Nationwide Solar Momentum: Biden-Harris Administration’s Investment Plans Unveiled

https://www.energy.gov/communitysolar/2023-sunny-awards-equitable-community-solar

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled exciting solar energy investments. These initiatives aim to lower home electricity bills and reduce local pollution while supporting the President’s ambitious clean energy goals. The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) has selected 25 teams to participate in the $10 million Community Power Accelerator Prize competition. This nationwide effort aims to establish a strong network of community solar project developers, potentially deploying up to 150 megawatts of community solar across the country—powering nearly 30,000 American homes. Access to $5 billion in private sector financing through the Community Power Accelerator™ adds further momentum.

In addition, the 2023 Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar have been launched, offering $200,000 in prize awards for projects and programs that increase equitable access to community solar benefits. These include greater household savings, job opportunities, and enhanced energy resilience for subscribers and their communities. These vital programs align with the President’s Justice40 initiative, ensuring that all communities benefit from the clean energy transition. They reflect the Administration’s strong commitment to expanding access to affordable renewable energy across America.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the importance of President Biden’s vision for an equitable clean energy future. Ensuring that every community can access the benefits of affordable clean energy resources, particularly solar, is a top priority. The Department of Energy (DOE) is introducing exciting new tools and vital assistance to support solar deployment across the nation. This way, all communities can enjoy economic advantages and improved public health through renewable energy adoption.

Later today, Secretary Granholm will address these crucial announcements at an event in Washington, D.C., honoring the 2022 Sunny Awards winners. She will also highlight DOE’s recent investments, including $82 million for solar energy research and development projects, and a $3 billion conditional loan commitment to Sunnova Energy Corporation’s Project Hestia. The latter initiative aims to expand solar access in disadvantaged communities.

Community solar is a powerful means of generating renewable energy, offering numerous benefits to all members of a community. These advantages include lower utility bills, community ownership and wealth-building, enhanced energy resilience, equitable workforce development, and access to solar benefits for low- and moderate-income households. DOE initiatives like NCSP, the Community Power Accelerator, and the Sunny Awards actively support the Department’s goal of ensuring organizations and communities nationwide receive the funding and assistance necessary to develop meaningful and sustainable community solar projects, benefiting the surrounding areas for years to come.

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