Last week, Pennsylvania’s largest utility, PECO, floated some possible pilot projects to increase solar in its service area over the coming years. If all are enacted, the projects, could double the amount of solar energy PECO delivers. So why are green jobs activists, like myself, planning to do laps around the utility’s Philadelphia headquarters in a protest called the PECO Runaround?
Read the whole article on Huffington Post.
PECO has delayed and pushed back on solar for years, despite all the economic benefits clean energy offers. Here are just a few recent examples.
Lynn and James
Today they showed up to install our transformer that will allow the solar interconnection. But lo and behold, they couldn't install it because the pole is too small. Evidently nobody actually came here to inspect the site before issuing the work order. So now a different department has to schedule the pole replacement and then reschedule the transformer installation. No idea when that will happen!
Update: On Sept 21, 2016, at the solar collaborative initiated as a response to this campaign, PECO announced it would change this requirement in the next year! After replacing every meter in its service area a couple years ago, the company finally admits it needs to prepare for solar.
Rob, Solar Electrician
PECO is only utility in the state, perhaps in the country, that requires a second meter to install solar. They did a big expensive "smart" meter upgrade a few years ago for the meters to be remote-readable, but these meters aren't smart enough to handle on-site electricity generation. This was an expensive, wasted opportunity. PECO needs to have an exception from regulations to require this second meter, which is often ridiculous to install. I wish I’d taken videos at some of the jobs I’ve done, to show how hard it is to put in.
The Dakota Access Pipeline must be stopped. This pipeline would carry planet-wrecking fracked oil from North Dakota across four states, and under the Missouri River immediately upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. That makes it a threat to the sacred land and water of native communities -- and a disaster for the climate.
On a sunny and sweltering Wednesday, August 24 a small but dedicated group of EQAT activists took the Power Local Green Jobs message to workers, residents and visitors in Doylestown, Bucks County. The occasion was a noontime music concert on the Bucks County courthouse lawn, co-sponsored by PECO.
This morning I joined 21 other people, and we traveled to a PECO substation in Upper Darby. We stood sweating in the blazing August sun and humidity, as we sang, worshiped, and told stories of why we had come. Despite our physical discomfort, and my general dislike taking on public leadership, I felt a sense of cohesiveness that satisfied something deep inside me.
On Monday August 1st, I participated in EQAT’s first action outside of Philadelphia as part of the Power Local Green Jobs campaign. Teenagers who are attending the Peace and Leadership Arts Camp of Chester trained and took action with Ingrid Lakey, Ryan Leitner, Rhetta Morgan, Kaytee Ray-Riek, and me.
There are a bunch of staff changes happening in EQAT this summer. Chris Baker Evens and Matthew Armstead have left EQAT, and we've hired a full time Campaign Director, Kim Huynh, to support our campaign and volunteers going forward.
When I went on speaking tours about human rights work in Kurdistan and Palestine, I was sometimes struck by white churches that intuitively understood the links between US foreign policy and white supremacy at home. Overwhelmed by gratitude at experiencing a well-informed white community, I would say to myself, "Wow, someone put in work to make this church as radical as it is."