Solar Leaders In Community (SLIC)

Program Summary and Expectations

The SLIC program is currently in full effect. New applications will be sought in July 2024 for a new cohort to begin in October 2024.

SLIC is a 6-month program that seeks to position more people of color to move into the critical growing industry of solar - offering opportunities for jobs, entrepreneurship, leadership, and helping planetary survival. The program is a service-learning model as participants simultaneously receive training and work (remotely) in support of community-based organizations (CBOs) that are building capacity to implement community-owned solar projects. 

Training is both 'synchronous' (i.e. together, virtually, in real-time) and 'asynchronous' (i.e. on your own time and at your own pace). It will begin with an overview of community-owned solar ("COS"), as well as a review of the program and work with the community organizations. Additional training sessions will occur over the 6 months, along with check-ins with staff of both the community group you'll be supporting, as well as staff of PSEF as the internship organizer.  

Over the course of the 6 months, the training topics will include: 

  • What is community-owned solar ("COS")? Why is COS important? What key community needs does it meet? (health, jobs, discounted energy, ownership & asset-development, ecology/sustainability)
  • Energy as a critical human right in the context of race, poverty, and power; and the growing movement for "energy democracy."
  • The current U.S energy grid and energy infrastructure, and key concepts regarding US energy policy
  • Key concepts regarding energy production, transmission and distribution, as well as renewable energy
  • Intro to the basic financial models for achieving COS
  • The key players in COS and the BIPOC ecosystem that needs to be nourished in order to ensure full opportunities for our communities 
  • … and tips on nonprofit and cooperative organizational development, budgeting, event planning, etc.

SLIC participants will be compensated between $15-$18 per hour depending on their location.

All participants in SLIC are expected to maintain:

  • A strong interest in learning about community-owned solar and its potential benefits
  • Commitment to 10 working hours per week including:
    • 2 short weekly check-ins with the Program Coordinator
    • 4-5 hours per week in either self-guided or synchronous learning
    • 4-5 hours of weekly support to their assigned CBOs
    • 1 hour per month of virtual gathering with other participants
  • Active participation
  • Engagement for the full 6 month term