EPA Proclaims the Greenhouse Fuel Discount Fund Photo voltaic for All Program

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This week, EPA took a serious step within the implementation of the $27 billion Greenhouse Fuel Discount Fund (GGRF) by asserting a aggressive utility course of for its $7 billion Photo voltaic for All program. Underneath Photo voltaic for All, EPA will competitively award grants to photo voltaic applications throughout the nation that ship significant advantages to low-income and deprived communities (LI/DAC). Low-income households have up to now been disproportionately ignored of our nation’s clear vitality transition – they face a mean vitality burden 3 times larger in comparison with non-low-income households, and are disproportionately much less seemingly to undertake photo voltaic. Photo voltaic vitality can also be not reaching communities of shade equally, as majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods see considerably much less rooftop photo voltaic put in in comparison with majority white neighborhoods. Many of those identical communities have lengthy lived with the wide-ranging and detrimental results of environmental injustice, whether or not it’s excessive ranges of air air pollution, water contamination, or the disproportionate siting of business services. 

The Photo voltaic for All competitors is considered one of three applications beneath the GGRF, and it’s explicitly designed to allow low-income and deprived communities to deploy or profit from photo voltaic. With Photo voltaic for All, EPA seeks to advance three GGRF program targets:

  1. Scale back emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG) and different air pollution

  2. Ship advantages of GHG- and air pollution-reducing tasks to communities throughout the nation, notably LI/DAC

  3. Mobilize further capital to stimulate elevated deployment of those tasks

The Program Particulars 

Photo voltaic for All will present grants to states, Tribal governments, municipalities, and different eligible nonprofit lenders to develop present low-income photo voltaic applications, or to create new photo voltaic applications that profit LI/DAC. Photo voltaic for All {dollars} can go to tasks delivering residential rooftop photo voltaic, residential neighborhood photo voltaic, related storage, and enabling upgrades. Notably, the EPA lists vitality effectivity enhancements, electrical system upgrades, and structural constructing repairs as allowable enabling upgrades. NRDC has beforehand burdened the significance of pairing vitality effectivity with photo voltaic to maximize the potential of this program, and we’re enthusiastic about its inclusion by the EPA. 

EPA would require {that a} minimal of 75% (65% for Tribal authorities awardees) of funds present monetary help (outlined flexibly to additionally embrace rebates, subsidies, forgivable and mushy loans, and different monetary merchandise), to residential rooftop and residential-serving neighborhood photo voltaic tasks. A lot of the remaining award can be utilized for project-deployment technical help, which might embrace workforce coaching, buyer schooling and outreach, and siting, allowing, and interconnection assist.  

Candidates are anticipated guarantee their program delivers “significant advantages” to LI/DAC. EPA defines significant advantages in 5 classes:

  1. Family financial savings – delivering a minimal of 20% of family financial savings to all households served beneath this system

  2. Increasing equitable entry to photo voltaic technology to a range of households

  3. Rising resilience of energy technology throughout grid outages

  4. Facilitating neighborhood possession fashions that enable LI/DAC to entry financial advantages of fresh vitality asset possession

  5. Investing in workforce improvement, delivering prevailing wage jobs, and supporting girls and minority-owned companies and contractors

The Award Particulars  

EPA will make as much as 60 awards to states, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofit lenders. As much as 56 awards will go to US states and territories, as much as 5 awards to Tribal governments, and as much as 10 awards to multi-state applications. These awards shall be eligible for differing quantities of funding based mostly on the variety of households a program serves:

  • Small sized applications (as much as 10,000 households) can obtain between $25-100 million
  • Medium-sized applications (10,001-30,000 households) can obtain between $100-250 million
  • Massive-sized applications (higher than 30,000 households) can obtain $250-400 million

What’s subsequent?  

Photo voltaic for All candidates should ship a Discover of Intent (NOI) to use for every utility they intend on submitting. Every NOI should embrace the quantity of funding requested, the award being utilized to, the place this system will happen, and the variety of purposes that entity plans to submit. As well as, letters in assist of the applicant have to be signed by licensed officers from the entity’s government workplace (equivalent to a governor, mayoral, or CEO) and included within the NOI. NOIs are because of [email protected] in a phased method by the next deadlines: 

July 31st: States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico
August 14th: Territories, municipalities, and nonprofits
August 28th: Tribal governments

Closing utility packages are due September 26th.

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