Henderson-Hopkins, The Climate Access Fund & Community Solar


Despite what you may have heard, Baltimore is one of the most vibrant cities in America. Cruel stereotypes about crime and poverty have marred the reputation of a city with thriving restaurants, a bustling music scene, local pride in excess, and tight knit communities. That sense of community is what makes Baltimore so special. Neighbors greet neighbors, kids of all ages play in the streets, communities come together in unity; the city runs on mutual assistance. Baltimore is not what you’ve heard it to be, it is so much more.

The Henderson-Hopkins School is a perfect representation of collaboration in Baltimore. This Baltimore Public School has partnered with Johns Hopkins University to increase access to quality education in the eastern part of the city. Henderson-Hopkins is comprised of cluster of intimate buildings inspired by East Baltimore’s row houses, stoops, and social civic spaces. The campus is a microcosm of the city itself: students exist in a learning space that mirrors their neighborhood, with state-of-the-art amenities to boot. More so than just a school, Henderson-Hopkins is a focal point of the community, offering early childcare facilities, a family health center, a library, an auditorium and a gym, as shared resources for residents and businesses in the community. Now, the community is looking to further build social and environmental resilience, but it needs your help.

Through the Climate Access Fund, led by Lynn Heller and the Coalition for Green Capital, cheap and clean solar power is now accessible for the Henderson-Hopkins school and the low-moderate income community it supports. The vast majority of low-income households in Maryland do not benefit from the cost savings associated with solar power. In Baltimore, 35% of the population is classified as "low-income" and over 70% of the population identifies as BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color)1. Community Solar enables low-income & historically excluded households to subscribe to solar projects that are not located on their rooftops and receive a credit on their utility bills.  The resulting bill savings can be substantial. In the case of the Henderson-Hopkins Community Solar project, an estimated 175 low-income households will see their electricity bills reduced by 25%, a significant savings. 

Impacts

The Climate Access Fund will manage the development and construction of the rooftop 874kW-DC solar array on the Henderson-Hopkins School.  This project aims to:

(1) reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 metric tons CO2E

(2) provide a 25% electricity bill discount to an estimated 175 low-income households, (3) create an investment opportunity for low-income residents through shared project ownership

(4) create solar job training opportunities

(5) educate school children about the community benefits of solar power.

This project has outsized impacts, both social and environmental. An investment in the Climate Access Fund and its community solar project is an investment in the true Baltimore — that of a vibrant arts scene, forwards-looking development, and dedicated communities and neighbors.

If you want to empower this community with cheap and clean solar energy, visit https://invest.raisegreen.com/offering/climate-access-fund/details to indicate your interest!

1. (Malter, 2015

 

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