City hall with a Go Solar banner hanging in the center

PHILADELPHIA ENERGY AUTHORITY, CITY OFFICIALS KICK OFF FOURTH ANNUAL SOLAR WEEK WITH IMPRESSIVE CLEAN ENERGY MILESTONES FROM THE LAST YEAR

In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, News by PHL Council

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PEA supported $124MM in projects and helped create 793 jobs in 2021.

More than 100 LMI homes have gone solar since last Solar Week.

Philadelphia, PA – Today marks the start of the 4th annual Philadelphia Solar Week, a week-long celebration of our rapidly growing, climate friendly solar and clean energy economy. To kick it off, the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) joined City leadership to release its 2021 Annual Report, share job creation numbers, and announce that over 100 low- and moderate-income property owners have gone solar through Solarize Philly in the last year as part of Solarize Philly. In addition, nearly 50 Philadelphia residents have participated in our Bright Solar Futures Solar Installer Training Program, a workforce development program that graduates a well-trained, local, diverse workforce to fulfill the jobs created by Solarize Philly.

Solarize Philly and Bright Solar Futures are key components of PEA’s Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year investment in energy efficiency and clean energy projects to create 10,000 jobs. Launched in 2016 with the leadership of City Council President Darrell Clarke, the Campaign has supported more than $291MM in projects and created nearly 2,500 jobs. In 2021, PEA supported $124MM in projects and helped create 793 jobs.

“Solarize Philly creates family-sustaining local jobs and their Bright Solar Futures program trains the skilled, diverse, local workforce to fill them,” said City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “PEA’s direct pipeline between clean energy jobs and skilled labor is a model that should be replicated nationwide.”

Solarize Philly has put Philadelphia in the national spotlight for solar growth since 2017. Since the program’s launch, over 1100 homes have gone solar and over $20 million has been invested in communities across the city. Solarize Philly is the largest initiative of its kind in the country.

“Solarize Philly provides an opportunity for every Philadelphian to help the City meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Saleem Chapman, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Philadelphia. “Solar energy not only protects Philadelphians against the impacts of the climate crisis but also creates sustained and inclusive economic opportunities by reducing residents’ energy costs and creating career pathways in an emerging sector.”

The upfront cost of rooftop solar can be a barrier for low-income households who want to generate clean energy. Solarize Philly improves access to solar by offering both an ownership model and a no-upfront-cost and no-credit-requirement lease option to ensure that all Philadelphians, regardless of income, can go solar.

“In just the first few months, I’m generating my own clean energy and saving money on my monthly electric bill,” said Michael Doyle Jr., a Parkwood homeowner. “Participating in Solarize Philly is a win-win for the environment and for our family’s finances.”

Bright Solar Futures is a training program that prepares young people for careers in the clean energy industry. The program has two tracks: a 3-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) vocational program at Frankford High School (the first of its kind in the nation), and a second track, in partnership with PowerCorpsPHL, focused on young adults aged 18-30 who are un- or underemployed. Participants earn credentials and receive hands-on training before entering the clean energy workforce.

“Promoting the Greater Philadelphia region’s transition to a clean energy future is one of our top priorities through PECO’s Path to Clean,” said Liz Murphy, PECO Senior Vice President of Governmental, Regulatory & External Affairs. “A key part of this transition is supporting clean energy resources, like solar, and making our solar programs more accessible, affordable, and equitable for all. We’re also focused on creating career opportunities, which is why we are proud to be a long-standing supporter of the Bright Solar Futures program, to equip the clean energy workforce of tomorrow.”

To celebrate Solar Week 2022, PEA has a full schedule of events planned from August 15-19, including a webinar series, a live radio broadcast on WURD, and an in-person networking event at Yards Brewery. Events include webinars on how to go solar for homeowners and business owners, a panel on PEA’s clean energy workforce initiatives, and a discussion hosted live on WURD to chart the path to an equitable energy future. For details and to join, visit solarizephilly.org/events.

Any homeowner or business owner in Philadelphia can sign up for Solarize Philly at www.solarizephilly.org.

Any prospective high school student interested in Bright Solar Futures can sign up at the 2022-2023 School Selection Process at https://www.philasd.org/

For adults ages 18-30 interested in Bright Solar Futures OppY Program, visit https://powercorpsphl.org/.

Read the Philadelphia Energy Authority’s 2021 Annual Report at https://philaenergy.org/pea-2021-annual-report/.

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