Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Low-income residents buy into solar project at Minneapolis school » Yale Climate Connections

Published Date and Time: 2024-07-08 07:00:00

In a low-income neighborhood of Minneapolis, dozens of households will soon buy solar energy produced on the roof of North High School — the local public school.

Staples: “We’re really excited about it because not only do you have the ability to say, ‘Hey, I’m subscribing to community solar,’ but ‘I’m subscribing to the North High Project.’”

Jamez Staples is CEO of Renewable Energy Partners, a solar developer in North Minneapolis. He grew up in the area and graduated from North High. And he’s passionate about increasing access to solar in his community.

His company helped develop the North High Community solar garden, which is going live this summer. A portion of the energy it generates will go to the school. The city will purchase another portion, and the rest will be available for residential subscribers.

Staples: “We shared information with students, and students were able to take it home and offer it to their families, and if they wanted to sign up for it, they had the ability to sign up for it.”

There’s no credit check needed to sign up. To spread out the cost of subscribing, members can pay monthly. And they get a credit on their utility bill for a portion of the energy the solar panels produce.

Staples: “The way that we set this up is that it’s no money out of pocket upfront.”

And they’re guaranteed to save money overall — so it’s helping make clean electricity affordable and accessible for the community.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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