Richmond’s Historic Atchison Village to Pilot Solar Energy

Richmond, California (EastBayDaily) — The Atchison Village community is growing its legacy of sustainable community design by installing the first solar electric system on one of Richmond’s historic homes. The 1.1 kilowatt solar system is expected to offset the home’s utility costs by $9,300 and prevent 30 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The historical Atchison Village community began as a model of affordable housing to support Richmond’s World War II shipbuilding efforts and the "garden city" movement. This model of being both affordable and green can be achieved by installing solar electric systems through this innovative program.

GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest non-profit solar installer, has partnered with the City of Richmond to invest $2.2 million dollars across the community and provide more than 140 Richmond homeowners with free or low-cost solar electric systems. Over the lifespan of the solar systems installed, Richmond’s families will save an estimated $2.9 million on utility bills and prevent 8,925 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, GRID is continuing to build its contribution to community service and history by installing the first solar system in the historic Atchison Village on Saturday, March 7th. Residents can come to Atchison between 1:00-3:00 pm to learn more about GRID’s program and see a solar installation in progress.

“GRID is excited to engage the Atchison Village community with this first pilot installation. We hope that it is the first of many more to come,” said Erica Mackie, GRID Alternatives CEO and Co-Founder.

Preserving Atchison Village’s historic qualities was a deciding factor in design review for a solar installation. Atchison residents collaborated with GRID and City Staff to design a system with minimal visual impact to the home’s historic character. Atchison’s first system was designed to fit the home’s roof lines and slope, creating a solar system that will be seamless and compatible with the home’s visual character. Now, the community’s dedication to homeownership affordability is taking on a whole new meaning as solar electric systems can reduce residential energy bills to almost zero.

“Installing solar at Atchison Village is an opportunity to preserve history and promote progress,” said Richmond Mayor and former architect Tom Butt. “I hope the entire village participates in the program to demonstrate the importance of both Richmond’s rich history and evolution to green energy.”

This pilot project in Atchison will hopefully serve as a catalyst for renewable energy within the historic community, and reaffirms Richmond’s and GRID’s efforts to provide access to renewable energy to all residents. GRID Alternatives and the City of Richmond hope to serve as many local residents as possible throughout the City. Interested Richmond homeowners should call 510-731-1333 or email baoutreach(at)gridalternatives(dot)org to find out if they qualify to receive free or low-cost solar.

About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to low-income communities, bringing together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families. More than 5,000 families have benefited from GRID’s work to date, saving $125 million in lifetime electricity costs, and over 19,000 people have received solar training. GRID Alternatives has ten regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the New York tri-state region, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide. Its international program also provides off-grid solar to rural communities in Nicaragua. For more information, visit


Michael Uberti


  • facebook