Report: Establishing Equitable Community Solar Programs

Date: 27 Feb 2020 | posted in: Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. —  A team of community solar specialists recently released Equitable Community Solar: Policy and Program Guidance for Community Solar Programs that Promote Racial and Economic Equity. The new report offers guidance for communities working to establish solar programs that promote racial and economic equity. 

Community solar programs are gaining in popularity due to the economic, climate, and other benefits they offer. In Minnesota, over 12,000 households receive monthly bill credits from community solar. When combined with business subscribers, these credits totaled more than $5 million in March 2019 alone. 

In order to ensure equitable distribution of the costs and benefits of community solar among stakeholders, however, these programs must be designed intentionally. This report outlines detailed policy guidance for the use of city elected officials, policymakers, administrators of municipal electric utilities, and anyone working to establish equitable regional community solar programs. 

Policy suggestions are grouped into four areas: 

  • Compensation
  • Consumer participation
  • Program structure
  • Other program governance that centers marginalized communities

Beyond program design, the report includes an economic impact assessment for two hypothetical community solar projects in Cleveland. It also outlines some examples of equitable community solar policy already in practice and directs readers to additional resources.

Individuals from 8 organizations contributed to the report, including Cleveland Owns, Cooperative Energy Futures, and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Read the full report here

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