Selected Central Massachusetts military veterans and their families are receiving playhouses with solar energy systems through a recently extended partnership of Canadian Solar, Canadian Solar’s customer New England Clean Energy and Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester. Since 2014, the three organizations have partnered together to install Canadian Solar’s Maple Solar Systems on 75 children’s playhouses, which are constructed by local businesses and donated to military veterans’ families through Habitat’s Operation Playhouse program. Canadian Solar recently donated another 48 Maple Solar Systems to extend the goodwill to more families.
The playhouses are constructed within a day, occasionally at large events where multiple groups come together to create several houses. Companies that have participated include AstraZeneca, Bay State Savings Bank, SanDisk, Deloitte Consulting, EMC, National Grid, and Re/Max Vision. New England Clean Energy recently completed their own build, documented in this video:
“The interest level by corporations continues to grow for this incredibly generous and heartfelt event,” said Grace Warwick, development coordinator of Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester.
“Our playhouses are personally designed and decorated with incredible toys and fixtures, but the solar panels are always the most impressive part. The lights themselves add a finished touch that parents and kids appreciate. But the fact that these lights are powered with green energy becomes a moment of pride for everyone involved,” Warwick said. She recalled one instance when a child receiving a playhouse “demanded to hold one of the lights on the ride home. With a huge smile on his face, he rode home playing with the light.”
Mark Durrenberger, president of New England Clean Energy, said, “We’re excited to continue supporting Habitat for Humanity on this important program. In addition to contributing to the local community, our involvement with Project Playhouse fits with our desire at New England Clean Energy to educate the public about solar energy. Getting people excited about renewable energy, especially at a young age, is very important to the future of our planet.”
Operation Playhouse is a volunteer/fundraising program for groups and corporations wanting to make a difference in their communities. Volunteers build, design and decorate children’s playhouses, which are then donated to local families and children’s organizations. For more information, visit habitatmwgw.org/builds/project-playhouse/.