Franklinton Community Solar is a neighborhood-based nonprofit organization that was formed in 2015 by a small group of individuals who live, work, and worship in Franklinton. Through the years, Franklinton Community Solar has developed key partnerships with Design Energy and The Refuge to bring solar power and its benefits to all in the neighborhood. Franklinton Community Solar continues to connect with neighbors, landlords, businesses, faith communities, and other nonprofit organizations to expand Franklinton’s network of solar electric systems.


Franklinton Community Solar is dedicated to creating good jobs, affordable energy, and resilient community with solar power.


Franklinton’s former industrial district no longer provides a large number of jobs to our neighbors. The businesses scattered throughout the rest of the neighborhood do not provide many employment opportunities either. Furthermore, many of our neighbors face additional barriers to employment, such as limited transportation, lack of education, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues, or a criminal record, which make them unemployable in the eyes of most businesses. Through the installation of solar electric systems, we are creating good jobs that pay a fair wage in a growing industry. Those who are hired receive on-the-job training and the opportunity for permanent positions with Design Energy.


Utility costs are on the rise and projected to climb another 13% by 2020. If left unchecked, this rising cost, combined with the area’s rising housing costs, will force many of Franklinton’s residents out of the neighborhood. We are helping alleviate some of the increased economic pressure our neighbors are feeling by providing them with access to a more affordable source of energy.


Franklinton is reliant on distant and outdated power plants for its energy. This dependence makes the neighborhood’s infrastructure and our neighbors especially vulnerable to the volatility of the utilities market  and its aged infrastructure. We are creating a widespread network of solar electric systems in Franklinton to provide our neighbors with new, robust energy infrastructure that provides both self-sufficiency and resilience.




Make solar power affordable and available to all.


Transition the community from dependence on traditionally-produced power to renewable energy generated right in the neighborhood.


Create good jobs with fair pay for neighbors.


Improve the neighborhood’s ability to withstand changes and shocks from economic downturns, natural disasters, and other outside forces.



Rev. Craig Foster

Deacon, St. John’s Episcopal Church and Registered Professional Engineer

Patrick Kaufman

Neighborhood Resident, Community Organizer, and ETA Certified Solar Installer

Rich Rastetter

PrincipalUSA Energy Advisors



"We are committed to providing access to solar power in Franklinton and other marginalized westside neighborhoods. We work to keep the benefits of solar in these communities, providing clean solar power, utility savings, job training, employment, and more."

Suzanne Csejtey, Design Energy

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