OROSI, Calif., Aug. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, nationally recognized community development organization, Self-Help Enterprises and Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage, and energy services provider, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a new solar installation to 60 affordable rental homes in this agricultural community in the San Joaquin Valley. The Sand Creek solar project is 138 kilowatts, which provides nearly $50 per month bill savings for residents, along with job training in the rapidly growing clean energy sector.
In 2018, Sunrun made a commitment to develop 100 megawatts of solar on affordable multifamily housing in California by 2030 via the state Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. Additionally, in 2021, Sunrun pledged to bring at least 500 megawatts of low-income solar to people across the country by 2030. These efforts will bring the benefits of solar to hundreds of thousands of families.
“I’m thrilled that Sunrun and Self-Help Enterprises are expanding solar access and bill savings to renters living in the Central Valley,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun’s CEO and co-founder. “This partnership is just getting started.”
Sunrun and Self-Help Enterprises have worked together to complete five solar projects to date using Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) funding. Now, through SOMAH, 14 more joint projects are in development across California.
“We are excited for our residents at Sand Creek Apartments, who will be saving nearly $50 a month on their utility bills,” said Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. “This means more money in their pockets for other necessities such as groceries and transportation. It’s partnerships like these that make a real difference in people’s standard of living.”
SOMAH has a significant focus on workforce development and tenant engagement. Each SOMAH project, including Sand Creek, offers paid job training opportunities in the rapidly growing clean energy sector.
“We were thrilled to see a tenant of the Sand Creek property participate as a job trainee on this project, as well as a student from a local job training partner, William M. Maguy School of Education of Proteus, Inc. in Visalia,” said Staci Hoell, Workforce Development Manager with the SOMAH Program Administrator team. “The SOMAH PA applauds the coordination between Self-Help Enterprises and Sunrun to offer on-the-job solar installation training to their tenants and local community.”
Additionally, via the SOMAH program, Sunrun partnered with GRID Alternatives’ jobs training program to train more than 100 Californians in solar installation to date.
“I am most excited about the savings,” said Christian Vasquez, a long-time resident of Sand Creek Apartments, husband and father of a two-year old boy. “We can use that money to pay bills and for gas or even to take my family out a bit more. This makes my wife and I really happy.”
The Sand Creek property supports a rich program of amenities and on-site services, not only for the resident families but also for the surrounding community. In addition to a book nook, the community building regularly offers programs such as digital literacy training, GED/continuing education courses, after school programs, and ESL classes attended by neighbors as well as residents.
About Self-Help Enterprises
Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. The pioneer and leading provider of mutual self-help housing in the United States, SHE’s work today encompasses a range of efforts to build better homes and communities for farmworkers and other hard working families. Since 1965, SHE has helped more than 6,400 families to build their own homes, rehabilitated over 6,300 unsafe homes, developed over 1,800units of affordable rental housing and has provided technical assistance for reliable access to safe drinking water and sanitary sewer infrastructures to more than 160 small communities. SHE’s commitment to providing resources and training for individuals builds capacity of highly effective leaders in communities that also promote collaborative solutions for improving communities. These combined efforts have touched the lives of over 60,000 families, providing security and stability for families and building more productive communities.
The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program provides up to $100 million annually in financial incentives for installing photovoltaic (PV) energy systems on multifamily affordable housing in California. The program’s unique, community-based approach ensures long-term, direct economic benefits for low-income households, helps catalyze the market for solar on multifamily housing and creates jobs. SOMAH is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and funded through the greenhouse gas allowance auction proceeds of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, Liberty Utilities Company, and PacifiCorp. SOMAH aims to install 300 megawatts of generating capacity by 2030. For more information, please visit calsomah.org.
Sunrun Inc. (Nasdaq: RUN) is the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage, and energy services company. Founded in 2007, Sunrun pioneered home solar service plans to make local clean energy more accessible to everyone for little to no upfront cost. Sunrun’s innovative home battery solution, Brightbox, brings families affordable, resilient, and reliable energy. The company can also manage and share stored solar energy from the batteries to provide benefits to households, utilities, and the electric grid while reducing our reliance on polluting energy sources. For more information, please visit www.sunrun.com.
Public Relations Manager
Self Help Enterprises
Marketing, Education & Outreach Manager