Roanoke Cooperative in partnership with national solar energy company and Google

A collaboration in North and South Carolina enables additional solar energy projects and supports surrounding low-income communities to reduce energy burden.

Aulander, NC. – March 8, 2023 – Roanoke Cooperative (RC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Sol Systems, a national solar energy company, in a unique renewable energy procurement and investment strategy with Google that enables the development of new solar energy projects and supports local communities where the projects are built.

Sol Systems and Google have structured an integrated clean energy investment and procurement strategy for solar projects being developed by Pine Gate Renewables in North and South Carolina. This strategy provides capital to enable 225 MWdc of new solar energy projects and 18 MW of battery storage resources. These assets are being developed in a region with relatively low renewable energy penetration and of specific focus for Google and its 24/7 carbon-free energy goal.

Alongside this investment, Google and Sol Systems will deploy capital to seed critical investments into regional community organizations that serve under-resourced and minority communities. The investment will focus on reducing energy burden by enabling critical home pre-weatherization and safety upgrades to low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. Four regional organizations will receive initial funding from the partnership: Roanoke Electric Cooperative (NC), Santee Electric Cooperative (SC), Aiken Electric Cooperative (SC), and the Sustainability Institute of South Carolina.

This partnership will allow REC to offer member-owners the ability to participate in a simple yet powerful energy-efficiency solution, the “Upgrade to $ave” program. This solution enables member-owners to reap savings by making critical repairs and energy efficiency upgrades to their homes and businesses without making any upfront investment themselves. “Not only will this support from Sol Systems and Google help us continue our mission to enhance the quality of life and home comfort for residents, but it will also expand our commitment to creating a positive impact within our communities,” said Marshall Cherry, CEO of REC.

“We are honored to be working with Google, a pioneer in renewable energy procurement and community investment,” said Sol Systems’ CEO Yuri Horwitz. “As they have in the past, they continue to provide leadership and innovation for our industry. We look forward to building on this work in the future.”

“By 2030, we’re aiming for every Google data center to operate on clean energy every hour of every day. As we work toward this goal, we are committed to ensuring that the communities where we operate are actively benefiting from the clean energy transition,” said Christopher Scott, Energy Lead at Google. “We’re excited to partner with Sol Systems to not only bring new solar projects online to one of the most difficult grids to decarbonize but also work with them to help lower the energy burden in under-resourced communities through the clean energy transition.”