Local Workforce Development Included in Objectives of Community Partners
St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. — The Coalition for Solar Affordability has chosen a solar installation company to partner in Solarize St. Thomas, a community-based group purchasing program set to launch locally in January.
Following a rigorous evaluation process, the Coalition selected Silver Sun Solar LLC to provide local property owners – both residential and commercial – with solar power equipment, battery storage and energy-saving technologies through a group-purchasing platform supported by community partner organizations collaborating on St. Thomas in the new year.
The Solarize program is similar to others conducted in communities throughout the U.S. but is unique to St. Thomas. It was initiated by local organizations and advocates of renewable energy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The more St. Thomas property owners that participate in contracting for solar installations, the greater the savings for all.
“Silver Sun Solar is honored and proud to have been selected as the Contractor Partner for the 2021 Solarize St. Thomas crowdsourcing campaign,” said Brian Marinelli, CEO of Silver Sun, which has been conducting business in the USVI since 2014. “We are excited to provide USVI residents and business owners with high quality and professional solar, solar plus storage and other energy-products through this amazing program. Our participation will provide buyers a wide range of products and various ways to implement renewable energy into their daily lives affordably and with confidence.”
Before making its selection, a steering committee made up of representatives from Coalition organizations oversaw a proposal process that attracted multiple installers. Various selection criteria were used to analyze their bids, interview firms then choose a sole provider for the campaign.
Embedded in the requirements are local workforce development requirements – a key objective of the partner organizations. Silver Sun will work with Solarize St Thomas’ partner organizations to provide internship opportunities for UVI students or other qualified applicants in the field or remotely. The purpose is to help expose students to renewable energy, electrical engineering and energy management as these careers blossom in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“As CEO, I aim to not only accelerate the amount of professional installations throughout the community but to also grow the local solar industry workforce organically throughout the USVI,” Marinelli said. “We look forward to serving the community and to meeting local residents and business owners at one of the many upcoming events promoting the Solarize St. Thomas campaign."
Descriptions of tiered pricing and equipment options will be forthcoming as well as details about valuable energy tax credits. Starting with an official campaign launch on Jan. 14, Solarize St. Thomas will put on a series of clean energy education and community outreach events with a goal of increasing participation and encouraging all solar and battery installations to be complete by the end of next year.
Already, nearly two dozen residents have signed up to learn more since Solarize St. Thomas began accepting advance registrations. Interested residents may go to solarizestt.com now to learn more, received advance information on campaign details, register for the Jan. 14 launch event and sign up for a free evaluation.