A 180 solar panel installation at the ART Transit Station | Photo courtesy of City of Asheville
The goal? To reduce the financial and logistical barriers of solar installation + help as many homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits as possible make the switch to a more sustainable energy source. The program is built on a tiered bulk purchasing platform, meaning that the higher the volume of participation, the greater the savings. It will also offer fundraising and equitable financing options for folks who have been traditionally marginalized and/or exist in lower-income brackets in order to make solar installation more accessible for all.
While this program is new for Asheville, solarize campaigns have been successfully implemented across the country for more than a decadeand have historically reduced solar installation costs by about 20 percent. Moreover, NC is proving to be a bright spot (pun intended) for the renewable energy sector, ranking second in the nation after California in total installed solar generating capacity with almost 4,700 megawatts at the end of 2019.
Members of the Solarize Asheville-Buncombe coalition | Photo by AVLtoday staff
In Asheville, the initial goal is to procure 100 signups for a total of 350 kW of energy (and a more ambitious “stretch” goal of 500 kW). To put that into perspective, 350 kW would offset an estimated 328.30 tons of carbon annually and power an average of 55 homes for one year. Learn more about the financial pros + cons of investing in solar here.
A unique facet of Asheville’s campaign is its added focus on equitable workforce development. As part of the coalition, local nonprofit Green Opportunities will work with solar installers to help create more clean energy jobs for marginalized folks through a solar installer training program. We will share more info about these programs as they arise.
More than 150 individuals have already signed up in advance for a free solar evaluation of their properties. To get started, simply tune into the launch event tonight at 6 p.m. + sign up here for a free evaluation.
Share with a property owner looking for the next *bright* idea.
Number ○ $26 million. The amount of federal pandemic aid City Council received that will go to help those experiencing homelessness.Funds will go to manage a growing homeless population, establish low barrier shelters for those unable to find respite elsewhere, and increase the community paramedic program. 💸 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Services here. As of Tuesday afternoon, 16,615 cases and 308 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. See more Buncombe County-specific info, including waitlist numbers and vaccines distributed, here. ○ Starting today, people 16 years + older can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. NC Vaccine Finder has made it easier for folks to find the Pfizer vaccine, approved for people 12+ over. 💉 (WLOS)
Stat ○ DYK only 1 in 1,000Sea Turtle hatchlings survive until adulthood? The Lobster Trap, located in downtown Asheville, is committed to oceanic restoration and sustainability. Now until Earth Day,here’s how you can help the Trap Crew save the Sea Turtles. 🐢 Ⓟ
Learn ○ Daily Pnut(pronounced “peanut”) is the easiest way to filter out the noise and learn more about the world news that matters — it’s not just another daily email.Sign up for free tojoin over 250,000 readers and get educated (and entertained). Ⓟ
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The addition of RuPaul, arguably the most famous drag performer in the world, really got folks talking. In fact, more than 6,000 of you have liked the social post we did on it earlier this week. And word spread through the interwebs and reached RuPaul herself, who now knows all about our wonderful little mountain town and its phenomenal street art.
Here’s hoping RuPaul comes to visit us one day and appreciate Gus Cutty’s latest masterpiece. 🎨
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PlanAhead ○ Tails and Trails| Sun., Apr. 11-Sun., Apr. 18 | Various Times | Various Locations | $30 | Raise money for the Blue Ridge Humane Society + Conserving Carolina by taking your pup on one of the designated hikes. 🐾
Find more of this week’s local events in our April PlanAhead.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
For today’s #AVLcurrent, we’re highlighting what we’re watching. Editor Laura is continuing to binge HBO’s Search Party. And in between taking in all the beauty the outdoors are currently offering up, Editor Brook is also making her way through Hip Hop Evolution. She especially loves the ones that mention that 90s New York sound from the Wu-Tang Clan and Notorious BIG.
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