Full Title: Energize Your Impact: How Foundations Can Accelerate Solar for LMI-Serving Community Institutions
Author(s): Vero Bourg-Meyer and Warren Leon
Publisher(s): Clean Energy States Alliance
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
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This report explores how philanthropic foundations have supported the deployment of solar and solar plus battery storage (solar+storage) at community-serving institutions, including multifamily affordable housing, community centers, senior care facilities, educational facilities, and health centers in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities in the United States. It provides a menu of strategies that foundations can use to bring clean energy benefits to LMI households and communities.
Although solar and solar+storage have the potential to provide significant financial, environmental, and resilience benefits, historically there have been daunting obstacles for under-resourced communities to access these technologies. The report focuses on strategies for foundations to help overcome those challenges and advance energy equity. Energize Your Impact presents eight intervention models that foundations have used to scale up solar and solar+storage. The interventions can be divided into three groups: (1) those that directly reduce costs, such as grants and donations of solar panels; (2) those that facilitate project developers’ access to funding and support market building, such as loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments; and (3) those that help community organizations prepare to implement solar and solar+storage, such as technical assistance funds and capacity-building programs. The models in the report can be replicated and adapted by a wide range of foundations and funders.