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Clean Energy Education – for HBCU Anchored communities


Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) has a strategic partnership with Clearloop Corporation a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Ranch Corporation, to enable opportunities for student internships, faculty and workforce development, and economic development through HBCUs and surrounding communities using solar energy projects. 

By installing utility-scale solar farms in direct proximity to HBCU campuses, the partnership offers a practical solution to the challenge underscored by Scientific American that “racial and ethnic minorities have less access to solar power, regardless of income, highlighting the need for environmental justice.

Projects involve Clearloop purchasing 50 – 200 acres of land and constructing solar farms that supply enough energy to power 2,000 – 8,000 homes back to the grid.


SFI’s partnership with Clearloop realizes our vision to develop and increase access to diverse talent from marginalized communities to improve their opportunities and growth in the clean energy sector.

SFI’s 60+ Partner HBCUs are uniquely positioned to accelerate economic mobility for students and families of color. The innovation, creativity, diversity, and drive needed to succeed in the solar industry are already being taught and nurtured at HBCUs. What’s still needed is the opportunity for HBCU students and graduates to close the representation gap in the clean energy industry.

This can be accomplished through installing solar farms in direct proximity to HBCU campus and the creation of Innovation Centers on SFI Partner HBCU campuses, where students, alumni, faculty, and members of their local communities can complete intensive training and work hands-on with solar projects.

Developing robust connections between HBCUs and the solar industry is one proven way to help close persistent gaps in diversity, access, and opportunity. The partnership with Clearloop allows the Student Freedom Initiative to reach more students and expand career pathways into the clean energy industry for historically underrepresented communities.

The development of solar farms and the creation of Innovation Centers serve as a catalytic epicenter of learning that provides HBCU students and faculty with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to transform our nation’s clean energy talent pipeline and workforce.


Programs and activities at each center are tailored to the population and local community. These experiences include, but are not limited to:

Workforce Development

Students, alumni, and community members have the ability to interact one-on-one with Clearloop employees to get direct insight into career opportunities, get their resumes and applications reviewed, and gain access to potential industry mentors. Career fairs can also be hosted for direct recruitment and job placements. 


Student Freedom Initiative is expanding our existing Internship program, recruiting students at the partner HBCUs, using the innovation centers as the recruitment and advisement arena. Students gain hands-on experience with partnered companies, where they can work as paid interns, learning skills. Once their internships are complete as a cohort, the selected interns present their learning to the rest of their classes in the innovation center. 

Research & Development

The innovation centers serve as incubator hubs where students, faculty, and SMEs collaborate and engage in research and development ideas. This model promotes collaboration between academia and industry, offers students real-world experience, and supports the industry’s growth.


Three main factors are considered when selecting communities to invest in:

  • Co-Benefits: How can the dollars invested in the project boost HBCUs and the local economy?
  • Sun Availability: How much sunshine can we turn into electricity?
  • Clean Up Potential: How much carbon can we prevent by building new solar capacity?


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