May 20, 2019
As executive director of Groundswell, Michelle Moore leads with a deep conviction that solar power is an abundant source of energy that should also be a source of economic empowerment. She wants all communities to have access to clean energy and has developed a model for supplying it that has taken root in 5 states and Washington DC. The scriptural premise to love your neighbor as you love yourself is embedded in Groundswell’s Empower program. It enables market rate subscribers to purchase solar energy from a local power project and share the savings with low-income residents. This approach is cutting energy bills in half, creating a pathway for savings that low-income families need for rent, food and school. Groundswell also partners with community-based partners willing to host a power project on their land, rooftop or parking lot. These trusted institutions provide solar power to local households and engage them in bringing these projects to life. One example is in Washington DC’s Ward 7, where the Dupont Park 7th Day Adventist Church is bringing energy to 47 families at no cost to these residents. Michelle speaks with ease about building and financing energy infrastructure. She knows the sector’s strengths and weaknesses including a profound lack of racial and gender diversity in its executive leadership. She is a disruptor in the energy sector who wants the sector to look much more like the communities Groundswell serves. And she wants rural communities, like her own in La Grange, Georgia to be included in the energy conversation too. Her journey includes stints in the tech sector and as a sustainability expert in the Obama White House. At Groundswell she is using her expertise where it matters most, making connections that empower communities.