Project Contact: Nate Hausman, nate@cleanegroup.org

CESA is leading a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The project began on October 1, 2019.

The project focuses on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

Single-Family Homes

CESA is working with Connecticut Green Bank, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and PosiGen Solar to evaluate and promote a successful initiative that has brought solar to more than 2,500 Connecticut single-family homes, most of which are LMI. State agencies from across the country will be given the opportunity to join a working group where they will receive technical assistance and other support to consider adopting similar programs for their states.

Manufactured Homes

CESA, with assistance from representatives of the New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division, will examine the potential for using solar to power manufactured homes in different states, based on their housing stock, solar policies, geography, and the applicability of different possible technologies. State government agencies, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and other stakeholders will be encouraged to join a learning network to explore the potential for launching a pilot project or program for manufactured homes.

Multifamily Affordable Housing

The multifamily affordable housing component of the project builds on work carried out by Clean Energy Group (CEG) in conjunction with the Kresge Foundation. CEG and CESA will work with housing developers/owners and community development lenders to replicate and expand loan guarantee and other foundation program-related investment (PRI) models for solar and solar+storage projects for multifamily affordable housing. Principal objectives will be to increase community resilience and reduce energy costs for low-income households.

Funding from the Solar Energy Technologies Office

CESA was selected to receive financial support as a part of the US Department of Energy Department’s effort to invest in new projects that will lower solar electricity costs and support a growing solar workforce. CESA was is one of several projects that will focus on developing and testing new ways to accelerate the integration of emerging technologies into the solar industry. These projects do not fund individual technologies along their pathway to market, but instead focus on improving the pathway itself.

The US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.