VOLTS4VETS - Solar Ambassador Program

Monday, April 30th, 2018 by Gabriella Meeks

A group of dedicated students from Coastal Carolina University, the Coastal Solar Ambassadors, have spent the year working towards bringing solar energy to a non-profit organization here in Horry County. The Coastal Solar Ambassadors have been working with the Veterans of Foreign War Outpost #10804 in Little River, SC since last Summer, to bring solar panels to their outpost in hopes of off-setting some of the cost of utility usage. The group is doing all of this through a non-profit organization based out of California called, Re-Volv. Through Re-Volv, the Solar Ambassadors are responsible for crowdfunding the upfront cost of the solar system for the VFW in which all funds raised by the team will be matched by The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The Board of Directors at Outpost #10804 took time to research and learn more about their solar lease before signing onto the project, leaving the ambassadors on the edge of their seats. The students had to meet with the board and present their project to a group of veterans which they found to be quite daunting at first. They were worried that the generational gap would play a major part in the decision of the board, and potentially sway the vote against the project. To their surprise, the board was eager to start this project with them and was elated to be a part of such incredible change in South Carolina. The board signed the lease and the crowdfunding began. As they learned about solar policy, business, and engineering, the students had the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills in Denver, Colorado where they learned how to install solar panels on low-income homes. There, they learned about state funded programs that install solar panels on homes in low-income communities for free in efforts to provide affordable renewable energy to those that otherwise would not have access to it. Along with their efforts to complete this project, the ambassadors hope to bring more solar programs, like those in Colorado, to South Carolina and provide more people with access to renewable energy. As their semester comes to end, they are so incredibly close to meeting their crowdfunding goal. With 69% of their funds raised, they can reach their goal by the end of May, but they need your help. All donations made towards the project are tax deductible and help support renewable energy here at home.

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