Minneapolis

Enrollment ongoing for new Minneapolis community solar garden

February 2022

 

With panels already installed on the roof, the North High School Community Solar Garden in Minneapolis is set to launch in June. 

The garden will provide clean, cost-saving energy to local families while simultaneously providing renewable energy to North High School. 

With 65 families already signed up or in the process of signing up, the program organizers are looking for 15 more families to join as subscribers. Families with lower incomes are being prioritized; anyone who pays their own Xcel electricity bill and lives in Hennepin County or an adjacent county can apply to participate. 

 

“I think it’s a really important statement,” North High School alumnus, EJ Easley says about the program.

Easley is a local organizer and a third-generation North Minneapolis resident. He and his family signed up for the North High School Community Solar Garden last summer. He’s since started promoting the program in the community, talking to neighbors about the personal and broader benefits of local access to clean energy. 

It’s especially important in the Minneapolis community, where we have a lot of people who are living under the poverty line. These are the people that tend to be paid the least attention to when it comes to the priorities of industry and big companies that have a lot of control.

EJ Easley, North High School alumnus

The solar array was developed and installed by minority business enterprises, Renewable Energy Partners, a solar developer based in North Minneapolis that trains and certifies local residents for jobs in the clean energy sector, and Go Solar Construction, a Black-owned business.

“It’s a tie to the new energy revolution and democratizing clean energy,” says Kyle Samejima, the executive director of Minneapolis Climate Action

Samejima’s organization has been engaged in the garden for six years. Working in collaboration with North High School and Renewable Energy Partners, the project focuses on clean energy as a powerful tool in addressing climate change, the environmental justice crisis, and building healthy, sustainable communities in the midst of the climate emergency.

We hope this will widen the sphere of exposure, experience and knowledge, showing that climate and community social justice are linked.

Kyle Samejima, executive cirector of Minneapolis Climate Action. 

For residents like Easley, the garden sheds light on what’s next for a community on the rise. “It’s a step toward gaining more control over our own lives and not being completely subservient to a company. It’s a great opportunity for people within the community to potentially save a couple dollars, but also to be a part of something bigger, too.”

North High School
Community Solar Garden

 

What: Minneapolis Climate Action is partnering with Renewable Energy Partners to enroll families in the new community solar garden. Subscribing to the North High Community Solar Garden can be a win-win for your pocketbook and the planet!

Who: Anyone who pays their own Xcel electricity bill and lives in Hennepin County or an adjacent county can participate and save.

Why: Community solar gardens reduce your carbon footprint and help make renewable energy benefits available to all

How: There is no subscription fee or upfront money needed! You pay a small amount for the subscription each month and get a bill credit that is always higher than your payment.

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