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Introducing myself and my journal: Solar Gardens

About Me:
I live off the grid at 2500 meters elevation in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado. Our whole neighborhood is powered by small hydro, small wind, solar, and geothermal energy. This is the sunniest part of Colorado, and also the poorest - a big solar company came to the valley, whose chief executive is from BP. They wanted to site right next to an organic ranch, on some of our best land, a calving ground - 8,000 loud machines exporting our sunshine to Denver.

I stood up one day at a community meeting and said I would start a company to build solar energy that we own ourselves. I founded the company on the last day of the Copenhagen conference, when it became clear that change would have to come I found interest all over Colorado, and started - then was amazed when people from across the U.S. and the whole world started to join in.

We worked hard to get a new law passed here in Colorado - the Community Solar Gardens Act. It's not perfect, and just a small pilot program, but it's a breakthrough! Our county seat is the Town of Saguache, recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as \"tree town USA\". The town board voted 7-0 to sign a letter of intent to develop a solar array on the old town dump - people in town will be able to own their own panels and get a credit on their electric bill.

I was inspired to reach out to Pulsewire after talking with a woman who works for One Block Off the Grid. I found out that of their 300,000 members, about 80% were male! Jensine Larsen used to be my housemate, and I became very interested to learn in the magazine about women becoming solar installers in the developing world.

My Passions:
nspiring a women-centered, community-based, global approach to solar energy using open source tools.

My Challenges:
Rising out of poverty into power to start a global organization... Jensine is my inspiration!

My Vision for the Future:
Everyone in the world has a solar panel the way they have a belly button - we all own our own energy!

My Areas of Expertise:
oftware Development, Solar Energy, Community Organizing

      • Northern America
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