Updated: July 23, 2021 09:13 PM
Created: July 23, 2021 02:41 PM
A campaign to help low and moderate income families save money while going solar is now underway.
The effort, called “Share the Sun,” is a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds to install solar on the homes of eight Duluth and Grand Marais families.
Share the Sun kicked off Friday at the home of Duluth resident Nathan Holst, who will be going solar with the help of the campaign.
"It's been a long time dream to have solar on our house," he shared on Friday. And soon, that dream will come true. 12 panels will be installed on his roof.
Solar United Neighbors, Cook County Local Energy Project, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and One Roof Community Housing are leading the campaign.
The eight participating families are homeowners as part of the Duluth-based One Roof Community Housing. The organization allows qualified low-income home-buyers to buy homes for a reduced price.
When homeowners move, they agree to pass on the benefits they received by selling their home below market price to another income-qualified buyer.
All of the participating families are also members of the Duluth and Arrowhead Solar Co-op. The solar co-op helped members learn about solar energy and participate in a bulk purchase to find an installer.
The “Share the Sun” effort seeks to raise $20,000 from the community to make the project successful.
Wolf Track Energy, a Duluth-based solar installer, is installing the solar for these homes and is contributing $4,000 in matching funds to the campaign. In addition, Members Cooperative Credit Union’s Sustainability Committee has committed another $3,500 in matching funds.
Solar United Neighbors has coordinated more than 300 solar co-ops around the country and more than a dozen in Minnesota. These groups have helped more than 5,800 families nationally, and more than 120 in Minnesota go solar.
“We had such a strong response to this solar co-op that we are excited to be launching another one this fall,” said Bobby King, Minnesota state director for Solar United Neighbors.
Community members can make a tax deductible gift to the “Share the Sun” campaign by going to Share the Sun or by texting “sharethesun” to 44321.
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