The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes and multifamily affordable housing.
For the single-family homes component of the initiative, CESA will work with Connecticut Green Bank, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PosiGen Solar to evaluate and promote a successful initiative that has brought solar to more than 2,500 Connecticut single-family homes, most of which are LMI. State agencies from across the country will be given the opportunity to join a working group where they will receive technical assistance and other support to consider adopting similar programs for their states.
For manufactured homes, CESA, with assistance from representatives of the New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division, will examine the potential for using solar to power manufactured homes in different states, based on their housing stock, solar policies, geography and the applicability of different possible technologies. State government agencies, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and other stakeholders will be encouraged to join a learning network to explore the potential for launching a pilot project or program for manufactured homes.
The multifamily affordable housing component of the project will build on work carried out by Clean Energy Group (CEG) in conjunction with the Kresge Foundation. CEG and CESA will work with housing developers/owners and community development lenders to replicate and expand loan guarantee and other foundation program-related investment (PRI) models for solar and solar-plus-storage projects for multifamily affordable housing. Principal objectives will be to increase community resilience and reduce energy costs for low-income households.
CESA has worked actively on LMI solar more than five years.
“CESA is committed to helping state governments and other stakeholders implement solar in ways that provide meaningful benefits to under-resourced communities. The new grant from the U.S. DOE solar office will enable us to significantly expand our outreach and assistance,” said CESA executive director Warren Leon.
To carry out the new initiative and other work CESA is engaged in related to solar for LMI communities, two individuals with strong experience working on this topic have been added to the CESA staff.
To learn about or to sign up for updates about the new Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project, go to www.cesa.org/projects/low-income-clean-energy/scaling-up-lmi-solar/.
News item from the Clean Energy States Alliance