Solar Ribbon Cutting at Urban Ministries

Left to right, Rita Leadem, NC WARN Assistant Director, Durham Mayor William Bell, Patrice Nelson, Executive Director of Urban Ministries and Stew Miller of Yes Solar Solutions cut the ribbon for the solar installation donated to Urban Ministries by NC WARN, installed by Yes

Durham, NC – Energy-climate watchdog group NC WARN today announced a campaign to donate solar electric and hot water systems to nonprofit facilities providing services for needy North Carolinians. By working with local solar installation companies, the group is promoting solar power as solid, affordable
investments for most homes and businesses, and a key element of the much-needed statewide shift to aclimate-protecting renewable energy economy.

For many years, NC WARN has promoted the benefits of solar energy in the public eye and at the NC Utilities Commission. Now the group is donating rooftop systems and energy efficiency upgrades to a number of service organizations that use large amounts of hot water and electricity – including homeless shelters, group homes and rehabilitation centers. By lowering operating costs significantly, WARN aims to help sister nonprofits apply more funds toward services for residents in need.

The project was made possible by an unsolicited grant recognizing NCWARN’s work promoting rooftop solar power as superior to new fossil and nuclear power plants. So far the Solar Rooftop Donation Program has led to sizeable electric and hot water installations at Urban Ministries of Durham and a hot water system at the Helen Wright Center for Women in Raleigh.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell said at a press conference today in front of Urban Ministries, “I want Durham to be a leader in reducing pollution and protecting our environment as well as in meeting the needs of all our citizens. We appreciate this project as an excellent example of how we can do all at the
same time.”

NC WARN Assistant Director Rita Leadem today said, “We urge members of the public to consider a great investment in a solar hot water or electricity-generating system – either rooftop, carport or
ground-mount. Such “distributed” power helps protect all state residents from soaring electricity rates by avoiding costly, dangerous new power plants. And it helps us all by cutting greenhouse gases and other pollution.”
She added that solar provides an unmatched return on investment for home and business owners by locking in a very low cost for energy over the long term. “And the fuel – light from the sun – is free,” she said.

Patrice Nelson, Executive Director of Urban Ministries of Durham, said today, “We embrace effective innovations that help us move people from crisis to a place of long-term sustainability. Likewise, for years to come, these solar systems will free thousands of dollars per year that we can use directly for services to those in need, at least enough savings to pay for at least 2,000 meals in our café. We’re grateful for this contribution from NC WARN that empowers us to help neighbors in need.”

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