Leo is matching donations to RE-volv's crowd-sourced, revolving community solar fund.
Given the depressing state of federal support for renewables this year, we were delighted to hear that the DOE was backing RE-volv—a crowdfunded community solar program that recycles donations into even more solar by leveraging the money saved when churches, co-ops and community groups go solar.
Now RE-volv has received support another major backer, with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation offering $120,000—half of which is dedicated to match-funding, effectively allowing donors to double their money in support of clean energy.
Already, RE-volv has raised over $300,000 and has crowdfunded ten solar projects (150 kW of capacity) in four states, including Harbor House in Oakland, which serves refugee, immigrant, and low-income families with after-school programs and ESL classes, and Morris Chapel Baptist Church, the oldest African American Church in Philadelphia. Thanks to the solar projects, grantees are expected to save between 15 and 40 percent on their electric bills. RE-volv’s solar revolving fund, the Solar Seed Fund, is now worth $650,000 in future lease payments from these ten projects -- payments which will be used to finance at least 20 more solar energy projects.
Andreas Karolas welcomed Leonardo DiCaprio's support, not just as an opportunity to support clean energy, but to make sure the benefits are as widely felt as possible in our communities:
“RE-volv is working to make sure that the benefits of solar can reach everyone, including nonprofit organizations and the people they serve. Thanks to this generous grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, RE-volv will be able to scale its impact and bring solar to even more nonprofits around the country.”
It's worth noting too that, while significant, the $120,000 donation to RE-volv is just part of the story. In total, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is dedicating $20 million to organizations with innovative solutions to combat climate change in its largest ever portfolio of grant awards. Other grantees range from Project Drawdown's efforts to catalog and rank the solutions that will get us to net zero emissions to WildCoast's initiative to protect mangroves in Baja, Mexico.
Thanks, Leo! You're all right.