Creating Community Impact

Sol Systems works with customers and partners to create opportunities that support the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our communities

Our mission is rooted in our deep commitment to driving a diverse, inclusive, and communicative culture and environment with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and identities.

Guiding Principles


Sustainability

We are committed to a net-zero carbon economy and build projects with added environmental features, such as the planting of native pollinator habitats and utilization of materials recycling practices

Community Impact

We work with our partners and customers to engage with and invest in under-resourced communities and communities that are adversely impacted by climate change

 

Collective Action

We are stronger and more influential collectively and can drive change more effectively together as partners and peers. Sol Systems strives to work with and support organizations aligned with our mission

Impact Partnerships


Sol Systems is financing and developing a portfolio of over 500 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in the U.S. and will sell energy from those projects to Microsoft. In parallel, working with local leaders in nearby communities and those disproportionately impacted by climate change, Sol Systems and Microsoft will invest at least $50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration, and programs that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency.

As the first step, Sol Systems has contributed $200,000 to four community-based organizations focused on communities in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC and one new national non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the solar industry.

Learn more our community partners:

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GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic

GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic (GRID Mid-Atlantic) based in Washington DC, is non-profit organization that provides no-cost solar installations and solar job training. Through their Solar Works DC Training and Solar Futures Programs, GRID provides group-based job training and education in solar system installation to residents with low incomes.

Sol’s partnership will help GRID to provide its students with career support services (such as career check-in sessions, resume techniques, professionalism in the workplace, etc.), financial and computer literacy programs, and other program support services.

PowerCorps PHL

PowerCorps PHL based in Philadelphia, connects young adults and returning citizens to careers through community service as a model to provide education and paid work experience.

Sol’s partnership will help PowerCorpsPHL to expand a skills-building program focused on mathematics and construction for the utility industry, increase career exposure opportunities for the students, and address transportation logistics services. for the program graduates.

Bright Solar Futures

Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Bright Solar Future (BSF) program provides access to solar careers for young people to grow a diverse and more equitable workforce combating climate change. The students, primarily from communities of color, train in solar and battery storage installation, sales, design, and job site safety.

Sol’s partnership will help curriculum development, equipment purchases for BSF’s new energy storage training model and creating a permanent solar training program.

Groundswell

Groundswell is a Washington D.C.-based, non-profit that builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers.

Sol’s partnership will provide direct assistance to support structural inspection, feasibility studies and applicable hardware updates for the resiliency center that will be built at the non-profit, City of Refuge in Baltimore, MD. The hub at City of Refuge will be among the first resiliency centers in the city with solar and battery storage.

Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS)

Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS) is a nationwide collaborative of entrepreneurs, financiers, veterans, engineers, contractors, and developers leading actionable solutions for sustained access to equitable opportunities in clean energy.

BOSS and Sol will collaborate in the development and implementation of a business-to-business mentorship and sponsorship program that will help connect diverse business owners to opportunities and relationships across the renewable energy industry.

So Others Might Eat (SOME)

So Others Might Eat (SOME) is an interfaith, community-based service organization that exists to help and support residents of our nation’s capital experiencing homelessness and poverty. SOME offers a variety of services, including affordable housing, counseling, substance use disorder treatment, and job training. In addition, SOME helps meet immediate daily needs by providing food, clothing, and healthcare to those in need.

In late 2021, Sol Systems completed a 915 kW community solar installation on the rooftop of FedEx Express Eckington Place station in Washington, D.C. FedEx is allocating a portion of the electricity bill credits generated by the solar installation, along with supplemental cash donations to local nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat) to offset the annual electricity costs of two SOME facilities. Sol will volunteer employee time to SOME throughout the life of the project.

In late 2021, Sol Systems completed a 915 kW community solar installation on the rooftop of FedEx Express Eckington Place station in Washington, D.C. FedEx is allocating a portion of the electricity bill credits generated by the solar installation, along with supplemental cash donations to local nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat) to offset the annual electricity costs of two SOME facilities. 

Video Credit: FedEx Corporation

Our Impact Work


Monroe County Water Authority

Monroe County Water Authority

Project size - Macedon, NY 6.1 MW
FedEx Express Eckington Place

FedEx Express Eckington Place

Project size - Washington, DC 915 kW
University of Illinois

University of Illinois

Project size - Champaign , IL 12.32 MW

$41,950

In Committed Scholarships

  • Holliston High School (MA)
  • Northeast Community College (NE)
  • Brunswick High School (ME)
  • Croton-Harmon High School (NY)

$269,000+

In Partner Contributions

  • GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic
  • PowerCorps PHL
  • Bright Solar Futures
  • Groundswell
  • Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS)
  • SOME (So Others Might Eat)
  • Capital Bank Food Drive
  • NAACP
  • Akshaya Patra Foundation
  • Central Texas Food Bank
  • Urban Alliance
Adaora Ifebigh – Director of Impact

As leader of the efforts to implement Sol’s comprehensive Impact + Infrastructure strategy, I am passionate about building community partnerships and collaborating with local organizations who are driving positive change in their communities.

I feel a strong sense of responsibility, honed from growing up in a developing country with inadequate infrastructure, to do my small part in making life better for under-resourced communities. Our work shows that we do not necessarily have to move mountains to implement change and impact someone’s life. Sometimes, all it takes is an incremental change led by organizations who firmly believe in the mission such as Sol Systems, to start an avalanche of positive change.

Adaora Ifebigh - Director of Impact
Susanne Fratzscher – Associate VP, Strategic Solutions

Designing strategic renewable energy solutions to help our customers meet their organizational and carbon goals alike has always been a passion of mine. Inspiring our customers to rethink their solar procurements and investments for even deeper impacts beyond the megawatt is what highly motivates me at Sol Systems.

Together with our corporate and community partners and our team of passionate experts, Sol Systems gives me the extraordinary opportunity to design solutions that create co-benefits for communities and ecosystems and for a more just and sustainable energy transition.

Susanne Fratzscher - Associate VP, Strategic Solutions
Juliana Isaac – Performance Engineer

My passion for our impact work stems from dedication to seeing a broad vision of sustainability. I’m passionate about innovative solutions across all areas of ecosystem services, and large-scale solar projects offer a unique opportunity to restore soil health, build up pollinator habitat, and improve our food systems. Investing in habitat restoration initiatives gives us the opportunity to provide access to clean energy, restore our natural environments, and partner with local community members. We’re proving that making one decision during development of a clean energy project can have a far-reaching impact on our energy, agricultural, and food systems, communities, and natural world.

Juliana Isaac - Performance Engineer
Anna Toenjes – Senior Director, Business Development

As the daughter of a first-generation college student, I am passionate about our impact work because I feel as if it is my duty to pay it forward and uplift the next generation. Providing scholarships to high school seniors and job opportunities for local community college students gives us the opportunity to connect with the communities within which we work in a deeper way than the solar project itself. We’re establishing a commitment to drive change not only from an environmental perspective but from a workforce development perspective as well. I am proud to be a small part of that change and driving forward Sol’s mission.

Anna Toenjes - Senior Director, Business Development

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Community Investment


Scaling Impact Through Community Partnerships

As an initial step in its Community Impact Agreement with Microsoft, Sol Systems has contributed $200,000 to four community-based organizations focused on communities in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC and one new national non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the solar industry.  Through the partnership, Sol will invest at least $50 Million in underserved communities across the US with approximately $1.2 Million in 2022.

Fostering Impact from Within


Employee Resource Groups at Sol Systems

Sol Systems’ company culture feels special. It’s a warm, inviting environment filled with passionate, intelligent individuals that share a common goal: to protect the environment and reinvest within the communities we serve while deploying renewable energy across the United States. Our employee resource groups, such as the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) team and the Sustainability Task Force (STF), highlight our internal efforts to create a work environment that reflects our outward-facing mission.

Fostering Impact from Within


The All-Woman Team Behind Nebraska’s Largest Solar Project

At Sol Systems, we are finalizing our first project led by an all-woman development team; the 8.5 MW Norfolk project is Nebraska’s largest solar project and Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) first battery storage project.

Fostering Impact from Within


A Groundwork for Solar Sustainability

As part of Sol Systems’ continued work with educational institutions, two groups of students from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign presented findings to Sol Systems in their emissions audit for supply chain and land-usage for the university’s second utility-scale solar project, Solar Farm 2.0. a 54-acre, 12.3 MW dc system on the Urbana campus that Sol Systems developed in 2020. The presentation and partnership served as part of Sol’s sustainability initiatives and acts as the foundation for building Sol’s framework for future and current solar project developments.