A collaboration in North and South Carolina enables additional solar energy projects and supports surrounding low-income communities to reduce energy burden
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 7, 2023 – Today, Sol Systems, a national solar energy company focused on developing and operating renewable energy projects with community impact, announced a unique renewable energy procurement and investment strategy with Google that enables the development of new solar energy projects and supports local communities where the projects are built.
Sol Systems and Google have structured an integrated clean energy investment and procurement strategy for solar projects being developed by Pine Gate Renewables in North and South Carolina. This strategy provides capital to enable 225 MWdc of new solar energy projects and 18 MW of battery storage resources. These assets are being developed in a region with relatively low renewable energy penetration and of specific focus for Google and its 24/7 carbon-free energy goal.
Alongside this investment, Google and Sol Systems will deploy capital to seed critical investments into regional community organizations that serve under-resourced and minority communities. The investment will focus on reducing energy burden by enabling critical home pre-weatherization and safety upgrades to low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. Four regional organizations will receive initial funding from the partnership: Roanoke Electric Cooperative (NC), Santee Electric Cooperative (SC), Aiken Electric Cooperative (SC), and the Sustainability Institute of South Carolina.
"We are honored to be working with Google, a pioneer in renewable energy procurement and community investment," said Sol Systems' CEO Yuri Horwitz. "As they have in the past, they continue to provide leadership and innovation for our industry. We look forward to building on this work in the future."
"By 2030, we're aiming for every Google data center to operate on clean energy every hour of every day. As we work toward this goal, we are committed to ensuring that the communities where we operate are actively benefiting from the clean energy transition," said Christopher Scott, Energy Lead at Google. "We're excited to partner with Sol Systems to not only bring new solar projects online to one of the most difficult grids to decarbonize but also work with them to help lower the energy burden in under-resourced communities through the clean energy transition."
"The Sustainability Institute is thrilled to partner with Sol Systems and Google to provide critical home repairs alongside energy efficiency upgrades for households in under-resourced communities in the Charleston area. The investments from the impact funding will result in homes becoming safer and more energy efficient for families and will help reduce energy burden and insecurity in the communities where it is highest," stated Bryan Cordell, Executive Director, The Sustainability Institute of South Carolina.
"Santee Electric Cooperative (SEC) is excited to partner with Sol Systems and Google to grow our "Help My House” program. The “Help My House” program enables homeowners to apply for funding to finance energy efficiency improvements, lowering their power bills. Through the new partnership with Sol Systems and Google, SEC will provide funding to support low-income households participating in the “Help My House” program to address relevant critical home repairs and energy efficiency improvements. Together, we are working towards a common goal of electrifying home appliances to transition away from kerosene and propane. As a result, homes will be more efficient, use less energy, and have better air quality and health. This partnership will enable us to expand our reach in helping the communities and families we serve,” said Jay Kirby, VP of Public Affairs, Santee Electric Cooperative.
“Through our new partnership with Sol Systems and Google, Aiken Electric Cooperative (AEC) will be able to continue its mission of powering and empowering our local communities. For 85 years, AEC has provided electricity and various other services to our cooperative members that improve their quality of life. Our goal is to utilize these funds by completing health and safety home repairs and other initiatives for eligible participants of our “Help My House” program. This team effort will make a noticeable difference in the lives of those in our local community, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric Cooperative.
“Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) is pleased to partner with Sol Systems and Google to continue to offer all our member-owners the ability to participate in a simple yet powerful energy-efficiency solution, our “Upgrade to $ave” program. This solution enables our member-owners to reap savings by making critical repairs and energy efficiency upgrades to their homes and businesses without making any upfront investment themselves. “Not only will this support from Sol Systems and Google help us continue our mission to enhance the quality of life and home comfort for residents, but it will also expand our commitment to creating a positive impact within our communities,” said Marshall Cherry, CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative.
About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a leading national solar energy firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability across its development, infrastructure, and environmental commodity businesses. Sol Systems is operating and building over 1.5 GW of solar projects valued at more than $2 billion for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, counties, utilities, universities, and schools and provides environmental commodity portfolio management services to more than 20,000 customers across the US. The company was founded in 2008, is based in Washington, D.C., and is led by its founder. Sol Systems works with institutional clients, corporate partners, and foundations to create a more sustainable future we can all believe in. For more information, visit https://www.solsystems.com/.
Media Contact: Jacqueline Mayan