My name is Simon Gretton. I am working on the development of a Community Solar Garden in Grand Rapids as a tangible way to help our community become more sustainable, energy independent, and environmentally responsible.
Like most people, I am concerned about the drastic effects of climate change that are already affecting many, and are set to be devastating for countless more people for generations to come. In order to address climate change, it seems that conservation should come first, and one way or another, we have to get by with less energy. Undoubtedly the cleanest, cheapest, and best energy of all is the stuff we don’t use. I do what I can to live simply in a manner consistent with this idea day to day. I am grateful that the local Community Solar discussions have been coupled with conversations about local energy conservation efforts, especially during times of highest electricity demand.
As important as conservation is, we obviously aren’t going to stop using energy tomorrow. A Community Solar Garden is one way that many of us could transition to using cleaner sources of energy.
As a foreigner (I’m British) who has been lucky to find a home, and be welcomed into this great town of Grand Rapids, I want to do my part to make Grand Rapids an even better place to live. Working on the development of a Community Solar Garden is one way I endeavor to do this. My hope is that a Community Solar Garden can be something that not only helps the environment, but is also a step in the direction of local energy self-reliance, home town pride, and ultimately saving money. Obviously our Community Solar Garden will not solve climate change by itself, but it will give a great many of my friends and neighbors the opportunity to get locally produced low carbon energy, and live more sustainably ”in Minnesota’s nature”.