Completed solar installation

In North Philadelphia, one organization is bringing the transformative power of solar energy to low-income neighborhoods.

This past spring, Serenity Soular helped raise more than $37,000 from more than 300 donors to finance a solar installation at a community arts center. The group has also completed projects at a Baptist church and a community outreach center.

Frank Ortiz of Serenity Soular says that clean energy can help people in poor neighborhoods.

Ortiz: “When we think about the folks that are in North Philadelphia, these are folks who suffer from housing, income, energy, food insecurity, and these all lead to other greater social problems.”

Solar energy projects can reduce some of these stresses by creating jobs and lowering electric bills. So, he says, it’s essential to provide the benefits of solar to the people who need them most.

Ortiz: “This is a way of attempting to rebalance the scales for them.”

And in the short-term he says, these projects build excitement about solar energy and bring people together around a common purpose.

Ortiz: “There’s a greater sense of community that results from that.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo source: Serenity Soular Facebook page.

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Sarah Kennedy

Sarah Kennedy is an editor and content producer with ChavoBart Digital Media, a production firm with a focus on scientific and environmental media. Her work on Climate Connections includes developing story...