- Team Lead
- Jason Edens
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- 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 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.
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
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
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