Advancing Energy Equity through Community Solar
The spike in energy costs have American households looking to clean energy solutions, including solar power, to deliver cost savings. Historically, the benefits of solar power have not been accessible to all — with rooftop solar being out of reach for many low-income and Black and Hispanic households. But community solar projects can help low-income and disadvantaged communities reap the benefits of clean energy.
Federal funding and recent incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) promise to accelerate solar deployment and advance the Biden administration’s historic Justice40 initiative. The IRA includes significant tax incentives for a variety of solar projects, including projects connected to low-income communities and community solar projects that provide economic benefits to low-income residents.
Community solar can offer financial advantages and flexibility that make it an accessible and cost-saving offering for low-income households and disadvantaged communities. Community solar projects can also help build community wealth, mitigate environmental harms and strengthen resilience.
What are the unique benefits of community solar? How can community solar enable disadvantaged communities to benefit from renewable energy? How can community solar deliver economic opportunity to underrepresented communities? How can community solar programs be designed to reach more low-income customers? How do new federal policies and initiatives support the deployment of community solar projects that advance equity? And how can local leaders, businesses and households engage in community solar?
Join World Resources Institute on September 27th, 12:30-2pm ET, for a conversation with Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor for Equity and Workforce, Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy and lead of the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP). We’ll explore the above questions, discuss how NCSP is working to ensure community solar benefits are reaching disadvantaged and historically marginalized communities and how the Justice40 initiative is driving the equitable distribution of the benefits of clean energy investments. The conversation will be followed by a panel of industry and nonprofit leaders working to ensure the benefits of community solar flow to all segments of society.
- Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor for Equity and Workforce, Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy
Carla Walker, Director, Environmental Justice and Equity, United States, World Resources Institute
- Utopia Hill, Head of Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Reactivate
- Mary Shearer, Executive Director, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity
- Sandhya Murali, Co-Founder and COO, Solstice
- Nate Hausman, Manager, Clean Energy Markets, United States, World Resources Institute (Moderator)
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