Project Sundrop

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Charlotte Family receives life-changing rooftop solar system at no cost


Palmetto Clean Technology and Sunlight Financial teamed up with the Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI) to provide the power of the sun to reduce energy costs for a Charlotte family.

Homeowner Selection

When asked by Palmetto and Sunlight Financial to find a homeowner to receive a rooftop solar system, RETI looked to the North End Smart Homes Kick Start participants, who had previously received energy education and training. RETI believes that education about conserving energy and energy efficiency are building blocks of home energy savings and is an important first step before installing rooftop solar. RETI worked with the community to select a homeowner with a high energy burden and whose rooftop met the eligibility requirements and would allow for the greatest amount of energy to be produced.

  • Eligibility Requirements for selection process:

  • Own their home

  • Age of their roof had to be less than 5 years

  • Provide the last 12 months of their utility bills (to estimate their energy usage)

  • Homeowners Insurance w/personal liability of at least $100,000

To calculate which home had the greatest solar potential, Palmetto used satellite imagery and eventually an at-home assessment to identify the home that would receive the greatest energy savings. Palmetto looked at roof orientation, roof obstructions and conducted shade analysis.

The selected homeowner was overjoyed when she heard the news that she would be the recipient of the rooftop solar system

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"I am so excited that my house was chosen for solar panels and it will help me reduce the expenses of my energy bills,” said Sharon, “And the money saved will be used to help my children with their education and also will be helping with other household expenses".

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Now that a homeowner is selected, Sunlight will finance and Palmetto will at no cost install the rooftop solar system.

The Installation will take place on August 7th and through the efforts of the Palmetto install team and volunteers from Sunlight Financial, the solar system will be complete by that afternoon. Please reach out for the full press release and any questions about the project.

“RETI is excited to partner with Sunlight and Palmetto to launch Project Sundrop,” said Founder and Executive Director DeAndrea Salvador. “Together, we’ll help Charlotte families with high energy burdens save their hard-earned dollars and protect our environment.”

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On August 7th, a rooftop solar system was installed on Sharon Young’s house at no cost to her. The solar panels will turn sunlight into electricity and offset Sharon’s electricity bills. When asked how she feels about her solar panels a month later she said, “I feel really good. I’m waiting for that first bill to come! I go out to my meter almost every other day to see which direction it is going. I’m learning about how much power my panels can produce.”


During the day, when the solar panels are producing more electricity than Sharon’s household is using, her meter will be turning backwards, and at night when she uses electricity, it will turn forwards. Sharon has promised to share her first bill with the entire North End community to compare before and after her solar panels.

See the transition to solar power with your own eyes here. Clean Air Carolina hired a documentary crew to film the installation and interviewed DeAndrea about RETI’s involvement.

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To learn more about our partners: