UPDATE!
Make the Road Solar
installation at Burton Street Community Peace
Gardens now scheduled for Monday, August 10th. THANK YOU.


The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy (AIRE) is a non-profit organization that helps community-based organizations and public sector institutions plan, develop and own renewable energy systems. We work with faith communities, nonprofits, local governments, K-12 schools, colleges and universities. We also consult and conduct research on renewable energy in the public interest and collaborate with organizations that are working to hasten a rapid transition to distributed, community-owned renewable energy.



Recent Blog Posts


What is solar for? AIRE’s new plan for cooperative, sustainable communities solar


Jul 31st, 2020 - This guiding question borrows from the title of a collection of essays, “WHAT ARE people FOR” by agrarian writer, Wendell Berry. It is provocative because it calls our values into question and challenges assumptions. Our conversations and activities at AIRE have recently asked a similar question out of the same vein– What ...

Plan for Beyond the Panel: A Solar and Land Use Seminar


Jul 21st, 2020 - The Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association will be holding its semi-annual professional development conference on July 30th, 2020. We mention this event because it promises to be informative in addressing an important yet, often overlooked topic-- land use after solar is installed. But more importantly to us, it showc ...

Solar and battery storage: divorcing the grid


Jul 17th, 2020 - What does solar power have to do with Cheerwine? Nothing really unless you’re pondering the question “where does electricity come from?” Most of us would say from our utility, and most of us would be right. However, the utilities have constructed a self-serving myth that we are merely passive consumers of a commodity beyond o ...

A note to contributors and friends: Burton Street Community Peace Gardens solar project installation in July!


Jul 15th, 2020 - • We now have all of the system components on hand (e.g. solar panels, inverters, racking, etc.). • Required filings have been completed at North Carolina Utilities Commission. • System interconnection request has been filed with Duke Energy Progress. • Installation is scheduled to be July 27th, maybe sooner. Lookin ...

Burton Street Community Peace Gardens 'Make the Road Solar' on Blue Ridge Public Radio


Jul 2nd, 2020 - Blue Ridge Public Radio's Cass Herrington, interviewed Burton Street's DeWayne Barton for a piece aired on June 30th. Always quotable, the following excerpt from the interview illustrates why Barton is such an inspiring leader and visionary, and why nearly 300 unique individuals came together to crowdfund the solar project that wil ...

The Bankruptcy of Fracked Gas: The Chickens Coming Home to Roost


Jun 29th, 2020 - Just a quick little rant here, but it’s worth filing a mention of the goliath of fracked natural gas, Chesapeake Energy bankruptcy. I’m not going to get into the details since the story is everywhere in the financial news. To see how big a deal this is, just search “Chesapeake Energy bankruptcy” and you’ll get many return ...

Talk + Work = Change


Jun 29th, 2020 - I saw this image in a coffee shop on 9th Street in Boulder, Colorado back in February. Its meaning has much resonance to me right now. Maybe I’d change the labels some but the idea is to put it all together, which I’d call PRAXIS. The deep dive isn’t the point here though. Sticking to the labels on the poster, I feel good and ...