Austin-Area Nonprofits Decide to Face the Sun and Go Solar
March 21, 2023
By Bret Biggart
When it comes to solar power, non-profit groups have important lessons for state government.
Non-profits are mission-oriented enterprises that, like many families, run on perpetually tight budgets. Any savings they can recoup can be powerful — both for the organizations and the people they serve.
Supporting non-profits is a bigger and bigger part of our work at Freedom Solar. We feel especially lucky to have recently partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, providing and installing 42 solar panels on the rooftop of their building at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
The new solar installation was completed with no out-of-pocket cost to the organization.
This new system will lower the organization’s power bills, protect it from power grid vagaries in Austin and on ERCOT’s Texas grid, and generally help the Ronald McDonald House and the families it serves to live more powerfully.
Texas leaders — especially those meeting in Austin right now for this year’s legislative session — need to keep such customer-centered benefits in mind as they set out the state’s energy future.
As I’ve written before, Texas consumers need to be at the center of efforts to remake the electricity system. The state should support consumer-focused strategies like solar power that help keep Texans free and safe from high bills and blackouts — simultaneously reducing bills and fortifying the power grid.
More than two months into this legislative session, it seems like that idea of focusing on real people is off to a bumpy start. But there’s so much good stuff going on in Texas; I have to be optimistic that folks at the Capitol will catch up before too long.
The Ronald McDonald House is a great example. Especially on hot summer days, the solar panels will power the building with clean electricity that the panels generate. That creates big savings, which in turn will open up resources that allow the Ronald McDonald House to extend its reach within the community and serve more families.
Such solar systems also reduce emissions. And they lessen demand, making it easier for the grid to cover the state’s needs.
The Ronald McDonald House means a lot to the Freedom Solar family — six of our team members have personally benefited from their services. It’s gratifying to support the organization and help it achieve its inspiring mission.
But more than that, this collaboration demonstrates the value that solar can create for all Texans.
Take note, #txlege.