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21 Apr 2022

Solarize Philly invests $15M in Philadelphia’s solar market

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April 21, 2022 Category: Local Posted by:

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) joined City leadership and the Philadelphia Green Capital Corp to announce that 900+ property owners across nearly every zip code in the city have gone solar through Solarize Philly, with a goal to reach 1000 properties by month’s end. To date, Solarize Philly has invested a total of $15M in just the first five years of the program.

The event shared the ways that individuals can participate in and expand investment in Philadelphia’s solar energy economy in alignment with the theme of Earth Day 2022 “Invest in our Planet.” 

Alon Abramson, Director of Residential Programs (Photos by Bill Z. Foster)

“This Earth Week, PEA is excited to illustrate how Philadelphia is investing in our planet by investing in clean energy in our communities,” said Alon Abramson, director of residential programs. “Whether Philadelphians are buying or leasing solar at their homes and businesses, getting trained to join the solar workforce, or making donations to support equitable solar development, there’s a way for every Philadelphian to be a part of our local clean energy economy.”  

Solarize Philly is a key component of the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year investment in energy efficiency and clean energy projects to create 10,000 jobs.

Example of solar panel

Launched in 2016 in partnership with City Council President Darrell Clarke and led by PEA, the Campaign has deployed more than $291M in projects and created nearly 2,500 jobs. 

“We’re excited to share in the success of Solarize Philly in advancing the four main goals of the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, spurring economic development, creating jobs, alleviating poverty, and improving public health,” Clarke said. “The program’s numbers and participant’s stories demonstrate that clean energy is a tool for meaningful impact in our communities.” 

Solarize Philly ensures that all Philadelphians have an on-ramp to the clean energy economy through its Bright Solar Futures Program. Bright Solar Futures is a complementary workforce development program that graduates a well-trained, local, diverse workforce to fulfill the careers created by the Solarize Philly program.

Examples of installation on rooftops

Bright Solar Futures training opportunities begin as early as high school, engaging students at Frankford High School’s 3-year Career and Technical Education Vocational Program, the first-of-its-kind in the nation for careers in solar and clean energy.

The program extends to young adults ages 18-30 in partnership with PowerCorps PHL to ensure that youth that have been disconnected from school or workforce opportunities can be paid to learn and earn credentials before entering the clean energy workforce.  

“The Bright Solar Future program has not only invigorated my passion for the renewable energy sector, but the technical skills learned from the program has allowed me to be introduced to a new promising career path,” said Isaiah Smith, a program participant. 

The upfront cost of rooftop solar can be a barrier for low-income households who want to generate clean energy.

Solarize Philly improves access to solar by offering both an ownership model and a no-upfront-cost and no-credit-requirement lease option to ensure that all Philadelphians, regardless of income, can go solar.  

To further bolster low- and moderate-income participation in Solarize Philly, PEA’s green bank affiliate, the Philadelphia Green Capital Corp (PGCC) has launched a first-of-its kind donation program, Share the Sun, which enables homeowners and businesses with existing solar installations to donate their Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to provide low- and moderate-income families in Philadelphia access to the benefits of solar energy and help expand Philadelphia’s solar market.

Each household that donates SRECs enables one new family in Philadelphia to go solar.

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier spaks at the press conference.

This Earth Day, PGCC is launching a campaign to bring rooftop solar to 100 low-to-moderate-income households through the Share the Sun program. 

“As chair of the committee on the environment, I am delighted that Philadelphia is leading the nation with a first-of-its-kind solar donation program, Share the Sun,” said Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large.) “Share the Sun’s ambitious campaign to bring rooftop solar to 100 low- and moderate-income families will ensure that Philadelphians, regardless of income, can access the benefits of clean energy.”  

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