Community leaders joined Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Board of Directors, staff and girls on Thursday, March 14, to celebrate the completed installation of the new 30-kilowatt solar electric system. Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s new photovoltaic solar electric system is expected to provide approximately half of the organization’s electricity for the next 25 years.
The system was installed as part of Community Environment Council’s Solarize Nonprofit pilot project, a program designed to help local nonprofits go solar and run off renewable energy without upfront costs. The program grew out of CEC’s residential Solarize program, which has helped 735 homeowners go solar. The installation at Girls Inc. was completed in partnership between CEC, Asteri Solar, who provided the funding for the project, and local solar installer Sun Pacific Solar Electric, Inc.
Girls Inc. is the second nonprofit to complete installation through the program, following the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.
The organization is projected to save over $300,000 on their future electricity bills by using solar power through the Solarize Nonprofit program. “The solar installation project is part of our Board of Directors’ long-range planning and broad visioning for the future of the Carpinteria campus, and an example of the collaborations we want to foster with other community partners,” said Lisa Murphy Rivas, interim executive director at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “The organization will greatly benefit from significant savings in our operating expenses and the ability to utilize clean, renewable energy.
“The Girls Inc. of Carpinteria girls on campus today will remember being with the organization the year we started taking steps for the future of our campus and the environment!” Rivas added.
The solar project is part of Girls Inc.’s campus-wide effort to reduce energy-demand and upgrade the facility, including new energy-efficient lighting that was also recently installed.
“We are delighted to support Girls Inc. of Carpinteria and their important mission,” said Matt Riley of Asteri Solar. “They have been an amazing partner on this project, and we look forward to reducing their operating costs with solar power.”
Asteri Solar launched in 2018 to support the community through impact investing in solar for nonprofit organizations.
The ribbon cutting ceremony included representatives from CEC, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Sun Pacific, Carpinteria Mayor Wade Nomura, and representatives from the offices of Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblymember Monique Limón, Congressman Salud Carbajal and Supervisor Das Williams.
“Carpinteria has always been at the forefront of sustainability efforts and the newly completed solar system at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is a great example,” said Nomura. Kadie McShirley of Supervisor Das Williams’ office applauded the organization, “We are proud to honor Girls Inc. of Carpinteria for doing their part to reduce greenhouse gases and create a sustainable future for us all.”
While Solarize Nonprofit has already identified several nonprofits for funding through the pilot, there may be additional capacity for the program. Eligible nonprofits must own their buildings or be in long-term leases and have facilities suitable for solar. Nonprofits may apply at SolarizeNonprofit.org.
Girls Inc. of Carpinteria serves more than 700 girls each year, helping them navigate gender, economic and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated and independent adults. To learn more, visit girlsinc-carp.org.