What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?

My interest in working on solar energy issues is driven by passion for environmental stewardship, protecting public health, and promoting peace through energy security.

What impact do you feel the SolSmart program and you as an Advisor will have on the communities with which you will work?

Through the SolSmart program, I’ll have the privilege of assisting the City of Providence, Rhode Island in making solar energy more accessible to residents and businesses. Streamlining the solar permitting and inspection pathways will contribute to building a more efficient solar acquisition system, bringing down the overall costs of going solar. We will also focus on community outreach and education, most notably by putting together an informative web page clearly explaining people’s solar options, and by engaging with community groups.

What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about working on?

I am most excited about working with community groups in Providence to spread awareness of, access to, and enthusiasm for solar. It will be rewarding to meet with neighborhood groups, nonprofit organizations, National Grid, businesses in the solar industry, and other stakeholders to discuss how solar policy can better serve the community.

I’m looking forward to helping make Providence a greener, healthier, more resilient city through increased solar deployment. Clean energy production goes hand in hand with the goals of the Ocean State. It’s exciting that Rhode Island has the potential to be a clean energy leader, and I hope to help guide Providence in that direction.

About Lauren

Lauren Vunderink was a SolSmart Advisor in 2017 for Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to becoming an Advisor, Lauren worked for Sungevity, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). Lauren holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Connecticut College.