People-Funded Solar Project Plants the Seed for Community Activism

How one organization is using crowdfunding to save the planet.

Although investing in photovoltaic panels saves money on electricity bills, the thousands of dollars in immediate costs for panel installation can be an obstacle for home and building owners who want to go solar. RE-volv, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, is seeking to offset these expenses through crowdfunding.

Communities of solar enthusiasts donate money to RE-volv’s Solar Seed Fund, which covers the upfront cost of solar panel installation for nonprofits and cooperatives in the area. These community centers then lease solar equipment from the organization for twenty years, paying a small monthly fee that is reinvested into the fund to finance additional solar projects. RE-volv only funds centers that are dedicated to improving the community in the hopes that such facilities will educate individuals on the benefits of renewable energy and empower them to invest in the spread of solar energy.

RE-volv has already funded two solar energy projects with a combined number of 502 donors raising $76,070. The projects avoided producing a combined 534,593 pounds of CO2 and saved $257,000 by replacing grid electricity with solar energy in the two facilities.

Photo by Nyaya Health, licensed under Creative Commons. 

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