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

Community Solar for Community Action

Selected

Backus

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

March 2018

RREAL is partnering in Vermont on the developing the second 100% owned low-income community solar array. This 150 kW will provide solar energy assistance through Vermont's Southeastern Vermont Community Action Agency for 173 (FY2016-2017) LIHEAP electric heat energy assistance recipients. 

During the TA Blitz RREAL, in partnership with the MREA, completed a case study on the Leech Lake Community Solar for Community Action pilot. Read it here https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/eed9c8_032a62ae80cd4323b26b12e7af95eef3.pdf

In a fun and creative partnership with Nemeth Energy, we made a video for spreading the RREAL CS4CA story, thanks to the TA Blitz Voucher opportunity. Watch it https://www.rreal.org/cs4ca

We traveled to DC to participate in the SIYCC workshops. It was good to meet some of our SIYCC friends, share stories, get inspired, and celebrate SIYCC innovations with you. 

This month Community Solar for Community Action was honored with the 2018 Environmental Initiative Energy & Climate Award. Learn more https://environmental-initiative.org/news/energy-climate-winners-community-solar-community-action/. We at RREAL are grateful to be in this challenge with such a talented group and for the amazing progress made during this first quarter of 2018. Sunny regards to all our SIYCC contemporaries.

December 2017

RREAL just finished an 14.4kW system at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth, Minnesota. This will provide more savings that can be put toward AICHO's important work providing housing services to Native communities in Duluth. The array will also be used for educational programs about solar for youth and the community. http://www.aicho.org

July 2017

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/

kilowatt total: 118kW

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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  • AICHOArray.jpg

    AICHOArray.jpg

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  • Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 11.38.34 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 11.38.34 AM.png

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