Solar for All

Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Deploying Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All funds to communities effectively and efficiently within five years of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s awards to states will require sustained and strategic collaboration across the country. This is why CESA’s Solar for All team actively supports states through a portfolio of activities and resources, coordinated with federal agencies, national labs, and other national nonprofits.

Solar for All is a competitive grants program administered by EPA. It will provide states with $7 billion to expand solar access to low-income households and disadvantaged communities between 2024 and 2029. Building on over a decade of expertise in LMI solar, including the DOE-funded Scaling Up Solar project, CESA is a trusted partner for state agencies deploying Solar for All funds. CESA assisted 40+ states in applying to the Solar for All competition, and is continuing its state support activities as states embark on their implementation journey, leading up to and after the award decisions in March 2024.

Convene

CESA convenes state agencies across the country to exchange on Solar for All and learn from one another, covering wide-ranging topics. These meetings are reserved to state staff only (and affiliate organizations), and are not open to the public or recorded.

State meetings are an opportunity to exchange with other states facing similar challenges, explore solutions together, and share best practices to advance Solar for All state programs. To be made aware of future state meetings, state agencies and green bank staff can sign up for our mailing list here. Additional and more targeted working groups will be developed as implementation work gets under way.

Inform
Assist

To stay up to date on Solar for All activities, resources, and news, state agencies and green bank staff can sign up for our mailing list here.

CESA’s activities are driven by states. Let us know what your state agency’s needs are, including your ideas for activities that would be well-suited for action by multiple states, by emailing Vero Bourg-Meyer. Note that CESA is not an advocacy organization and that we do not offer services to other sub-national actors, for-profits, or non-profits (other than those affiliated with state agencies such as green banks or part of a state-wide program).

Selected Resources:

Empowering Tomorrow: A Preview of States’ Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All Programs

The Clean Energy States Alliance has published a report summarizing trends and calculating the potential impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $7 billion Solar for All competition. This report, Empowering Tomorrow: A Preview of States’ Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All Programs, provides the first public visibility into the range of state proposals that have been submitted in response to this competition. The report can serve as a market readiness tool, to help states prepare for a massive and historic influx of LMI solar funding.

LMI Single-Family Homes

CESA’s 2023 Solar for All Program Design Guidance for States and accompanying Template Request for Proposals offer a blueprint as well as insights and recommendations to state agencies to design and launch single-family homes solar lease Solar for All programs in their state, while maximizing tax credits and IRA tax credit bonuses. This package was developed as a plug and play resource with funding from DOE.

LMI Multi-Family Solar and Solar+Storage

CESA’s Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar and Solar+Storage: Solar for All Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Program Design Options for States offers simple options for states to design and deploy multifamily affordable housing solar and/or solar+storage to their Solar for All programs portfolio. It can be used in states that do not already have MFAH solar or solar+storage policies and programs in place, and in states that wish to expand their current program offerings to reach LMI households or provide additional benefits to disadvantaged communities.

LMI Community Solar

There are many available models of community solar throughout the country, but not all will meet the goals of EPA’s Solar for All competition. Community Solar for Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities: Solar for All Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Program Design Options for States streamlines design choices for states and presents three community solar models, with a few variations, that states and territories could use to shape state community solar programs.

Davis-Bacon Primer

This Davis-Bacon (DBA) Primer for States Implementing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All Program is an explainer in the form of a question-and-answer document. It provides a plain English overview of DBA for state staff who will implement the Inflation Reduction Act.

LMI Manufactured Homes Solar

Solar for Manufactured Homes: An Assessment of the Opportunities and Challenges in 14 States is a three-part report addressing the critically underserved manufactured homes solar sector. It was produced by CESA with input from states and utilities between 2019 and 2023.

LMI Solar Stakeholder Engagement

Community Outreach and Solar Equity: A Guide for States on Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations, is aimed at state energy agencies that are looking to strengthen their relationships with local under-resourced communities or are beginning to engage in energy justice work. The guide is a collection of best practices, ideas, and principles that provide states a foundation for building equitable relationships with community-based organizations and for working with them on solar development.

CBO Database Map

Community Outreach and Solar Equity: A Guide for States on Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations, is aimed at state energy agencies that are looking to strengthen their relationships with local under-resourced communities or are beginning to engage in energy justice work. The guide is a collection of best practices, ideas, and principles that provide states a foundation for building equitable relationships with community-based organizations and for working with them on solar development.

Consumer Protection for Community Solar: A Guide for States

This 2017 guidebook and associated webinar discuss the consumer protection issues that may arise in community solar projects for residential consumers and the role that states can play in ensuring appropriate protections.

LMI-Serving Community Institutions for Philanthropies

The Energize Your Impact report explores how philanthropic foundations have supported the deployment of solar and solar+storage at LMI-serving community institutions, including multifamily affordable housing, community centers, senior care facilities, educational facilities, and health centers. It provides a menu of strategies for foundations to bring clean energy benefits to LMI households and communities.

Solar with Justice - English version cover

Solar With Justice

Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market provides recommendations on how to deliver meaningful, long-lasting benefits to disadvantaged communities with solar. It was produced by CESA in partnership with the Jackson State University Department of Urban & Regional Planning, the Partnership for Southern Equity, PaulosAnalysis, the University of Michigan School for Environment & Sustainability, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and The Solutions Project following more than 90 policymakers, community group leaders, solar experts, and energy equity advocates interviews.

Solar with Justice - English version cover

CESA’s Scaling Up Solar resource page contains many more resources to support stakeholders in building LMI solar programs, include consumer education, consumer protection, tools, and templates for state programs.