Author: 3Degrees Staff

At 3Degrees, we make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change— providing renewable energy and carbon offset solutions to Fortune 500 companies, utilities, universities, green building firms and other organizations that are working to make their operations more sustainable. And as a certified B Corporation and eight-time winner of the EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year award, we’re primed to deliver custom clean power solutions that will help each organization make an environmental impact. Founded in 2007, 3Degrees is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices across the United States.

South Peak Wind Project

South Peak Wind Project

Located in central Montana, South Peak is a 80 MW wind farm that sells power to NorthWestern Energy, an arrangement that was defined in a 15-year power purchase contract. Allete Clean Energy developed the project, which comprises 29 General Electric wind turbines. Energy generated from South Peak Wind Farm is enough to power about 35,000 homes. Once heavily reliant on coal- and gas-generated electricity, Montana is now a leader in renewable energy generation in the United States; however, the state still has room for improvement. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Montana is ranked fifth for potential onshore wind power, although it currently ranks 24th in the nation for actual installed capacity, with a total of 720 MW of wind energy.

Photos courtesy of Allete Clean Energy

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Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Coal-fired plants have typically provided the majority of Montana’s electricity generation. The utility’s use of wind energy from South Peak has a carbon dioxide offset of about 207,000 tons annually.

Economic

+ On top of the jobs created in the construction of South Peak, 3-5 additional employment opportunities have been created during commercial operation.

 

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PosiGen Rooftop Solar Project Profile

Solar Power For All program helps LMI communities lower their energy costs

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, New Orleans sought to rebuild; they endeavored to make their homes more efficient, affordable and more resistant to future storm destruction. PosiGen Solar saw the disparity of support and relief programs for low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities and found an opportunity to change the equation by partnering with Greater New Orleans Housing Association and Solar Alternatives to implement solar power for all. Its mission is to make solar affordable and accessible to everyone, particularly (LMI) communities and communities of color. They offer clean energy solutions to 100% of solar feasible homes and small business owners through city and community supported outreach and education.

Through the Solar Power for All program, they are making it possible for families in underserved Louisana communities to invest in their homes, save money on their utility bills, and take steps toward a brighter future with rooftop solar energy, home battery backup systems, and energy efficiency upgrades. The four primary goals of PosiGen’s solar program is to make an impact on the families they serve, provide job opportunities in the communities in which they are active, support growth in low income communities and communities of color, and to have a positive impact on the environment.

 

“With the savings, I’ll be able to put some money aside for my grandson, fix up my house, we might be able to go take a trip somewhere. To put aside that kind of money for him, I think that would be beautiful.” 

-Mary Christmas, Solar Power for All Participant

 

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ To date, PosiGen has installed solar for ~14,600+ customers.

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The project has generated nearly 64M KWh in solar production. Each kilowatt-hour of solar that is generated will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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The project has prevented 80k metric tons of carbon from being released into the   atmosphere, which is the equivalent of 89M lbs of coal.

Economic

+ In total, PosiGen customers have a net $7.5M in monthly cost savings due to the unique business model of low-cost rooftop solar panel leasing combined with energy-efficiency upgrades, such as blower door tests, and smart thermostat installations.

Social

+ The Solar Power For All program extends the benefits of renewable energy to LMI communities by making solar accessible to everyone, regardless of credit score or income, as 9,000 customers have FICO scores below 700 and 7,000 customers make less than $50,000 per year.

 


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Somalia Street Lights Peace REC Project

First P-RECs from Somalia will boost electrification and safety in Abudwak City

Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) have the potential to expand the renewable energy revolution to vulnerable regions, improve quality of life, and create economic opportunities. A P-REC is an International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC) with an additional certification  by Energy Peace Partners (EPP) of the social and economic co-benefits associated with the  project. 

Developers like Dayah Electric Power Company (DEPCO) are extending the benefits of solar energy to countries in Africa, where energy attribute certificate (EAC) markets have yet to be fully developed. Currently, DEPCO owns and operates a diesel-powered mini-grid in Somalia’s Abudwak City, the largest city in Galmudug State, which it plans to convert to a solar-plus-storage hybrid system. To reduce reliance on diesel-powered generators, DEPCO will install a 400kWp solar power plant. 

Starting in 2022, approximately 700 P-RECs are projected to be issued each year, although energy production estimates will be confirmed upon final system build. These would be the first EACs and P-RECs to be issued and sold from Somalia. P-REC purchases from the Abuduwak solar plant will fund the phased implementation of a community solar street light project that delivers a significant positive impact on quality of life and safety for Abudwak residents.

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ The solar mini grids reduce the need for carbon intensive forms of energy that are typical in Somalia. This has a direct climate mitigation impact by reducing local air pollution and decreasing carbon emissions.

Economic

+ DEPCO’s solar sites will provide power to rural households in Somalia, a nation that has been characterized by underdevelopment for decades, with approximately half its population lacking access to electricity. 

Health/Social

+ The P-REC-funded community streetlights will increase safety and security, and allow local businesses to stay open longer. The electricity connections enabled by the solar mini grids will increase overall quality of life for rural Somali households. 

Photos courtesy of Dayah Electric Power Company


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Uganda P-REC Solar Project

First-ever Ugandan P-RECs provide funding for community streetlights

The regions of the world most affected by crises tend to be those most vulnerable to climate change, and are largely excluded from climate finance flows and related investment. In addition, conflict-affected communities tend to experience high levels of energy poverty and face issues like hunger, malnutrition, and lack of basic human necessities. Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECS) have the potential to expand the renewable energy revolution to vulnerable regions, improve quality of life, and create economic opportunities. A P-REC is an International Renewable Energy Credit (I-REC) with an additional certification by Energy Peace Partners (EPP) of the social and economic co-benefits associated with the project. 

Developers like Winch Energy are extending the benefits of solar energy to countries in Africa, where REC markets have yet to be fully developed. In Northern Uganda’s Lamwo district, Winch recently equipped 25 villages with 40kWp off-grid solutions, also known as Remote Power Units (RPU), all of which have been commissioned and are fully operational as of June 2022.

In a second phase, 6,000 portable batteries will be deployed for villagers that reside too far to gain direct access to the power unit. Developed specifically to broaden access to reliable, affordable clean energy in off-grid communities, Winch’s off-grid solutions enhance public services such as healthcare and education, create new economic opportunities, and improve overall living conditions. 

Starting in 2022, approximately 900 P-RECs are projected to be issued each year, although energy production will be dependent on energy off-taker demand. These would be the first P-RECs to be issued and sold from Uganda. P-REC purchases from Winch’s off-grid plants in Lamwo will fund the phased implementation of a community solar project that will improve safety and security and support livelihoods.

Photo courtesy of Winch Energy

 

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ The solar mini grids reduce the need for carbon intensive forms of energy that are typical in Northern Uganda. This has a direct climate mitigation impact by reducing local air pollution produced by previous sources of energy (e.g., kerosene) and decreasing carbon emissions.

Economic

+ Winch’s solar sites are providing first-time electrification to underserved and underdeveloped rural communities. The solar sites are creating around 32 permanent jobs, with many more having been provided during the construction phase. As household connections increase, take-up of productive use appliances will stimulate the local economy.

Health/Social

+ The mini-grid and streetlight projects will provide cold storage for community health centers, allowing the storage of medicines and vaccines. Access to regular lighting will greatly increase the quality of maternal care.

+ The P-REC-funded community streetlights will increase safety and security and allow local businesses to stay open longer by operating night markets. The electricity connections enabled by the solar mini grids will increase overall quality of life for rural Ugandan households. For example, lighting will allow more children to attend school, while productive use of electricity will support socio-economic development, including women-led businesses.


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Kentucky Solar Stewards Project

Local solar generation reduces the energy burden for LMI communities in Louisville

Solar Stewards is a program dedicated to facilitating the development of distributed generation solar on-site to historically marginalized communities. Their Solarize program in Louisville, Kentucky helps local under-resourced communities reap the benefits of solar energy. Residential clean energy can drastically reduce a household’s energy burden, but systemic barriers, such as lack of solar outreach, financial challenges, and home ownership issues have prevented low-income groups from participating in solar programs. However, bulk purchasing makes residential solar possible in low-income communities, because it provides an opportunity to use collective buying power. As a result, the entire community has access to discounted, wholesale electricity rates. This bulk purchasing installation program facilitates the equitable adoption and advancement of solar energy.

When on-site solar energy is generated, Social Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are produced for Climate Stewards, the organizations that are actively reducing their carbon footprint through support of the program, to purchase. Social RECs are REC projects that deliver tangible impact in historically excluded and underserved markets. Through its REC sales, the Louisville solar project provides support for the restoration of the Parkland community, which has suffered from civil rights issues for decades. During the Jim Crow era, Louisville suffered from systems of segregation, which created a pattern of neglect and disinvestment in many communities. This was especially felt in the Parkland community, where many businesses and residents were impacted by violent race riots in 1968.

 

 

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Residential buildings account for 27.4% of Louisville’s GHG emissions. The Solarize program will assist in Louisville Metro’s goal of installing solar energy on 50% of homes by 2050.

Economic

+ Through bulk purchasing and solar grants for low-to-moderate income residents, Solarize’s rooftop solar installations have the potential to reduce the consumer’s energy bills for the next 20 years.

Social

+ In addition to rooftop installations, Solarize hosts informational and educational workshops co-hosted by Louisville partners. Community members also received services and resources, such as energy efficiency upgrades, roof repair, and other home improvements that they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. 

 


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Clean Energy, Bright Futures Project

Education and industry partners prepare next generation to lead the clean energy economy

Clean Energy, Bright Futures works with schools and educators to build a clean energy future by encouraging students from all backgrounds to participate in Career Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) clubs, internships, or apprenticeship programs. 

Its mission is to transform education for the next decade through local engagement led by educators serving as Clean Energy Fellows in their communities. Sponsors fund the program and collaborate with local STEM/CTE leaders to build curriculum, educator capacity, resources, and connections to real-world projects. The program is funded by corporations, regional utilities, and philanthropic organizations. To date, over 250,000 students have benefitted from the hands-on clean energy learning activities offered by Clean Energy, Bright Futures. Instructors have access to science kits, like a solar panel or wind turbine module set, for example. A number of participating schools installed solar panels, which provide additional renewable energy education opportunities. The mission of the program is to build an informed citizenry, made up of educated energy consumers, problem solvers, and leaders in the clean energy economy.

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Tackling climate change will require a diverse energy workforce of tech-savvy problem solvers. Clean Energy, Bright Futures engages young adults in the clean energy industry. To succeed in an equitable and clean energy transition, all students — regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status and geography — need to be set up for success.

Economic

+ The panels installed at Clean Energy, Bright Futures locations nationwide deliver clean power to participating schools. Those wanting to support the program can purchase renewable energy credits generated from the school’s solar array.

Social

+ Clean Energy, Bright Futures offers a sustained impact in traditionally excluded communities by giving access to family wage, wealth-building careers in energy. 

 


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Wildmind Science Center Rooftop Solar Project

Non-profit better serves its mission with significant cost savings from solar energy

Since 1993, Wildmind Science Center, a wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and environmental non-profit organization has endeavored to make its operations as environmentally friendly as possible.

Located on the Northern California coast, the Wildmind Science Center provides over 500 hands-on science education programs to children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The sanctuary offers unique habitats for over 50 non-releasable wild animals, and provides students with a meaningful lesson about the importance of environmental protection. With the installation of a 27kW solar project, the Center is able to cut their energy cost by 90% each year.

 

Images Courtesy of Wildmind Science Center

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Co-benefits

Environmental

+ By utilizing solar energy, the Wildmind Science Center ensures a greener environment and avoids emissions of pollutants to the air, soil, and water.

Economic

+ With the incorporation of clean energy, the non-profit has saved $9,000 on annual electric costs, thus allowing donor funds to be used for additional wildlife conservation.

Social

+ From the electricity savings, Wildmind Science Center can serve an additional 5,000 students in its educational programs. 

 


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Chad Community Streetlights P-REC Project

Mini grids will issue first-ever EACs, P-RECs in the climate vulnerable country of Chad

The regions of the world most affected by crises tend to be those most vulnerable to climate change, and are largely excluded from climate finance flows and related investment. In addition, conflict-affected communities tend to experience high levels of energy poverty, and face issues like hunger, malnutrition and lack of basic human necessities. Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECS) have the potential to expand the renewable energy revolution to vulnerable regions, improve quality of life, and create economic opportunities. A P-REC is an International Renewable Energy Credit (I-REC) with an additional certification by Energy Peace Partners (EPP) of the social and economic co-benefits associated with the project. 

Developers like ZIZ Energie are extending the benefits of solar energy to countries in Africa, where REC markets have yet to be fully developed. Currently, ZIZ Energie owns and operates five diesel powered minigrids in Chad, which it plans to convert to solar-plus-storage hybrid systems starting in the city of Mongo, the 70,000-inhabitant capital region of Guéra province. ZIZ Energie is installing a 2.5 MWp solar PV power plant in Mongo with an energy storage system and back-up generators. 

Starting in 2022, approximately 3,300 P-RECs are projected to be issued each year, although energy production estimates will be confirmed upon final system build and ramp-up. These would be the first EACs and P-RECs to be issued and sold from Chad. P-REC purchases from the Mongo solar plant will fund the phased implementation of a community solar streetlight project that delivers a significant positive impact on quality of life and safety for Mongo residents.

Photos courtesy ZIZ Energie

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ The solar minigrids reduce the need for carbon intensive forms of energy that are typical in Chad. This has a direct climate mitigation impact by reducing local air pollution and decreasing carbon emissions. 

+ The project decreases reliance on fossil fuels and fuel supply chains while promoting energy independence thanks to streetlighting that is 100% solar-powered and independent of the solar minigrid. 

Economic

+ ZIZ’s solar sites will provide power to rural households in Chad, a nation that has had a lack of development for decades, and currently has an electrification rate of about 6%. Projects like this will help Chad increase its electrification by 500% overall and directly impact 250,000 inhabitants.

Health/Social

+ The P-REC-funded community streetlights will increase safety and security, and allow local businesses to stay open longer. The electricity connections enabled by the solar mini grids will increase overall quality of life for rural Chadian households. 

 


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Old Settler Wind Project

Old Settler Wind Project

Year after year, Texas ranks as one of the nation’s leading generators of wind capacity, and this trend is expected to continue as power producers take advantage of the state’s abundant wind resources. Owned by NorthLeaf Capital and operated by Apex Clean Energy, Old Settler is a 151.2 MW wind farm located in Northern Texas. The wind energy harvested by the 63 General Electric turbines is enough to power about 51,000 homes. The Old Settler Wind project has received acclaim for its inventive financing arrangement, a model for future deals in the wind industry. The clean energy portfolio between NorthLeaf Capital and Apex Clean Energy uses a proxy revenue swap that enables third-party financing and tax equity commitments for the project. This structure allows companies to hedge against risks associated with changing prices in the energy market and fluctuations in power generation.

All Photos courtesy of Apex Clean Energy

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Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Where oil wells once stood, wind turbines now dominate the landscape. This region of the United States is expanding offshore wind installations, drastically reducing carbon emissions.

Economic

+ The expansion of renewable energy in Texas has enhanced rural economies by offering green job opportunities in the construction and maintenance of wind farms.

+ Investments in renewable energy promote resilient infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

 

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