About Solar Richmond

Let the sun shine in.

About Solar Richmond

Solar Richmond is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2006 in Richmond, California.

Solar Richmond’s mission is to empower people to effectively participate in the green economy and advocate for policy that will stall climate change through vocational training and leadership development. We envision that communities across Richmond and the greater Bay Area are thriving, healthy, and are an integral part of the green economy without barriers of race or class.

Solar Richmond offers free solar training, and green business opportunities for low income and under-employed residents. Serving as a solar and green-jobs advocate, we work with our partners to promote solar and inclusive green economic development in Richmond and the Bay Area.

Our History


Michele McGeoy founded Solar Richmond in 2006 to address the eco-divide in the solar industry, a divide that she also witnessed in her previous work in the Silicon Valley tech world. McGeoy approached City of Richmond politicians, businesses and local non-profits and began advocating for the adoption of solar and the creation of a solar training program for low-income and underemployed local residents. With support and advice from Richmond’s Mayor, Gayle McLaughlin, and other civic and community leaders, Michele started a program which is now considered a national model. From what began as solar training course, Solar Richmond is now a social enterprise that also offers holistic leadership development and transitional employment through referrals.


Our Accomplishments

  • Our graduates have worked with local vendors to install over 2 MW of solar installation including a 500 kW commercial building in Richmond, a 175 kW wastewater plant in Marin, a solar thermal system at a Richmond fire station and a 16 kW system at an Oakland church.
  • Created over 300 temporary jobs through our Staffing Services and supported approximately 50 gain permanent jobs in the solar industry.
  • Introduced a 2010 City resolution that established a goal of 10 MW of solar installation and 150 new green-collar jobs by 2015.
  • Highlighted in Van Jones’ bestselling book, The Green-Collar Economy, as groundbreaking leaders in the green jobs field.
  • Completed over 50 installations for low-income homeowners.
  • Initiated a successful resolution to solarize Richmond’s City Hall.
  • Highlighted in O Magazine, TIME, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, NPR, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle and Solar Today.
  • Acknowledged as a model program by the US Conference of Mayors, Community Action Partnership, the Apollo Alliance and Green for All.
  • Successfully partnered with the City of Richmond to market and promote its Richmond Recovery Rebate Program in 2012.