Creating a Viable and Sustainable Ecosystem in South Dallas
Solarize South Dallas
Over the next 18 months, the project team is to develop innovative projects that enable residents and non-profits in the Fair Park & South Dallas communities to go solar. The project will demonstrate community solar installations, completed by local residents who have completed GFI’s solar technical training program (or classes). The lessons learned from this pilot project will inspire other economically challenged communities in the DFW metroplex looking to go solar. These solar projects will be installed by trained South Dallas residents, as our team creates a network of a qualified solar workforce in the region. As a result, we were selected among 170 nation teams to compete for over $5 million worth of federal funds through the Department of Energy.
The Team has partnered with local community groups such as Forward Planning, Miles of Freedom, the North Texas Renewable Energy Group, the State Fair of Texas, and Zip Code Connection, to help create strategies that empower local citizens through breakthrough renewable energy innovations. In April of 2017, the Team hosted a one-week solar technical training course, offered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, where 15 local residents successfully completed training on the technical design and safety elements of solar photovoltaic installation projects and learned about career opportunities.
Funding this project will bring South Dallas residents access to the rapidly growing solar industry with an holistic approach:
- Offer ease of access to training in South Dallas and connect graduates with local employers,
- Install solar in South Dallas and beyond at a living wage,
- Students start “green” businesses,
- Grow overall local economy from within.
Our initial trainings will incorporate a holistic training model created by California-based Solar Richmond, highlighted in the film “Catching the Sun”.