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CESA, Five States, and D.C. Awarded $1.73 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to Improve Solar Access for Low- and Moderate-Income Residents

Three-year Project to Develop New State Solar Plans and Programs
Montpelier, VT — The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a national nonprofit organization, has received a $1.73 million award under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative to help Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Rhode Island increase solar power adoption by low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents.
Consumers of all income levels can potentially save money by going solar, but LMI households have been less able than other income groups to participate in the solar market up to now. This raises questions of equity. Addressing the challenges that prevent lower-income residents from accessing the economic benefits of solar will also allow the participating states to more fully realize the economic and environmental benefits of solar.
Under this grant, the participating states will explore the best ways of increasing LMI adoption of solar, given each state’s circumstances. The states will develop and implement the most promising strategies to meet their respective goals, with involvement from key stakeholders in their states.
“This project will tackle one of the most important challenges facing future solar development,” said Warren Leon, Executive Director of CESA. “The five states and the District of Columbia are all committed to expanding low-income access to solar power and ensuring that solar development proceeds in an equitable manner. We are excited to be partnering with them.”
With U.S. DOE SunShot funding, CESA and the states will identify needed analysis and acquire the information, input, and expertise that are essential for designing and implementing successful state LMI solar strategies. This focused effort will help the states to develop and implement the most effective plans for appropriately increasing LMI solar adoption, and to share their strategies with other states.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will provide research support and technical assistance for this initiative. Specific research projects will be determined by the needs of the states.
The lead state agencies for the states participating in this project are the Connecticut Green Bank; the D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment; the Minnesota Department of Commerce; the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department; the Oregon Department of Energy (in conjunction with Energy Trust of Oregon); and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. CESA will coordinate the project and, together with the national laboratories, provide technical assistance to the states.

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