Partner Spotlight: Resonant Energy
On a sunny January morning in Somerville, Sunwealth sat down with the co-founder of Resonant Energy, Isaac Baker, to talk about Resonant’s story, goals for 2019, and their partnership with Sunwealth.
Resonant Energy, a community-based solar developer, was started two and a half years ago with a mission of democratizing solar by helping underrepresented communities become part of the clean energy transition. As part of this mission, one of the very first projects Resonant worked on was an installation on the Second Church of Dorchester. Prior to getting in touch with Resonant, the church had been trying to put solar on their roof for five years, but despite favorable sun exposure and a lack of technical issues, they could not find financing for the project.
This is where the Sunwealth-Resonant partnership came in: Together with Co-op Power, Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light and other community partners, we ran the Interfaith campaign, that helped Second Church, the Church of St. Augustine and St. Martin, and Bethel AME Church to go solar in 2017. Since completing the Interfaith project, Sunwealth and Resonant have partnered on a variety of projects, including the Epiphany School, the Solar Access Program, the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker House, and Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.
“Our relationship with Sunwealth has been the best of what a relationship could be: full of mutual teaching and learning,” says Isaac. “Sunwealth has been a huge resource to us: helping us make solar a reality for organizations and individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it, which greatly expands our universe of potential customers while advancing our mission around solar justice. Their expertise and mentorship in solar development has also helped us avoid many of the potholes that one could encounter along the way.”
In 2019, Resonant’s team will build on its prior successes: focusing on working with houses of worship and strengthening partnerships with local communities through education and employment. They recently launched an initiative with Melrose Energy Commission partnership that makes going solar feasible for small businesses and nonprofits in Melrose, MA. Installing solar panels at the Epiphany School – a project that Sunwealth and Resonant partnered on in 2018 – started another campaign that Resonant is prioritizing in the new year: education. As a member of the Boston Affordable Energy Coalition, the team wants to bring solar education into the school curriculum, as well as create local employment opportunities and provide job trainings in the community.
Partnership – with community organizations, local governments and groups like Sunwealth – is a key part of Resonant’s strategy for growing their business, allowing them to leverage expertise and connections, while focusing on what they do best.
“Working with Sunwealth solves a key problem for our solar customers: getting them solar access and savings when they don’t have the finances to support the upfront costs. It’s also critical on the investor side – making it possible for individuals and organizations who want to invest in solar and renewable energy access to do so without having to become experts in the field.”
Resonant recognizes in solar an opportunity to go beyond simply addressing climate change. Isaac explains, “Building a successful business for us is about more than just selling panels and moving commodities around. In creating local solar jobs and putting concentrations of solar developments in communities that have often been overlooked, we’re unlocking energy savings for those communities, helping build local ownership and an economic stake in energy production. Sunwealth really gets that. We’re proud – and grateful – to have them as partners in this work.”
About the Author
Anna Sorokina is an Investment Associate co-op at Sunwealth and a senior at Northeastern University. She is passionate about renewable energy and believes in the power of education, art, and personal action when it comes to our responsibility for Mother Earth.