Empowering Leimert Park with Solar

Posted on 10/08/2021
Group photo standing behind solar panel

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas recently joined GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, a nonprofit installer of clean energy technologies, Kilroy Realty and community members to celebrate the installation of solar panels on a Leimert Park resident’s home.

Community stakeholders gathered to celebrate the green asset, and the workers who helped install it.

“Solar is not only cost effective, it's an effective solution for our planet. Residents are extremely cost-burdened by utility bills.  The extreme weather conditions which are increasing in frequency and severity, should be a serious call to action for us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and seek to do our part to mitigate the effects of climate change. Cleaner, more affordable energy alternatives are urgently needed, on every block and every roof, to address these dire issues,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “I am proud that we are advancing, lot by lot, the investment needed to transition to a clean energy future in Los Angeles. We must work to make this a reality for far more Angelenos.”

Councilmember Ridley-Thomas speaking to audience of stakeholders under tent

The house where the installation occurred is owned by long-time resident, Ms. Cynthia Mason. It is GRID Alternatives’ first cost-free solar installation in Leimert Park in their Solar Build 2021 series, which seeks to help income-qualified people across California - including more than 2000 others in Los Angeles County to date - by promoting independence from high energy bills while creating long-term jobs and sustainability benefits. 

Over the next 20 years, the installation will save Ms. Mason $25,300. The 3.78 kilowatts of solar installed at her home provides an equivalent environmental benefit comparable to planting 1,060 trees, or preventing the emission of over 45 tons of carbon burning dirty fuels.

GRID Alternatives uses a volunteer model to install the solar electric systems,  offering community members hands-on experience that can help them obtain employment in the rapidly growing solar industry. 

workers installing solar panel on resident's home

“As a lifelong resident of the Leimert Park community, I see no better place to highlight this important work to promote sustainability and equity in tandem,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “There is a tremendous opportunity here to not just reimagine but redefine a clean, green and equitable future, and we need to do our best to make sure that the communities that have historically suffered the most significant environmental burdens are prioritized for these opportunities.”

worker standing on roof installing solar panel