Dimension Renewable Energy, a community solar developer and operator based in Atlanta, Georgia, recently completed the commissioning of seven New Jersey community solar facilities and announced a multiyear pledge to invest $5 million in U.S. green-collar workforce development to train 1,500 solar professionals.
The workforce development pledge builds upon Dimension’s existing work partnering with local nonprofits, high schools, community colleges and adult education centers to deliver in-classroom solar installation instruction, hands-on basic solar construction skills and OSHA safety certification. The company has active and in-development training programs with organizations nationwide and is focused on serving historically marginalized communities with its workforce development pledge.
In New Jersey, where Dimension announced 14 megawatts of new community solar projects, more than 50 individuals have participated to date in the company’s training and education programs. Program participants also were able to gain hands-on training at Dimension’s project sites, a unique benefit of Dimension’s training programs.
Dimension’s New Jersey community solar installations will supply low-cost clean energy to power more than 2,500 households in Public Service Electric & Gas territory, including 1,300 low- and moderate-income households. Dimension expects the facilities to generate more than $550,000 in annual energy savings for subscribers. The installations are located in the townships of Franklin, Saddle Brook, West Caldwell and Moorestown.
“As a community solar developer, ‘community’ is core to who we are,” Bryan Bentrott, vice president/origination at Dimension, said. “We believe in making clean energy more accessible to everyone, and are committed to workforce development that helps localize the economic benefits of our projects. By empowering residents to participate directly in community solar, here in New Jersey, and more broadly at all of our sites across the country, Dimension is creating opportunities for upward employment mobility in the communities we serve. The work we’re doing in New Jersey is a sample of what we’re initiating in multiple states.”
The New Jersey projects are roof-mounted on industrial warehouses owned by landlords such as STAG Industrial and were developed in partnership with Black Bear Energy, a leading onsite renewable energy technology service firm.
“Black Bear is excited to see the energization of Dimension’s New Jersey community solar portfolio, and we applaud Dimension’s continued leadership on green workforce training,” Drew Torbin, president of Black Bear Energy, said. “Our clients chose to work with Dimension in New Jersey because they wanted a local partner who they knew could deliver. That’s been proven by their success in this program.”
“At STAG Industrial, we value working with companies who execute on their commitments, and Dimension has done just that,” Brian LaMont, STAG’s senior vice president of construction/sustainability, said. “We are thrilled to deploy three of our New Jersey properties for community solar projects that deliver energy savings to local residents, particularly low- and moderate-income homes. These projects are only the start of what STAG and Dimension plan to execute together in the coming years.”