Although today Black Rock Solar empowers nonprofits, schools, and underserved populations by providing low-cost energy, its beginnings were less defined. In the sweltering Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada a volunteer group installed a solar array for the 2007 Burning Man event—themed that year as the Green Man. Their giant array provided more than 50,000 people with energy while they partied, but afterward, when the ash of the burning figure settled, the solar panels remained. The group donated the array to the school system of Gerlach, the tiny desert town nearby, and the seeds of Black Rock Solar were sown.
From those beginnings, Black Rock went on to build solar arrays at reduced prices for partners such as Pershing General Hospital, Pyramid Lake High School, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, and other organizations that could benefit from low-cost energy but lacked the means to procure it. The arrays help reduce the organizations' utility bills so they can devote more resources to their central causes. Also by spreading solar power, Black Rock actively involves these organizations and the public at large in environmental stewardship, spreading clean energy and education.
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