Black Rock Solar (Reno, NV)


  • Name:Catherine Leon
  • Title:Education Program Manager

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Black Rock Solar
  • Address:250 Bell St.
    Reno, NV 89503
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:775-237-8669
  • Main fax:775-384-9025

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Black Rock Solar (BRS) promotes environmental stewardship, economic development and energy independence by providing not-for-profit entities, tribes and underserved communities with access to clean energy, education, and job training.

    Since 2007, we’ve built more than 3 MW of solar power for Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations, and schools throughout Nevada. Installing more than 60 arrays, we've prevented the release of 3,088 tons of carbon dioxide annually and saved our partners more than $500,000 per year. But our mission stretches beyond solar installation to include the all-important work of education.

    BRS actively reaches out to our community’s educators and students, spreading awareness of environmental issues and promoting enthusiasm for sustainable energy solutions. Through field trips, solar school visits, and the development of environmental education resources, Black Rock Solar is committed to helping our youth to pursue a sustainable future.

  • Overview:
  • Black Rock Solar is a Nevada based non-profit organization that promotes environmental stewardship, economic development and energy independence by providing non-profit entities, tribes and underserved communities with access to clean energy, education, and job training. Historically, Nevada has received most of its energy from coal and natural gas plants. More recently, however, the demand to move away from fossil fuels, coupled with the state’s vast natural solar resources, have made Nevada a perfect fit for solar. The economic benefits of shifting to solar are significant. Mainstream brands like Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, and Apple rank among the nation’s top solar customers.

    These titans of American business focus on taking control of their energy costs to improve their bottom line. For those entities that need clean, sustainable energy most, however, the reality of up-front labor and equipment prices can make solar power cost prohibitive. Schools, tribes, and non-profit agencies in Nevada, struggling under a difficult economy and working under limited budgets to provide some of the most important services in our community, are unable to deploy sustainable energy resources, thus boosting their economic potential and lowering or eliminating their electricity bills.

    Black Rock Solar exists to increase access to clean energy for these entities, such as the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. The FBNN received a 150 kilowatt array in 2010, saving the agency $33,000 annually for an expected 25 years or more. That’s enough money to buy an additional 132,000 meals for needy families each and every year. BRS has installed 12 arrays, totaling 642kw of power, for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. These projects have saved the tribe $1,011,150 a year. Money that would otherwise go toward utility bills is put to better use, ultimately improving quality of life in their community. Based on an average cost of .9 cents per kilowatt hour, the work done by BRS since 2007 has generated an annual savings of $508,858 for the agencies we serve. A complete list of projects is available at

    In addition to economic impact, the environmental benefit of using clean energy has led to increased interest and investment in solar. Supplanting coal and natural generating facilities often leads to immediate benefits as communities affected by air and water pollution (often some of the poorest communities in the US) suffer numerous health ailments, including increased chronic asthma rates. Above all, the use of solar energy systems reduces greenhouse gas emissions, serving as an exceptionally effective and necessary tool in creating a sustainable future. Solar is saving the planet and changing lives. Through its installation efforts, BRS has prevented the release of 3,088 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Over the course of 25 years, that number jumps to 77,209 tons of carbon dioxide avoided. That translates into 515 cars taken off the road or 1,030 homes taken off the grid.

    Since 2007, BRS has installed more than 60 solar arrays for clients in the non-profit, public, low-income and educational sectors, with a focus on rural and tribal clients. As a state-wide non-profit organization, BRS is working to enhance energy security, create job opportunities in the clean energy economy, and speed the adoption of renewable energy as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

    BRS accomplishes this through a multi-pronged approach based on its installation work but that addresses a wider scope of issues and needs. BRS’s additional programs include energy efficiency, K-12 education, job training programs, and statewide policy development to ensure the growth of solar energy in Nevada.

  • History:
  • Black Rock Solar began in 2007 with volunteers inspired by the community values and general principles of the Burning Man festival. A 30-kilowatt (kW) solar array, built on the ancient sea floor of the Black Rock Desert to provide power to the temporary city at Burning Man, was later installed in Gerlach, a tiny rural town at the end of the power grid. The array, valued at more than $150,000, was donated for free to the town’s K-12 school and has since saved the school about $15,000 per year. Identifying an opportunity to help underserved communities, while at the same time promoting clean energy, Black Rock Solar volunteers continued their efforts, building a solar array for Pershing General Hospital in Lovelock, Nevada.

    On May 1, 2008, BRS became a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. That same year, People Magazine named Black Rock Solar’s then-director Tom Price one of its “Environmental Heroes” for its Earth Day issue. In April of 2009, BRS built a 30 kW array for the Medical Clinic on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s Reservation on NV State Highway 447. By August 2010, the highway was proclaimed to be America’s Solar Highway, with more watts of distributed solar per mile than anywhere else in the USA, with 451kW along 75 miles, 17 watts per mile. BRS now boasts a long list of satisfied clients who, without us, would have been unable to reap the benefits of solar energy.

    BRS provides an innovative service in managing the entire process, from site assessment and rebate application submission to construction and maintenance. As an industry expert, BRS has moved projects along at an impressive pace, greatly increasing solar energy capability in Nevada by more than 3.5 megawatts. Since 2007, BRS has built over $13 million in solar capacity through 60+ solar arrays for Nevada organizations, nearly all completed at no cost to the recipient.

    BRS completes these arrays through the SolarGeneration rebate program administered by NV Energy. As incentives through this program are reduced, the agency is helping its clients evaluate project ownership options as well as potential partnership arrangements and which financing options are most suitable. BRS is continually building upon the achievements and lessons learned from the past six years in operation. As one of the area’s largest and most unique solar installers, BRS is changing the renewable energy landscape in Nevada one array at a time.

    Since 2007, BRS has added additional programs including energy efficiency, K-12 education, job training programs, and statewide policy development to ensure the growth of solar energy in Nevada. Black Rock Solar’s energy efficiency program, started in 2012, offers energy audits to partner agencies conducted by an experienced and licensed auditor. Energy efficiency goes hand in hand with renewable energy systems. By helping partners focus on conservation and employ low- or no-cost solutions that reduce up-front energy demand, BRS can build an appropriately sized array that meets the needs of the agency. This program also provides comprehensive energy efficiency trainings to community-based groups, including tribes. Through this service BRS is working to educate and empower the public to make informed decisions and lifestyle changes that will not only help them reduce pollution, but save money.

    The K-12 education program, started in 2010, is built on the premise that to truly make a difference, Nevada’s future leaders, innovators, decision makers, business owners, and educators must understand why clean energy is important and how it works. Achieving a sustainable future requires the ideas, action, and influence of our youth. Through field trips to BRS-built arrays, solar trailer school visits, direct classroom support, and curriculum development, this program is working to enlighten young minds about solar energy, the impact of burning fossil fuels, and energy conservation.

    In order to ensure the continued growth and success of solar in Nevada, BRS advocates for strong, progressive state policy initiatives that further its progress. Serving as one of the main voices representing solar contractors and installers, BRS is committed to promoting clean energy across the Silver State, thereby creating jobs for local people and protecting the interests of the underserved communities with whom we work.

  • Year established:2007
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:7
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:25


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:80-0204355

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:800204355
  • Organization Name:BLACK ROCK LABS
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% TOM PRICE
  • Organization Address:660 ALABAMA ST
  • Organization City:SAN FRANCISCO
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:94110-2008
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:January, 2009
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:W80
  • Asset Amount:$843,975
  • Asset Code:5 ($500,000 - $999,999)
  • Income Amount:$3,237,208
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$3,237,208
  • Last Updated:2/22/2018 6:58:20 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.