One of our 350.org offices in the US is based in Oakland, California, a city that a number of our staff also call home. It's an amazing community to be a part of: diverse, vibrant, and full of individuals and groups who are working to find solutions to some of our most challenging problems.
One of those groups is RE-volv, a nonprofit that helps people crowdfund solar energy systems. Last Tuesday, RE-volv launched a crowd-funding campaign to pay for a solar energy system that it will lease to the Kehilla Community Synagogue, near lake Merrit in Oakland. The lease payments from this system will be reinvested into their revolving fund for solar which over time will finance three additional solar energy projects. On the first day of the Indiegogo campaign, accessible at solarseedfund.org, RE-volv raised over $10,000 towards its goal of $65,000 from over 70 people.
“This is exciting news for the Kehilla community as well as the planet. The lease payments from this project will allow many more communities to go solar, multiplying Kehilla’s impact” said Andreas Karelas, Executive Director of RE-volv. “We are delighted to work with the Kehilla Community Synagogue that has played a meaningful role in the community for 30 years.”
The solar installation will provide 26 kW—85% of Kehilla's electrical needs, saving the community $150,000 in energy costs over the 25 year warranty of the system. As solar replaces traditional grid electricity to power the facility, the community will avoid the release of 18,570 pounds of carbon dioxide, 57 pounds of nitrous oxide, and 42 pounds of sulfur dioxide emissions each year of operation.
"Kehilla has been working for several years to ‘green’ our congregation, as part of our community's effort to address climate change” said Rabbi David J. Cooper. “We are so excited to be working with RE-volv to allow us to go solar and dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, while helping other communities go solar as well."
Kehilla is a spiritual home to more than 350 member households, striving to promote social and economic justice, pursue peace, and care for the planet.
RE-volv finished its first solar project with the nonprofit Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, CA in June earlier this year.
It's exciting to see innovative projects like this taking place--especially when they're right in your backyard. We're proud to call RE-volv and Kehilla neighbors. And we're very excited to see all that they're going to accomplish in the years ahead.