Bringing Solar Home: A Town Hall for New Yorkers

Fall 2021 Series

October 20, 2021 7:00 pm OnlineWatch on YouTube

Can we go solar even if we rent our homes or we don’t have much cash to invest? Yes we can! Come learn about community solar for renters, affordable solar programs for low- and middle-income homeowners, and how battery storage can change the future of solar energy in New York City. This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library, and Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization that is a part of the Barrio Solar campaign to bring affordable solar power to working families in Brooklyn.


Michelle Chung, Resilient Solar Associate, Solar One. Michelle Chung (she/her) is a Resilient Solar Associate at Solar One, where she supports project development of some of New York City’s first solar + storage projects. She is a Brooklyn native and brings experience in community development, stakeholder engagement, and urban policy. Prior to joining Solar One, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil and worked on mass timber market development at the U.S. Forest Service. She has also worked on several urban sustainability initiatives at NYC Parks and DSNY.

Bruno Estrada, Resilient Solar Associate, Solar One. Bruno Estrada (he/him) is a Bilingual Resilient Solar Associate at Solar One, where he is working on “Barrio Solar”, a campaign to bring solar to Low-Moderate Income homeowners, and previously led environmental education and workforce programs in the city. He is a Queens native with Latino roots. Bruno has extensive experience in case management as a Program Manager for the YMCA of Greater New York. In 2014 after two years with the YMCA he arrived in the Dominican Republic to be sworn in as a Healthy Communities (HC) Extensionist Peace Corps Volunteer. As a Peace Corps Volunteer Bruno served along the Dominican-Haitian border where he found his passion for culturally responsible sustainability. After twenty- nine months of service in the Peace Corps, Bruno worked with a small NGO based out of Atlanta, Georgia called World Water Relief. His passion lives at the intersection of equity, inclusion and sustainability.


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Countering the climate crisis requires bold action, and that includes switching New Yorkers from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, like solar, as quickly as possible. Many Brooklynites would like to make the switch to solar energy but lack the financial resources and need help navigating the process. In addition, outdated state and city regulations are blocking the path to New York City’s solar future.

Here are some resources to help make sense of it all.

Bringing Solar Home

If you’re interested in solar energy for your home, these groups can get you started.

For homeowners who want to install solar panels

Barrio Solar’s mission is to bring affordable solar power to all working families in Brooklyn. Through Barrio Solar, participating homeowners are eligible for free solar feasibility studies and discounted solar prices through a purchasing group. Depending on income and location, some homeowners will also qualify for a $3,500 incentive.

Register for a neighborhood-specific Barrio Solar session here.

For renters and those whose buildings aren’t ideal for solar

If you’re a renter or don’t have ideal conditions to install solar panels on your roof, you can still “bring solar home” by signing up for community solar. Apartment-dwellers, homeowners and small businesses can share a single solar energy system, cutting energy costs and contributing to a healthier planet through solar credits.

Learn more about community solar in New York City, how to save money with community solar, and how you can join a community solar project with Solar One’s Community Solar Info Hub.

Challenges to NYC’s Climate Goals

New York City has ambitious renewable energy goals, but city and state regulations create hurdles.

Removing the Barriers: Call to Action

Call Governor Hochul and your state legislators telling them to remove regulatory barriers to expanding solar energy in New York. You can use the script here to call the governor at 518-474-8390.

Use these links to find contact information

Brooklyn’s Battery Breakthrough: Solar + Battery Storage

Four Brooklyn Public Library branches that were badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy will now feature solar panels plus New York City’s first-ever large-scale battery storage. Even when extreme weather knocks out the electric grid, Brooklynites will be able to charge phones and other devices at these four branches.