“Workforce development, job creation, and access to health and housing services are some of the most pressing needs facing Black, Hispanic-Latino, and Native American individuals,” said Ebony Thomas, Bank of America’s Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity Executive. “By providing this support alongside our national and local partners, we are further addressing many of the challenges facing under-resourced and underserved communities across the U.S.”
To help remove barriers for LMI customers, Vote Solar’s Access & Equity Advisory Committee (AEAC) has released a policy brief outlining two key initiatives for more successful solar expansion programs: 1) automatic enrollment in community solar programs, and 2) grant support for more robust community engagement.
The AEAC includes energy leaders from Vote Solar and a rotating list of partner organizations, including nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives, the NAACP, and Nexamp
A $300,000 grant from Bank of America is helping to fund the SolarCorps Fellowship Program, which has up to 40 SolarCorps Fellows complete one-year, full-time paid positions focusing on solar installation, community outreach, and workforce development in GRID offices across the country. Throughout their year of service, participants from diverse backgrounds gain valuable experience and skills in the solar energy and nonprofit industries, helping to launch their renewable energy careers, while making significant contributions to the communities GRID serves.
“Partnering with GRID Alternatives on its workforce development program supports our commitment to the environment and access to clean energy jobs for Black, Hispanic-Latino, and Native American communities,” said Alex Liftman, global environmental executive at Bank of America. “At the same time, GRID Alternatives is doing important work to expand access to clean, affordable energy in communities that previously have not had access to such power sources.”
“Solar program implementation for LMI customers can be uneven and more complicated than necessary,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Vote Solar’s managing director of Access & Equity. “Following these recommendations can streamline program implementation and ultimately ensure the benefits of solar are spread more equitably.”
Growing interest in microgids is now forcing utilities and regulators to rethink how the grid of the future will be designed and operated. The recent increase in natural and human-triggered threats like wildfires and severe storms has added urgency to microgrid development.
From Climate Change to Climate Emergency to Climate Crisis…
Or as someone recently said, “Climate Chaos.” During the years I’ve been writing about the climate, the situation has become more and more dire. When I went to the Climate March in NYC in 2014, workshop speakers, in the days before the march, told us that we had 30-40 years before the effects of “climate change” would become onerous. I traveled to NYC on the People’s Climate Train, with 171 other people, one-quarter of whom—including me—were over 60.