130 free home solar systems offered to eligible residents of Richmond and North Richmond

130 free home solar systems offered to eligible residents of Richmond and North Richmond

As we reported this past summer, GRID Alternatives will install 130 free solar systems over three years in the homes of low-income Richmond and North Richmond residents as part of a partnership with the city.

A newly-released statement about the agreement includes vital information about who is eligible for the free solar systems and how to apply.

To qualify, residents must own and also live in their homes in Richmond and North Richmond and must also make less than 80-percent of area median income, according to GRID Alternatives. An example provided by the nonprofit: A four-person household in Richmond with an income of $71,600 would qualify.

For more information about eligibility, homeowners should contact GRID Alternatives by phone (510) 731-1333), email baoutreach@gridalternatives.org or complete an online form.

As part of the 130-system partnership with Richmond, the nonprofit says it is leveraging $1 million in state funds earmarked for such projects with a $500,000 commitment from Richmond in order to carry out the installations. Richmond’s share will not come from its general fund. Rather, the funds will come from a portion of the $90 million community benefits agreement with Chevron Richmond connected to the upcoming $1 billion modernization of the Richmond Refinery.

The 130 solar systems will collectively provide more than $2.5 million in energy cost savings for homeowners, and 5,700 tons of greenhouse gases will be slashed over the lifetimes of the systems, the nonprofit says. More than 15,000 hours of job skill-building in solar installation will be offered to RichmondBUILD trainees and community volunteers.

“By allocating a half million dollars into the program, we’re tripling our investment into our community and preserving our environment,” Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said.  “It’s a win-win for everyone; but most of all, our residents who will be receiving the solar power will benefit the most.”

GRID Alternatives is no stranger to West County, having already installed 150 systems in local homes, and well over 1,000 Bay Area-wide, since 2004, according to a project map.

“Solar power should be accessible to everyone,” Renée Sharp, GRID Alternatives’ Bay Area Regional Director, said in the statement. “The City of Richmond is truly a leader in sustainability and equity and GRID Alternatives is grateful to have such a committed partner in making our shared vision of an inclusive transition to clean, renewable energy a reality.”