Community Solar for Community Action
Community Solar for Community Action
Snapshot
Community Solar for Community Action

Community Solar for Community Action

Selected

Backus, MN

Using Social Impact Bonding and community trust ownership models to Demonstrate a New National Model of Low-income Energy Assistance.

Awarded:: Seed Funds, TA Voucher, Participant

Team Information

Team Lead
Jason Edens
Team Lead LinkedIn Profile
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State
Minnesota

Project Description

Project / Program Description

RREAL has forged a new nationally relevant, scalable model of energy assistance: Community Solar for Community Action (CS4CA). Rather than simply paying low-income families’ energy bills annually, RREAL is proving that shared solar is a fiscally responsible and environmentally appropriate alternative to conventional, fossil-fuel based energy assistance. Our program leverages the nationwide energy assistance program to rapidly scale low-income solar across all utilities and regulatory landscapes. Energy assistance serves 96% of counties in the United States and is serving LMI populations in partnership with utilities. By integrating solar energy into this vast and effective service delivery network, we can rapidly and broadly scale low-income solar and demonstrate a funding mechanism that is not dependent on an ephemeral tax credit. Our project will demonstrate this model by deploying more than 200 kW of 100% low-income shared solar integrated into the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe tribal energy assistance program.

Project Updates

RREAL just had a ribbon cutting for the first 100% low-income shared solar array in Minnesota and on tribal lands. Check out an article about the installation here: http://www.startribune.com/leech-lake-solar-garden-is-first-in-nation-linked-to-energy-assistance-program/441815673/

And another update about an award we received from the BDR Fund for the project: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017/09/bdr-fund-award-winner-rreal-brings-energy-empowerment-minnesota-tribal-community/

Thank you to everyone that helped make this project possible. Next steps for us: similar projects in Vermont and Arizona. 

Team Images
  • Prescott Installation Crew.jpg

    Prescott Installation Crew.jpg

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  • Crew by CS4CA.jpg

    Crew by CS4CA.jpg

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  • Polly and Ben Wrenching on CS4CA1.jpg

    Polly and Ben Wrenching on CS4CA1.jpg

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  • Throwing the Switch with Matt Prescott Kid and Dog II.jpg

    Throwing the Switch with Matt Prescott Kid and Dog II.jpg

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