Our first Sharing Solar project put solar on 4 affordable housing units owned by Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT). The system — which is expected to save the tenants $1,700 a year on electricity costs — was installed in October 2015 and celebrated with a ribbon-cutting on November 6.
Durham Community Land Trustees is a nonprofit that builds strong communities by developing, managing and advocating for permanently affordable housing that offers Durham residents with low and moderate incomes a stable foundation for achieving economic security.
We installed an 11.55-kilowatt solar power system on the DCLT quadruplex of apartments at 811 Carroll Street in Durham. The system was installed by Yes Solar Solutions, one of the 3 companies that helped NC WARN install solar on 200 roofs during the Solarize programs.
NC WARN provided $20,000 toward the installation cost from the Sharing Solar fund. Volunteers from RePowering Durham — a project anchored by NC WARN — raised the remaining $22,851 from solar fans across the state who believe everyone in North Carolina should have access to clean, affordable power.
Since the building is owned by a nonprofit (DCLT) and donations were being used to install solar, donors were entitled to take the 35% North Carolina renewable energy tax credit on their 2015 taxes. Along with the charitable donation deduction on their Federal taxes, they got as much as 50% of their money back! (More info on the tax credit here. Page 8 of this NC Department of Revenue publication shows that the credit may be taken by donors to nonprofits.) Unfortunately, the NC legislature failed to extend the state renewable energy tax credit past the end of 2015, so this benefit was not available after 2015.
Read about the project in this IndyWeek article about efforts to get the Durham City Council to pass a pro-solar resolution.
A spinoff benefit of the project was a relationship forged between Yes Solar Solutions and the Durham Economic Resource Center, who have a tentative agreement for Yes to provide apprenticeships to students in DERC’s Workforce Development program next year.
Fundraising Phase — May to October 2015
Words of Support
Installation Phase — October 2015
Celebration Phase! Ribbon-Cutting November 6, 2015