Jamez Staples founded Renewable Energy Partners after seeing how solar energy was being built in other parts of the country and after Minnesota passed its Solar Jobs Act in 2013. He has lived in North Minneapolis most of his life and graduated from North High School where REP has installed a 365-kilowatt community solar garden. He has seen and experienced injustices in economic opportunity and environmental health in Minnesota but was also inspired by former Obama Administration Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’ idea of addressing climate change and poverty at the same time.
The 2013 legislative Solar Jobs Act mandate set a goal that 1.5% of energy in Minnesota must come from solar and established the community solar garden program. The emerging sector of clean energy was already growing, and Jamez saw it as accelerating the solar market in Minnesota—and as an excellent opportunity to bring his experience back home and start creating good-paying jobs for his neighbors in Minneapolis.
Since then, REP has been developing solar projects while also acquiring the property and raising funds for the Regional Apprenticeship Training Center (RATC) in North Minneapolis. RATC will assure that students and young adults can explore career opportunities in clean energy and get the skills they need for emerging energy-related careers. RATC has had the support of the Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities program, Hennepin County, and the City of Minneapolis, as well as other community partners.
In 2019, REP won a contract with the City of Minneapolis to develop the solar garden at North High School with subscriptions reserved for low-income households. It is the first large-scale project to demonstrate solar garden benefits for low-income ratepayers in the state. Last year, REP entered into a formal partnership agreement with the University of Minnesota to create a more vibrant STEM learning environment in North Minneapolis and develop curriculum and training programs for emerging energy careers.
REP is a Minnesota for-profit company based in North Minneapolis. REP is a certified Minority Business Enterprise. When you work with REP, you get the benefits of a high-quality solar project that also contributes to your minority participation goals.
When you choose Renewable Energy Partners, you contribute to the future of our region’s resiliency. You are co-creating new opportunities for underestimated community members to get hands-on training from our team of experienced solar electricians, apprentices, and technicians.
REP offers a FREE consultation on how to turn your unused roof space or land into a revenue generator and a tool for addressing climate change. This includes an assessment of your site, its solar capacity, and project costs and benefits. Fill out our contact form and we will connect with you within two business days.