It's long past the time for action on Climate Change so I decided to focus on a group that is doing something real to make a difference. Black Rock Solar developed from the Green Man theme at Burning Man 2007. Tom Price then the Green Man manager charged with greening the burn took up the challenge and has now formed a not-for-profit to:
take on climate change, and speed the adoption of renewable energy, by building low or no cost solar power in unlikely places, and teaching community members how they can do the same. Because if we’re going to solve the climate crisis, everyone has to be part of the solution. They can then use all the money they save to support their communities how they best see fit.
To date, Black Rock Solar has been involved with installing solar panels at schools, universities and churches with financing provided by NV Energy, in some cases. For example at Lovelock Nevada's school, Black Rock Solar has installed two arrays of panels which will save the amount of one teacher's salary over the course of the lifetime of the array. This initiative illustrates the intent of Black Rock Solar to put renewable energy to work so that other not-for-profits can focus their resources on their mission. Next in line to receive a solar panel array is the Northern Nevada Food Bank. Several other projects have also been completed in the communities of Gerlach and Nixon. And more work is underway in California, Texas and Michigan.
Not one to stand on past laurels, Price is plowing ahead to make solar affordable for homeowners in Nevada. He and Black Rock Solar were proponents of Assembly Bill 186, enacted on October 1, 2009, which changes a long standing Nevada law to allow homeowners to contract with a renewable energy business to use creative financing and install products at little or no cost up front. Not only will this allow homeowners who couldn't realistically afford to update with renewable energy to move forward but it is also a boost to the solar power industry in Nevada.
As one of the Culture Labs of Black Rock City, Black Rock Solar is taking the culture of Burning Man out to the real world to deal with Climate Change by using minimal resources, minimal staff, some volunteers and minimal administrative expenses to deliver real change to communities in Nevada, California, Texas and Michigan.
Donations for this exceptional project are tax-deductible for US contributors and real resources will help push this project ahead. Donate here.