The City of Asheville is one of over 180 local governments that are members of the Urban Sustainability Network (USDN). This network brings local governments together to advance sustainability initiatives. One of these initiatives was a partnership with World Resources Institute and the Rocky Mountain Institute to implement a renewable accelerator residential solar cohort that provided technical assistance (including analyzing rooftop solar economics and tracking campaign equity impacts) to local governments implementing a bulk purchasing solar program. The City of Asheville was one of twenty-one local governments selected to participate in the cohort.
The Asheville Buncombe Solarize campaign had the most solar installations out of all campaigns in the cohort! While the city provided access to this cohort and funding (along with Buncombe County) for program implementation, the credit goes to our community partners that made this program a reality. Some of the good news from this program:
- 1,441.7 kWs of solar installed on homes throughout Buncombe County – equivalent to 60,602 bags of trash recycled instead of going to the landfill.
- 12 residential solar systems provided at no cost to low income homeowners in Buncombe County
- 27.6 kWs of solar installed on businesses throughout Buncombe County – equivalent to 999 bags or trash recycled instead of going to the landfill.
- One solar system provided at no cost to one local non-profit
- 5 Green Opportunities graduates provided with on the job training with selected solar installer
This is an excellent example of local government partnering with local nonprofits, community organizations and for profit entities to advance City Council’s strategic priority of a clean and healthy environment as well as Buncombe County’s 100% renewable energy by 2042 goal.
For more information, visit the Office of Sustainability web page.