Claremont, CA – The California Legislature passed the 2019-20 State Budget and it includes $2.1 million in funding for the construction on an advanced manufacturing facility that will produce patented-technology solar panels for low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, employ more than 200 local residents and help the cities of Claremont and Pomona significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“We’re extremely grateful for the unwavering support of Assemblymember Holden in securing this critical piece of funding,” said Devon Hartman, Founder, Claremont-Pomona Locally Grown Power.
The planning and development of the world’s first locally based nonprofit solar panel assembly factory has been years in the making and has brought together a broad base of dedicated volunteers, students, scholars, business owners, community leaders and elected officials who are committed to net zero GHG goals, creating clean energy jobs, stimulating the local economy and addressing environmental justice.
“The California Legislature has set ambitious climate policies and I am 100% committed to furthering our leadership role in combating climate change, but we need all Californians to be able to be part of greener energy solutions,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The Locally Grown Power nonprofit model gives the opportunity for more Californians to have a seat at the table and be able to support our existing legislative priorities.”
“The simple truth is this: Cities and regions such as ours have little to no chance of reaching California’s energy and GHG goals until and unless every member of our communities has the opportunity to participate regardless of their economic situation. What we’re doing will provide that opportunity and make a tangible difference in every community we serve – from the ground up,” said Hartman.
Claremont/Pomona Locally Grown Power will have a relatively small footprint – 4,000 square feet – but will create over 200 middle-class manufacturing and construction jobs. The first production goal is to build and install 6,000 photovoltaic systems on low-to-moderate income homes, allowing those households to save a total of $6.5 million in energy costs each year.
“That’s real, added disposable income that will now be spent here, locally, on goods and services. It’s the most powerful local economic stimulus we can create,” said Hartman.
The 6,000 new systems will reduce carbon emissions by 26,700 metric tons per year, making it the least expensive carbon mitigation program of its kind in California.
“Our goal with this initial factory is to take Claremont and Pomona to net zero carbon emissions and to establish them as a national model for energy efficiency and renewable energy – proving that we can create sustainable energy AND sustainable economics by focusing all efforts on stimulating our local economy, bringing back middle-class manufacturing jobs, and seriously addressing our environmental justice issues all at the same time,” said Hartman.
The Locally Grown Power initiative, designed to be replicable in cities across California, uses proprietary technology, highly efficient production processes and a not-for-profit business model to make solar power available to households that are typically shut out due to cost.
“I look forward to realizing the promise of Locally Grown Power in cities throughout the State of California that empower all Californians to play a part in clean energy solutions,” said Assemblymember Holden.