In 2020, Hammond Climate Solutions had the pleasure of working with 46 nonprofit organizations in 24 states, to collectively deploy 3,450kW of solar power with the aid of $1,000,000 in Solar Moonshot Program grant funding.
The diverse group Solar Moonshot Program participants included schools, indigenous tribes, intentional communities, community centers, climate-focused centers, places of worship, youth homeless shelters, farms, community solar gardens, a black women-run media company, and many other terrific community-based groups.
The origin of the Solar Moonshot Program stems from the altruistic work of a San Diego based philanthropist, who was combating the climate crisis through an independent initiative known as the “50 Solar States Project.” As the name suggests, the initiative aimed to fund one solar project in each of the 50 U.S. states, in order to demonstrate the practicality of using renewable energy technology in every region of the country, and to be the impetus for further local adoption.
In February of 2020, when Hammond Climate Solutions was hired to manage the 50 Solar States Program, the outlook on our climate was far more precarious. Reflecting together upon those circumstances led to a tactical shift in the initiative’s mission, and would emphasize swift system energization as opposed to locale in order to maximize the renewable energy project’s potential impact on the environment. With that, the Solar Moonshot Program was born.
The 2020 goal for the Solar Moonshot Program was to assist approximately 40 nonprofit organizations afford the switch to solar (photovoltaic or thermal) with or without energy storage. Priority was given to nonprofits that had the ability to move their solar projects forward in a timely fashion but required financial assistance to close funding gaps before proceeding. The financial resources, provided by the Left Coast Fund, for the Solar Moonshot grants would be applied to a project’s funding in different ways, such as fundraiser-matching, down payments, a capital stack contribution, or to even cover the entire system cost for smaller projects. The average grant for 2020’s program participants was $24,269 across 46 organizations.
These renewable energy systems allow the nonprofits to save money that can be reinvested in fulfilling their missions while reducing harmful CO2 emissions that are contributing to the climate crisis, lessening local air pollution, and supporting regional green jobs. The solar power systems also offer an opportunity to educate community members about the need for a just and livable future.
A highlight of our 2020 program was the funding of our first solar thermal project, which was done in partnership with indigineous rights and climate justice advocate, Winona LaDuke. The grant went towards six solar thermal units at White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, which were installed by local Indigineous folks through the nonprofit 8th Fire Solar.
We have another $1,000,000 budget for the Solar Moonshot grants in 2021, which will help fund renewable energy projects for about 40 nonprofit organizations across the nation.
Nonprofits interested in applying for a Solar Moonshot Program grant can visit the website, www.solarmoonshot.org. Follow us on social media for our weekly #SolarSaturday posts, which highlight the amazing nonprofits going solar and helping make the world a better place.
Below is a list of all the organizations we’ve been delighted to help:
- Jack's Solar Garden (pictured above) in Colorado
- Red Bird Mission in Kentucky partnership with Mountain Association
- Glass City Community Solar in Ohio
- Madison West High School in partnership with the The Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Wisconsin
- Lincoln Park Solar Garden in Minnesota in partnership with Ecolibrium
- Activist San Diego in California, installed by IBEW Local 569 union electricians with Aloha Solar Power
- Kroka Expeditions in Marlow, New Hampshire
- Ekvn-Yefolecv, an Indigenous community in Weogufka, Alabama
- Northside Community Center run by the Community Action Network (CAN) in Ann Arbor, Michigan in partnership with the City Of Ann Arbor
- Eau Claire Public Schools in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in partnership with Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation
- Center for Mindful Learning (Monastic Academy for the Preservation of Life on Earth) in Fletcher, Vermont
- Canticle Farm in Oakland, California
- White Earth Reservation installed by 8th Fire Solar in Minnesota
- The DREAM Program in Winooski, Vermont
- Wilmington Senior Center in Wilmington, California, in partnership with Wilmington Jaycees Foundation being installed by GRID Alternatives
- The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California, being installed by IBEW Local 569 union electricians with Aloha Solar Power
- Iron Works Cycling in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in partnership with Appalachian Voices
- Media Island International in Olympia, Washington, in partnership with Olympia Community Solar
- The Workshop in Galena, Illinois
- Church of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia
- New Day Youth & Family Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- UnityPoint Health Jones Regional Medical Center in Anamosa, Iowa
- St. John's Episcoal Church in Westwood, Massachusetts
- Commonweal in Bolinas, California
- University Christian Church, home of the Climate Hub in San Diego, California, installed by IBEW Local 569 union electricians at Baker Electric Home Energy
- Common Street Spiritual Center in Natick, Massachusetts
- The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate in San Antonio, Texas
- El Costeño in Seattle, Washington, in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society
- Centro PASO Aibonito in San Jose, Puerto Rico, in partnership with BQuest Foundation
- South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts
- Planting Justice in El Sobrante, California
- Episcopal Diocese in Savannah, Georgia
- Sacramento LGBT Community Center in Sacramento, California
- Kathy's House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
- Casa de Amparo in San Marcos, California, in partnership with BQuest Foundation
- Boys Hope Girls Hope in Irvine, California
- Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills in Milton, Massachusetts
- Habitat for Humanity in La Crosse, Wisconsin
- The LGBTQ Center Long Beach in Long Beach, California
- Girl Scouts of America in Randolph, New Jersey
- Northern California Land Trust / Peace Gardens in Berkeley, California, being installed by GRID Alternatives
- Grace Church in Riverhead, New York
- Humane Society of Marion County in Yelville, Arkansas
- Second Baptist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan
2021 commitments thus far:
- Solidarity Farm in Pauma Valley, California, in partnership with Circle of Life, being installed by IBEW Local 569 union electricians with Aloha Solar Power
- Somerville Community Corporation in Somerville, Massachusetts
- Innisfree Village in Crozet, Virginia
- St. Paul’s Visalia in Visalia, California
- NEST/SNAG Magazine in San Francisco, California
- Wildrock Farm in Crozet, Virginia
- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama
- Church of the Savior in Hanford, California
Solar Moonshot Program in the news: