U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Awards Solstice $800K Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 21, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
781-572-0432
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
solstice.us

BOSTON—Yesterday, Solstice Initiative was awarded an $800k grant by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative through the Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 2 (SEEDS2) program. Solstice will use the funding to radically expand access to community-shared solar power by deploying projects serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) consumers.

One of the main goals of the SEEDS2 program is to "increase foundational understanding of the... barriers to solar deployment in the U.S." To date, no mainstream community solar provider has developed a product that allows anyone, regardless of their credit score, to participate. Solstice's project seeks to challenge the assumption that low- to moderate-income households present substantial additional risk for community solar, given the ease with which customers can be swapped in and out of a project. Should this prove to be true, Solstice's project will facilitate the deployment of a market-based solution that will finally bring lower-income residents into the community solar market.

"Solstice is committed to providing underserved Americans with affordable solar, and we are enormously grateful for this SunShot grant," said Steve Moilanen, co-founder and President of Solstice. "These Americans spend a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity. With this funding, we can unlock the market for those that need solar savings the most." 

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About Solstice Initiative

Solstice Initiative is the first social enterprise dedicated to expanding affordable solar power to the 80% of Americans who cannot install a rooftop system. Under the Solstice model, households subscribe to a portion of a community solar array, enabling them to access clean energy and save money on their utility bill. Solstice partners with trusted local organizations to distribute community solar to their membership, conducting outreach efforts and managing the customer experience.

About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot

Solstice Named A Startup of the Year in Stevie Awards for "Revolutionary" Model

This week, Solstice won a Gold Stevie Award in the 2016 International Business Awards, a program "honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them" and "recogniz[ing] outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide." Solstice earned the top prize in the category of Startup of the Year in Consumer Services Industries.

Organizations of all sizes and across almost every industry submitted a record number of over 3,800 nominations for consideration in a wide range of categories. Executives from around the world reviewed the nominations, assigned ratings, and gave comments based on companies' business models and traction. 

"Solstice seems to have found the solution to many households that are not able to install solar energy collectors due to various reasons and circumstances," remarked one judge. "This is really inspiring!" another judge added. "Solstice's model and idea is simple, yet revolutionary and could form the basis of rolling out access to solar power not just within the USA but across the world. The potential flow down of the economic benefits to the community could be tremendous." 

Solstice and BlueWave Team Up to Provide Community Solar to Massachusetts Residents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
781-572-0432
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

BOSTON—Solstice, whose mission is to democratize access to clean energy, has joined forces with prominent solar developer BlueWave Capital to bring solar power to Massachusetts residents, especially to those who can't install solar on their rooftop.

Currently, BlueWave operates solar farms in Plympton and Mendon, and Solstice has been tapping nearby residents into these renewable energy projects. With no cost to join and a 10% monthly electricity savings kicking in immediately, the community solar program is a boon for the local economy and environment.

"Partnering with BlueWave has helped us make great strides in our mission. With their help, we are able to offer an easy and affordable solar option to families, companies, and community organizations in Massachusetts," said Solstice CFO Sandhya Murali, who manages solar developer collaborations. “We look forward to continuing our work with BlueWave to unlock solar power for these Americans."

“We’ve been working with Solstice since launching our Community Solar product in Massachusetts earlier this year and strongly believe in the organization’s mission and approach to bringing solar to residents in Massachusetts, and beyond," said BlueWave Principal Chris Gosline. "We look forward to building our relationship with Solstice as we scale up our Community Solar portfolio in the state, and applaud their team on the solar movement they are building."

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Awards Solstice a MassChallenge Scholarship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 13, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
781-572-0432
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

BOSTON—Solstice, a finalist in this year's cohort of the MassChallenge Boston accelerator, edged out other cleantech startups to earn a Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Scholarship of $5,000. The scholarship "recognizes startups in Massachusetts that are developing and commercializing technologies that contribute to the advancement of clean energy & water innovation."

Solstice will dedicate the resources to increased outreach efforts to houses of worship and small businesses in southeastern Massachusetts. “Through the MassChallenge Boston scholarship program, entrepreneurs are able to focus on implementing strategies that help drive growth rather than worry about the financial burdens involved with launching and growing a business,” said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston.

The scholarship builds upon the strong preexisting relationship between Solstice and Mass CEC, which has awarded Solstice funding through its internship programming. 

Solstice Adds Clean Energy Collective as Key Partner for Community Solar in Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
Solstice
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

BOSTON—Solstice, the first social enterprise dedicated to bringing solar power to every American, is now partnering with Clean Energy Collective, a leader in solar services, to bring clean energy to Massachusetts and help homes, community organizations, and small businesses save money on their electric bills.

Clean Energy Collective has already built a solar farm in Uxbridge, and Solstice is working to enroll ratepayers in the area who cannot put solar panels on their roof because they rent, get too much shade, or face other technical and financial obstacles. By subscribing to a community solar project, at no cost, Massachusetts residents can enjoy a 10% monthly savings on their electric bills.

“We are excited to be collaborating with Clean Energy Collective," said CFO Sandhya Murali, who manages business development partnerships for Solstice. “They have a wealth of expertise in solar development, and we are certain that this partnership will help us carry out our mission of expanding access to clean energy."

Solstice Wins Obvious Ventures #worldpositive prize at GES 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 24, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
781-572-0432
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

SAN FRANCISCO—Beating out a competitive field of startups, Solstice won the coveted #worldpositive prize at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the White House in Silicon Valley. The prize comes with a $50,000 investment in Solstice from Obvious Ventures, a venture capital firm launched by Twitter and Medium co-founder Evan Williams, in addition to their ongoing guidance and support.

The firm selected Solstice after hearing a pitch from Co-Founder and President Steph Speirs, and Speirs was interviewed onstage by AOL Founder Steve Case immediately preceding President Obama's remarks to the conference.

Obvious concluded that Solstice is poised to make a prodigious impact on fighting climate change and ensuring energy equity. "Steph wants to makes the solar revolution 'as inclusive as possible.' That’s an opportunity we can get behind," Obvious wrote in a statement.

For more information, see the statement issued by Obvious here.

 

Solstice Takes Grand Prize in Kia/TakePart's Re-Visionaries Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 31, 2016

Media Contact:
Jonah Bader
781-572-0432
jonah@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

BOSTON—This week, Solstice won TakePart’s “Re-Visionaries” Contest, which pitted 10 social enterprise finalists in an online competition, and secured the $5,500 grand prize from Kia. This support will enable Solstice to ramp up its outreach efforts to Massachusetts communities to enroll households in local community solar gardens.

The contest featured early-stage nonprofits from around the country tackling a host of societal problems. From March 8 to 22, voting was open to the public to select the most promising and exciting social venture, with Solstice garnering the highest number of votes. 

“The prize is a great reminder that solving the solar access problem in America is so much bigger than ourselves,” said Steph Speirs, Solstice Co-Founder and President. “It’s a reminder that none of us can tackle big, thorny problems alone, and our organization is only as effective as the supporters and talent it can rally to work together.”

Solstice Initiative Partners with Nexamp to Expand Solar Options in Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 1, 2015

Media Contact:
Steve Moilanen
Solstice Initiative
(617) 297-7614
steve@solsticeinitiative.org
http://www.solsticeinitiative.org

Corporate Contact
Edith Shi
Nexamp
(617) 431-1440 x116
eshi@nexamp.com
http://www.nexamp.com 
 

Community solar model enables millions of additional Massachusetts customers to switch to affordable clean energy—no rooftop required


BOSTON–Solstice Initiative, the first social enterprise dedicated to bringing solar power to every American, today announced that it is partnering with Nexamp, a leading provider of solar solutions, to expand access to clean energy savings for Massachusetts families, non-profits and small businesses.

An estimated 80 percent of Massachusetts households cannot currently install solar panels, either because the home has limited access to sunshine, or for a variety of other technical and financial reasons. Through community solar, Massachusetts residents can now “go solar” by subscribing to portions of an off-site solar power project. 

Solstice Initiative will work to help families, community organizations, and businesses participate in Nexamp’s community solar arrays being built across Massachusetts. Upon enrolling, these customers will see 15% savings on their electric bill once the project is active.

“Nexamp is a leader in providing solar power to organizations across Massachusetts, and deploying community solar to bring clean energy to individuals is the logical next step,” said Steph Speirs, Co-Founder and President of Solstice Initiative. “We believe you should not be locked out of the market for solar just because you rent your home or live on a shaded street. Nexamp is helping to overcome those barriers, and we are thrilled to be working with them to share the benefits of solar power with a new set of customers.”

Solstice Initiative was founded in 2014 and was selected for the Princeton eLab Accelerator Program and Halcyon Incubator, which supports social enterprises with ambitious visions of social change. It has also received accolades from the Verizon Powerful Answers award and MIT’s Climate CoLab prize, and was recently selected for the Echoing Green Climate Fellowship. Solstice works with top national solar providers, such as SolarCity, to make clean energy more accessible for all Americans.  

“Solstice Initiative shares our vision of community solar’s promise for a previously underserved segment of utility customers,” said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp. “Nexamp has been delivering savings to Massachusetts customers through solar power for nearly a decade. The ability to deliver those savings through Commonwealth’s best community solar product is a powerful enhancement to our vertically-integrated approach.” 

Nexamp is a Massachusetts-based company that develops, builds, owns, and maintains solar projects.  The company has installed over 40 megawatts of solar projects in over 100 cities and towns across the Commonwealth.  In addition to its own portfolio of assets, Nexamp offers third-party EPC and O&M services, and its community solar product offers an attractive option to developers looking to optimize the value their solar assets. The company is Solstice Initiative’s exclusive partner for community solar services.

To find out more information, visit www.solsticeinitiative.org/go-solar or call (617) 297-7614.

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About Solstice Initiative
Solstice Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the first social enterprise dedicated to expanding affordable solar power to every American household, especially the 80 percent that cannot install a rooftop system. Under the Solstice model, households purchase a portion of a community-shared solar array, enabling them to access clean energy and save money on their utility bill. Solstice partners with socially-minded organizations to distribute community solar to their local constituents. Solstice designs, markets, and administers this solar offering on behalf of community organizations.

About Nexamp
Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solutions for solar energy development, ownership, and operation. Our comprehensive capabilities span the entire solar project lifecycle – from project development, design and construction to financing and operations and maintenance. Our ability to provide integrated, best-in-class solutions makes solar energy simple and profitable for our clients and partners.

 

Solstice Initiative Wins Coveted Echoing Green 2015 Climate Fellowship

Prestigious network names founders among world’s best emerging social innovators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON – Global nonprofit Echoing Green today awarded Solstice Initiative founders Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen a highly competitive and coveted Fellowship for their work to provide solar power to underserved Americans.

The Fellowship is a prize given to the most innovative, bold ideas for social change in the world. Echoing Green offers seed funding, mentoring, and leadership opportunities to the one percent of applicants that they select.

In response to receiving the fellowship, Speirs said, “It’s a true honor for Solstice to be recognized by a celebrated organization like Echoing Green. More Americans using solar power will help families save money and preserve the environment—and this fellowship allows us to do just that.”

Solstice is the first social enterprise dedicated to putting affordable solar power within reach of every American, particularly the 80 percent that cannot install solar panels on their roof. Under the Solstice model, households purchase a portion of a community-shared solar array, enabling them to access clean energy for the first time and save money on their utility bill—without an upfront cost. Solstice is based in Boston and currently undertaking projects in southern and central Massachusetts, with plans for expansion to multiple states.

52 organizations were chosen based on a rigorous selection process from a pool of 3,629 global candidates. As part of the program, Speirs and Moilanen will receive $90,000 in funding for two years, a health insurance stipend, leadership development courses, pro bono services, mentoring from leading business professionals and, most importantly, become part of a global network of social impact professionals.

“We’re inspired by the other dedicated leaders selected for the 2015 Echoing Green Fellowships and will support and champion them as they continue working to make the world a healthier, safer, and more equitable place to live,” said Moilanen.

Since 1987, Echoing Green has invested almost $40 million in seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to nearly 700 world-class leaders driving positive social change in more than sixty countries. Past Fellows have included the founders of Teach For America, City Year, Citizen Schools, One Acre Fund, and SKS Microfinance.

“Echoing Green Fellowships are designed to help these emerging leaders go further, faster, to change the world. We’re proud to be investing in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Echoing Green President Dr. Cheryl Dorsey. “Many of the Fellows chosen are leading projects in the earliest stages, when it is hardest to find the necessary resources to get off the ground.”

Solstice Initiative was founded in 2014 and was selected for the Princeton eLab Accelerator Program and Halcyon Incubator, which supports social enterprises with ambitious visions of social change. It won the Audience Choice Award at Princeton Entrepreneurs’ Network Startup Competition and has received accolades from the Verizon Powerful Answers award and MIT’s Climate CoLab prize.

Full descriptions of the 2015 Echoing Green Fellows can be accessed at http://echoinggreen.org/2015-fellows.

Read Echoing Green’s official announcement, which mentions Solstice Initiative, here.

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About Solstice Initiative

Solstice Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the first social enterprise dedicated to expanding affordable solar power to every American household, especially the 80 percent that cannot install a rooftop system. Under the Solstice model, households purchase a portion of a community-shared solar array, enabling them to access clean energy and save money on their utility bill. Solstice partners with socially-minded organizations to distribute community solar to their local constituents. Solstice designs, markets, and administers this solar offering on behalf of community organizations. To find out more information, visit solsticeinitiative.org.

Steve Moilanen, Co-Founder and CEO, has spent years working for the federal government, international organizations, and political campaigns in support of social change. He was previously employed by the White House Office Energy and Climate Change, which worked to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity industry, promulgate fuel efficiency standards, and manage the federal response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In September 2014, Steve was selected as a Halcyon Fellow, which recognizes and supports outstanding young entrepreneurs with ambitious visions of social change. Steve’s experience also includes employment with the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Obama for America. Steve graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and holds a Master in Public Affairs degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. See his Echoing Green profile at http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/steve-moilanen.

Steph Speirs, Co-Founder and President, is a social entrepreneur and community builder with eight years of operational management experience in multiple countries. She was selected as a Global Fellow with Acumen, an impact investment fund that recognizes leaders in social enterprise. She previously worked as the Innovation Manager in sales and marketing at d.light India, a solar products company powering areas without reliable electricity; spearheaded Acumen's renewable energy sector investment strategy in Pakistan; developed Middle East policy as the youngest-ever Director at the White House National Security Council; and managed field operations in seven states for the first Obama presidential campaign. She holds a B.A. from Yale and a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) with distinction from Princeton, and is a recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. See her Echoing Green profile at http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/stephanie-speirs.

Volunteer Opportunities: Solstice is recruiting volunteers to help with a range of projects including market research, graphic design, web design, programming, marketing, and outreach. Email your resume to contact@solsticeinitiative.org for more information.

 About Echoing Green

Echoing Green’s mission is to unleash next generation talent to solve the world's biggest problems. Echoing Green was one of the first organizations to invest in early-stage social entrepreneurs through our Fellowship program almost 30 years ago. Today, the organization remains focused on building a global community of emerging leaders in social change. To date, the organization has supported almost 700 organizations led by the most extraordinary purpose-driven leaders of our time. Echoing Green Fellows include the founders of Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, The Global Fund for Children and SKS Microfinance. Echoing Green’s accelerator programming and investments help these leaders to go further, faster. Echoing Green also runs a suite of innovative programs that cultivate and support promising leaders, including programming dedicated to purpose development, board leader preparation, and impact investing. For more information, visit www.echoinggreen.org.