Ho ho solar! Sullivan Solar Power offering free solar for low-income families

A Sullivan Solar Power installationSullivan Solar Power will put free solar installations on the homes of some lucky low-income homeowners’ homes in California this holiday season. For every homeowner that gets a solar system from Sullivan Solar Power this holiday season the company, through a partnership with nonprofit GRID Alternatives, will donate a locally-manufactured solar panel to a project at a low-income residence.

“The free arrays will go to eligible low-income properties. Homeowners may apply with GRID Alternatives to receive the free solar installations,” said Sullivan Solar Power spokesperson Erica Johnson. The company anticipates that it will be able to install up to 3 systems through the offering. Sullivan Solar Power employees will also volunteer their time and expertise to assist with the installation of the projects of the donated solar panels through GRID Alternatives, which administers the California Solar Initiative’s SASH (Single-family Affordable Solar Homes) program. The nonprofit also trains and leads community volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems for low-income homeowners.

“The low-income homeowners receive fully-subsidized solar energy systems,” Johnson said. Under the program, the lucky homeowners will enter into a net-metering arrangement with SDG&E as all other solar producers do. “The system will be sized to offset the home's energy consumption and will not be designed to ‘over produce.’ In the event the system does produce more than the property consumes, they will receive 3.8 cents per kilowatt hour for that energy,” she said.
If you’re not a low-income homeowner, you can still get a PV array at little to no up-front cost through Sullivan, Johnson explained. “We do offer leases to homeowners, a majority of them funded by Clean Power Finance,” she said. That way a homeowner could go solar and help a low-income neighbor out without costing themselves anything.
Sullivan said it is the second time it has partnered with GRID Alternatives to donate free solar panels. It was able to donate enough modules to support the installation of three arrays around the summer solstice this year. It said those systems will help the beneficiary homeowners to save more than $18,000 over the warranty lifetime of the system.