Renewable Energy Worcester (RENEW)
At A Glance
Primary Issue Area:
- Climate Change & Energy
- Living Economies
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Our group began meeting to develop community owned, shared solar projects in Worcester. Due to barriers in our electricity load zone, we shifted focus to building community power. We organized a community energy forum to bring more residents into conversation about where their energy comes from, who controls it, who benefits, etc. We used popular education strategies and interpreters to facilitate conversation among Spanish-, Vietnamese-, and English-speaking communities about climate change and viable local alternatives to the current energy system. Since the successful forum took place, as a participant in the U.S. D.O.E. Sunshot initiative and in partnership with Co-op Power, we have undertaken a range of community education and outreach activities around the goal of increasing access to solar energy. As a chapter of Co-op Power, our purpose is to build energy democracy through a variety of solar projects within Worcester. As a grassroots group inspired by the energy forum that launched our organization, our purpose is to leverage our resources and community partnerships to build a movement for a local energy economy that centers the interests and needs of communities that have been excluded from the clean energy revolution and its various benefits.