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Community Solar for Community Action: Using the Solar Commons and Social Impact Bonding to Demonstrate a New National Model of Low-income Energy Assistance.

Community Solar for Community Action: Using the Solar Commons and Social Impact Bonding to Demonstrate a New National Model of Low-income Energy Assistance.

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Backus, MN

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. Leveraging the community trust ownership model of the Solar Commons and social impact bonding, RREAL’s Community Solar for Community Action promises the future of low-income energy assistance and expands the benefits of solar energy to low-income Americans.

Team Information
Team Lead
Jason Edens
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State
Minnesota
Project Description
Project / Program Description

RREAL has forged a newnationally relevant, scalable model of energy assistance: Community Solar for Community Action (CS4CA). Rather than simply payinglow-income families’ energy bills annually, RREAL is proving that shared solaris a fiscally responsible and environmentally appropriate alternative toconventional, fossil-fuel based energy assistance. Our program leverages the nationwideenergy assistance program to rapidly scale low-income solar across allutilities and regulatory landscapes. Energy assistance serves 96% of countiesin the United States and is serving LMIpopulations in partnership with utilities. By integrating solar energyinto this vast and effective service delivery network, we can rapidly and broadly scale low-incomesolar and demonstrate a fundingmechanism 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.

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