Lightstar leaders appointed to key roles with Black Owners of Solar Services and the Coalition for Community Solar Access
Gallup Solar and Lightstar Renewables partnering to increase access to solar energy for Diné / Navajo communities
Wednesday, October 6, 2022: Traditional territories of the Diné (Navajo People) and the Zuni Pueblo / Gallup, NM – Today Gallup Solar and Lightstar Renewables are announcing a new partnership to boost access to clean energy and refrigeration for the Diné / Navajo People. An annual commitment of $10,000 and additional resources from Lightstar will double the annual number of solar installations Gallup Solar completes, and provide additional opportunities for community members to undertake solar installation training as part of Gallup Solar’s certification program. This certificate is a credential that opens opportunities for employment on larger solar installations.
Access to electricity is acknowledged as a basic human right. Even still, approximately 15,000 families of the Navajo Nation do not have access to electricity, creating barriers to obtaining clean water, healthy food, healthcare, and using the internet. Opportunities to use clean energy via solar will mean essential activities, like the refrigeration of important medicines, are possible at home for the first time.
Gallup Solar has been bringing solar energy to Diné / Navajo communities for 15 years. Gallup Solar provides comprehensive installation training and graduates install the systems themselves, therefore, building skill capacity for future employment while connecting their homes or homes of elders to a reliable electricity source. The solar installation training program offers graduates of the program receive a certificate acknowledging this hard skill. Those who hold certificates have received preference when applying for solar installation jobs, which is important in this area as unemployment is at 13% in the Gallup, NM area and is even higher on the surrounding Navajo reservations.
Bill Bright, President of Gallup Solar said: “We know that access to clean energy impacts more than just where people get their power. It opens opportunities for better health, better shelter, and better access to fresh food. The opportunity to expand our training and increase solar installations with Lightstar’s support means more people can thrive in their own homes and lives.”
Lucy Bullock-Sieger, Lightstar’s Vice President of Strategy shared: “We are deeply inspired by Gallup Solar and their work to support solar energy access and job training for Diné / Navajo community members. It’s essential to provide access to solar to folks who need it most and fully aligns with Lightstar’s mission to support solar for both the land and the community. We are humbled and honored to expand the impact of Gallup’s solar installation and training program, in a culturally respectful way that honors the original stewards of this land.”
Together, Gallup Solar and Lightstar will help more Diné / Navajo families gain access to low-cost and environmentally-friendly clean energy and provide workforce training opportunities that will support an even greater number of solar installations in the region. This impactful partnership will create space for the Diné / Navajo People to shape a more healthy, safe, and prosperous future for the community.
Lightstar is a community solar developer and long-term owner with a pipeline of over 500 Megawatts (MWs) of community solar farms in the US. Founded by a seasoned team of solar developers, our mission is to be good stewards of the land and the communities that we serve. We are focused on leading in community solar development that is built with ecology and agricultural needs at the forefront, which in our mind is a key next phase of the clean energy transition.
About Gallup Solar:
Gallup Solar is collaborating with communities, elected representatives, utilities, and industry to bring solar power to all peoples in our area. We envision a flourishing and healthy environment that enables all communities to live in harmony with creation.
Lightstar Renewables Announces Sponsorship of Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center
“We are strong believers that the future of energy must involve protecting and regenerating our land” June 20, 2022 – Boston, MA – Lightstar Renewables (Lightstar), Boston-based community solar and agrivoltaic developer with a national pipeline, is announcing its sponsorship of the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center (CALC), an initiative of Jack’s Solar Garden, that educates […]