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What I Learned Installing Solar Panels

It was easier than I thought.
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Julian Spector/CityLab

Over the past year, I’ve written about barriers to accessing solar power, states thwarting solar growth, and the boom in solar jobs, but I’d never witnessed the physical labor needed to start drawing energy from the sun.

To remedy this, I tagged along with a nonprofit that was installing solar on the roof of a house near Benning Road in Southeast Washington, D.C. this May. I came as both observer and participant. This proved a lot more exciting than sitting at a desk all day, but the most surprising thing was just how uncomplicated the process is.