TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE COMMUNITIES
Groundwork Elizabeth Promotes Community Solar in an EJ Community
Jonathan Phillips / Groundwork Elizabeth
Groundwork Elizabeth (GWE) is dedicated to a future in which everyone’s neighborhood environment is green, healthy, and resilient, breaking the trend of widening disparity between communities enjoying a renaissance and communities experiencing disinvestment, neglect, and deepening poverty. As our nonprofit pursues these objectives, we include those customarily excluded from meaningful policy dialogues, offering opportunities to become part of a comprehensive, diverse, equitable, and inclusive solution, improving conditions for everyone. With support from Rutgers, GWE is building capacity within our organization to help public and private entities apply to the NJ Board of Public Utilities Community Solar Program. This program makes it easier for people to access a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional energy sources.
Community solar allows subscribers to benefit from clean energy savings and reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Community solar participants buy energy from an existing installation without needing to invest in a solar installation at their residence or business while still realizing the savings in their electricity bill. This is particularly valuable for Elizabeth, an environmental justice community with many renters and dense urban blocks with buildings that may not be physically (shading, inadequate rooftop space, etc.) or economically (cost, non-ownership of site, etc.) suitable for individual solar installations. By siting a community solar project in Elizabeth and finding community members to participate as subscribers, GWE hopes to provide energy cost relief to low- and moderate-income residents who would not otherwise have access to savings associated with renewable energy generation.
In addition to building capacity for community solar applications, we are using this opportunity to engage with the community and provide youth development experience. Working with partners like the City of Elizabeth, the Elizabeth Development Company, the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, and private residential and commercial developers, our team is preparing community solar outreach materials, including a brochure and flyer, and identifying suitable candidates for the process.
Please keep an eye out for materials and information by checking out our website, Facebook, Instagram @groundworkelizabeth, and Twitter @gwelizabeth pages and feel free to contact Jonathan Phillips if you’d like to be part of our efforts 908-289-0262 x. 203, email@example.com.