Students Bring Solar Technology to Low-Income Communities

Students Bring Solar Technology to  Low-Income Communities

With a dozen used solar panels in hand and a question to be posed, ACEP faculty Rich Stromberg recently inspired a class of Western Colorado University sustainability program students to figure out how to make solar power energy more accessible to low-income households in their community. What began as a simple question turned into something bigger than Stromberg could have imagined. 

Stromberg sat down with Colorado Public Radio to share the story of how a class of students he mentored created the idea for Equitable Solar Solutions, a nonprofit that refurbishes used solar panels and installs them on the roofs of low-income households. Even though the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically, there is still a disconnect with getting solar power technology into the hands of low-income communities. 

“The organization’s goal is to make solar energy available to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it, allowing them to reap the environmental benefits and cost savings of renewable energy,” said Stromberg during the interview.

To read the full interview and listen to a snippet of the conversation, visit


Homeowner Rosalba Medina stands in front of her soon-to-be finished Habitat for Humanity home in September 2022. The home has a 5.8-kilowatt solar array that was donated by Pivot Energy and installed by Equitable Solar Solutions and Nunatak Alternative Energy. Photo courtesy of Rich Stromberg.