AIRE and Co-operate WNC: Making the (co-operative solar) road by walking


AIRE and Co-operate WNC have been in dialogue for several months around the questions of how do we cooperate to incubate a solar cooperative practice that harnesses the power of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost of solar and how do we nurture a cooperative enterprise that sustains solar adoption and creates livelihoods for underserved


Pain and notes in a parking lot: the healing properties of community solar


I’m sitting in a parking lot on a cold, gray January morning waiting for my daughter to come out of a doctors appointment. I couldn’t go into the waiting room thanks to coronavirus rules. So here I sit scanning the scene for the vibe. As I tune in, I see a dialysis center straight ahead


Burton Street’s DeWayne Barton: A gardener sowing seeds of solar, solidarity, and community


It’s “…our garden. I’m just the maintenance man, I just keep it up,” insists DeWayne Barton, the humble visionary behind the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens in West Asheville. The first wave of solar at the peace gardens went up back in August. Two hundred donors came together to fund the project. AIRE developed, coordinated


Burton Street Community Peace Gardens Solar Phase 1 Has Been Installed


The solar installation was completed on Monday, August 10th. Now we await only Duke Energy to connect the system to the grid. The advocacy community uses the term “slow walking” to describe how long that may take. Only Duke knows, but hopefully soon. The garden is producing healthy food, ideas, healing vibes, and is ready


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


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 is solar for?


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


• 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. Looking back at the crowdfunding campaign


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


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 will be installed in the


Solidarity: People, Places, Problems and Our Collective Power to Transcend


AIRE ended a great week today, Juneteenth 2020, having had an inspiring display of solidarity in crowdfunding the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens Solar (also here and here). We’ll be installing that solar project very soon. This successful effort has me thinking about common threads. I’m hopeful more people know the critical history of “Juneteenth”