A New Vision for Philadelphia
Philadelphians, do you know where your electricity comes from? Chances are, it is generated in a dirty fossil fuel power plant like the one below.
Perhaps you have made an effort to reduce your carbon footprint and have opted for a supplier who uses 100% national wind energy. In that case, most likely your payments are going to support a facility like the one below.......far away in Texas or the Midwest.
Solar States has a new vision for Philadelphia - one in which our energy usage supports the local economy, a healthy environment, and our children's education. It's called the Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative or PSSI.
What is PSSI?
The Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative (PSSI) is a new program with a mission to connect sustainable energy, education, and economic development in Philadelphia. Through PSSI, Solar States will:
a. Partner with investors to finance solar arrays for 20 local schools that would not be able to install solar panels otherwise.
b. Teach students in those schools about green energy (addressing multiple state Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - STEM - standards) and give them hands-on experience with solar technology.
c. Train students at Youth Build Charter School, a school for 18-21 year old students who have dropped out of traditional high schools, to design and install solar arrays and give them paid on-the-job experience as we complete all of the school installations.
This is how we think of it:
More solar array installations =more jobs in Philadelphia's growing green sector=more taxes collected=better funded city government
Educating students about solar energy=growing a workforce prepared to take jobs created by the growing local green economy!
What We Need
As a B-Corporation, Solar States' is concerned not only with the environmental sustainability of our practices, but also the financial sustainability of our programs. Unlike non-profit programs that depend on grant funding year to year, PSSI has been designed to be financially self-sustaining in the long run, however, we need some help to get started during the first year.
Currently, we are teaching at Youth Build Charter school for 10+ hours per week on a purely volunteer basis. We want to continue to teach this class AND expand our education efforts to 20 new schools. In order to make this happen, we need to hire a full-time PSSI Director/Teacher.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!
Through our indiegogo campaign, our goal is to raise $40,000, most of which will go towards a salary and teaching supplies for this new position. During his/her first year, the PSSI Director will be responsible for:
- Creating partnerships with 20 new schools in the Philadelphia area
Developing and implementing engaging and age-appropriate curriculum for the students at the partnering schools with the goal of increasing students' awareness of their own energy use and their understanding of how and where our city's electricity is generated
- Developing curriculum for and teaching the class at Youth Build Charter School
The IMPACT of your contribution to this project will be far-reaching and profound. You will be enabling an innovative public/private/non-profit partnership, which will:
Directly touch the lives of close to 1,000 students
- Install 1.5 Megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on area school roofs
- Deploy $2.5 Million towards solar infrastructure in the Philadelphia region
- Generate 1,708,200 kWh of electricity over the course of a year (equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 166 homes!)
- Avoid adding 1,205 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per year
Other Ways You Can Help1. Volunteer! PSSI is looking for sustainability professionals to come to class as guest speakers or to offer class tours of their office/work site
2. Choose a local solar energy product for your home or office from our partner energy provider, Clean Currents. http://www.cleancurrents.com/landing-page/solar-states/ The “Neighborhood Green” plan from Clean Currents will be a mix of local wind and solar from the roofs of the PSSI schools. Residents and businesses that choose this product will be helping to support PSSI!
3. Spread the word! Write a story about PSSI for your blog, tweet about us, share our link on your facebook page!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
The PSSI Team