NASHVILLE, TN—On Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, a coalition of business, environmental and citizen groups came together across the country in a National Day of Action to show support for bringing solar power to our communities to create jobs, slow climate change, and improve health.
In Nashville, Sierra Club, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, and Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association, along with the Tennessee Valley Authority and supporters of solar power, celebrated a solar panel installation project at two Goodwill corporate office buildings near downtown. The solar panels were installed in 2012 and produce 78% of the electricity used by one of the buildings and 46% of the electricity used by the second building.
“Using sunlight to save money is just another way we can continue our mission of providing jobs and training opportunities to people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs,” said Matthew Bourlakas, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.
“The overwhelming judgment of science is that we need to act on climate,” said Chris Ann Lunghino, Organizing Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Tennessee. “Solar energy is a win-win-win solution to climate change that creates jobs, saves us money, and reduces dangerous pollution.”
“All across Nashville there are opportunities to Put Solar On It – to turn our homes, our churches, our schools, our businesses, and our neighborhood rooftops into solutions for job growth and economic development,” said Steve Johnson, President of LightWave Solar.
“Through dedicated partnerships and investments like those displayed here today, renewable energy continues to grow in the Tennessee Valley as technology costs continue to decrease,” said Matt Brown, Program Manager, Renewable Energy Solutions for TVA.
2014 has been a breakout year for solar. Solar equipment costs continue to come down and the number of installations continues to grow. More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior, and solar energy is the leading source of new electric generation capacity so far this year. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power more than 3 million homes. In many states, solar power is competitive with other sources of energy, and does not produce the dangerous carbon pollution that causes climate change.
The Put Solar On It event is a collaborative effort of several state organizations that care about the environment and justice. They include Sierra Club, Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light, TN Solar Energy Industries Association, Organizing For Action TN, TN Alliance for Progress, TN Environmental Council, Scarritt Bennett, Urban Green Lab, and Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.
About Sierra Club
Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit
TVA aims to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost, cleaner energy by 2020. In line with that vision, TVA offers a number of programs that support the production of renewable energy at homes, businesses, schools, and government buildings.
About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2013, Goodwill served 17,498 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 5,615 people in jobs. For more information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, please visit www.giveit2goodwill.org or call 1-800-545-9231.