Last week (July 5), Horizon Solar Power launched its “Acts of Sunshine Program,” a community support initiative, under which the company is partnering with local organizations in Southern California to provide reduced-cost solar installation services, while also helping low-income residents gain access to skills development and renewable energy education. In the first partnership under the program, Horizon is collaborating with The Growing Experience (TGE), to install an 8.19 kilowatt (kW) ground-mounted solar array which is expected to generate 24% of the greenhouses’ energy needs in Long Beach.
"With the solar panels provided by Horizon Solar Power, we plan to offset our energy use and serve as a demonstration project for the community, to educate residents about renewable energy," said Jimmy Ng, Program Director for TGE. The project is funded in part by a $15,000 grant from the Boeing as part of its Global Corporate Citizenship Program.
The 7-acre urban farm and its environmental resource center are operated by the Housing Authority of Los Angele. It serves residents of the Carmelitos public housing community and the greater Long Beach and Los Angeles area. Services and activities at TGE are geared toward environmental sustainability, water and resource conservation, new technology and skills training, as well as a community-supported agriculture program which provides affordable healthy produce for low-income residents. The farm also operates an aquaponics system, which they plan to power with solar panels to make it a net-zero energy demonstration project.
Acts of Sunshine Program is not the first to support low-income communities with solar power services. GRID GLA and its team of volunteers and job trainees are installing rooftop solar at no-cost for 500 low-income families in LA this summer, which will provide up to 1.6 megawatts (MW) of power. By installing solar electric systems at no-cost (or reduced-cost), disadvantaged populations and organizations like TGE will save money on electric bills.
"We are thrilled to launch this program and anticipate growing our "Acts of Sunshine" partnerships in the weeks and months ahead," Green said. "The program provides us the opportunity to give back to the So Cal community and, in the case of The Growing Experience, lower the operating costs of a local organization for decades to come through the use of solar energy. This is especially helpful for a public agency, since they are typically not eligible to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit."Tweet