With the completion of a 180-kW rooftop array at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Reno nonprofit Black Rock Solar has reached the milestone of building five megawatts of solar power capacity across the state of Nevada. The 83 clean energy projects built by Black Rock Solar since its 2007 founding include arrays for schools, hospitals, food banks, homeless shelters and Native American tribes. These arrays have been built at little or no cost to the recipients, but now provide more than $725,000 of combined savings annually on the organizations’ energy bills.
“As a nonprofit with a mission to help rural communities and organizations that serve others to save money through building clean energy, Black Rock Solar is delighted to have reached the five megawatts milestone,” said Paddy McCully, Executive Director of Black Rock Solar. “We’re directly benefiting the people of Nevada through the environmental and economic benefits of solar power.”
The impact is in the numbers: The 22,000 solar panels Black Rock Solar has installed in the last seven years are abating 4,435 tons of atmospheric CO2 annually. That is equal to 739 cars removed from roads or 1,478 houses taken off the grid. And the $725,000 in annual utility-bill savings translates directly into meals for the hungry, stronger schools for students and better health care for Nevada’s rural communities.
In addition to five solar arrays for Western Nevada College and 15 other educational institutions, Black Rock Solar’s projects have included Northern Nevada Food Bank, The Children’s Cabinet, Nevada Discovery Museum, Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows and Mason Valley, WestCare, the Pioneer Center, Friends in Service Helping, St. Mary’s Art Center and Battle Mountain General Hospital. Black Rock Solar has built solar projects in 12 of Nevada’s 16 counties.
The single largest source of funding for the solar arrays has been NV Energy’s SolarGenerations program.
“Western Nevada College’s strong commitment to renewable energy should be applauded,” said John Hargrove, the renewable energy manager for NV Energy. “And Black Rock Solar should be congratulated for having installed 5 megawatts of solar energy for Nevada nonprofit organizations.”
As it reaches toward the six-megawatt mark, Black Rock Solar is expanding into California and into the low-income housing and sustainable agriculture sectors.