Solar Rooftops A Booming Market In Louisiana

Green Grants has a mission: to help Louisiana homeowners take advantage of the many grants available at the federal, state, parish and municipal level for energy efficient home improvements—among them, residential solar power systems. With a staff dedicated to researching these grants, then financing the remaining costs and getting the job done, the company offers homeowners improvements totaling up to $53,000 per home with no upfront costs.

This may sound too good to be true, but the funds are indeed out there, due to a combination of federal disaster relief and state and local programs focused on rebuilding as an opportunity to rebuild green. A good example is Sustainable Environmental Enterprises (SEE), a company helping to put solar in the hands of more low-income and minority families in New Orleans (with a little help from Adam Capital Clean Energy Asset Finance, which loaned SEE $1 million back in October 2011).

Green Grants, New Orleans solar

image via Green Grants

Another example is NOLA Wise, a $1.7 million initiative  funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that encourages New Orleans homeowners to improve the efficiency of their homes by increasing their access to home energy assessors and nationally certified green building contractors, and by offering low-interest loans to make energy-efficient home upgrades.

Now Green Grants is working with Talesun Solar USA (the U.S. subsidiary of Zhongli Talesun Solar) to bring rooftop solar systems to the Greater New Orleans region throughout the second and third quarters of 2012. Green Grants’ co-owners, Aaron Dirks and Tom Neyhart, have set a goal to install a total of 3,000 residential systems over the remainder of 2012, totaling 12 megawatts in generating capacity.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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