The Sun Doesn’t Play Partisan Politics

Community solar gardens and the sharing of renewable energy can be a much-needed bridge across the gulf of political ideology.

Photo by Getty Images/Bim.

Most people I know favor the idea of solar power, but not everyone has $100,000 sitting around to pay for the installation of panels. The other day I learned you don't need a wad of cash to begin the transition to solar power.

My friend Colin Touhey took notice when I posted on social media my wish to put solar panels on the roof of my apartment building. Colin is the co-founder of a clean tech company called Pvilion. He suggested we meet.

So last Thursday, we met at the Dumbo House, the swanky social club that occupies the top floor of an old tobacco factory in Brooklyn. As we entered, we pushed past the olive green velvet drapes toward the main room where big bay windows lend the place a flattering almost foggy light. As far as the eye can see, young, beautiful upstarts tapped away at their laptops.

We grabbed a table and hit the lunch buffet. It looked like Easter Sunday all over again even though it was only a grey Thursday in January. Someone is on standby to carve the turkey and slice the salmon. Huge salad bowls overflowed with power greens and roasted root vegetables and feta cheese and chickpeas. The dessert tarts brimmed with berries and fresh cream. I marveled at the weekday abundance.  It was a nice change of pace from my usual avocado toast and hummus.

We settled into our seats and I asked Colin to tell me a bit about his background. At 32, Colin was already an entrepreneur with a successful track record. His company designed solar canopies and tents for major events and humanitarian relief. Growth has been steady and robust.

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