaign,'' said Chandra Farley, Just Energy Circle Director with Partnership for Southern Equity. “Our energy equity goals aim to ensure that the benefits of clean energy are available to all. With a goal to cultivate a sense of community participation and ownership in the clean energy market, the Solarize campaigns in Atlanta and Savannah present a unique opportunity to uplift energy equity by removing barriers to rooftop solar.“

“Solarize programs offer communities the ability to practically implement their values, to be good stewards of the environment while also saving money on their electric bills, '' said Codi Norred, Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. “ Solarize Atlanta is the most accessible and cost effective way for individuals, businesses, congregations, and non-profits to invest in renewable energy, to make our communities more resilient, and to make a tangible difference when it comes to carbon reduction.”

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About Solarize Atlanta: Solarize Atlanta is a campaign forged and supported by a local public-private coalition involving Atlanta Office of Resilience, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Partnership for Southern Equity, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Ayika Solutions, and administered by Solar Crowdsource. Solarize Atlanta aims to lower the cost of solar energy and battery storage installations through the power of bulk purchasing, reducing contractor acquisition costs, and transferring those savings to the residential and commercial residents.

For More Information:

Jennette Gayer, jennette@environmentgeorgia.org, c-703-475-3228

Jillian Eller, jillian.eller@sierraclub.org, c-814-4706566