Energy for All: Community Solar

GRID Alternatives is a national leader in community solar for low-income and underserved communities, as a developer, installation contractor, project and program partner, workforce development and policy leader.

GRID’s work in community solar includes:

  • Development, turnkey installation and management of community solar projects that benefit low-income families, affordable housing providers, environmental justice partners and underserved communities
  • Direct partnerships with solar industry partners to develop low-income community solar programs and projects, including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services which integrate workforce development and drive community benefits
  • Utility partnerships in program design and project implementation
  • Customer acquisition, subscriber and program management, supported through our Salesforce database and community solar software platform
  • Project finance through an innovative, program-related investment fund supported by the Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Community solar workforce development and workforce training programs focused on underserved and underrepresented communities within the solar industry
  • National and state regulatory and policy leadership and program development. In partnership with Vote Solar, GRID maintains best practices in community solar policy through the Low-Income Solar Policy Guide.

Contact us to learn how we can partner with you to maximize the benefits of your community solar program or project for underserved communities.

Successful Partnerships

Community-based Partners
GRID is working with environmental justice and community-based nonprofit partners in states including Oregon, Mississippi and California to develop community solar projects that maximize benefits for low-income and underserved communities, while integrating workforce development and other local economic opportunities.

GRID advocates for Tribal inclusion in state community solar programs in states including New Mexico and Washington. In coordination with the Spokane Tribe and other Tribes in Washington State, GRID successfully led an amendment for Tribal inclusion in the 2020 Washington State community solar incentive bill and is working with Tribal partners on community solar project development.

GRID partners with governments at all levels to develop community solar programs and projects that benefit the highest need community members. This includes active participation in regulatory and legislative efforts to increase low-income access to community solar nationally. GRID successfully administered the Colorado Energy Office Low-Income Community Solar Demonstration Project in partnership with eight rural utilities and is implementing a similar initiative in partnership with the State of California Department of Community Services and Development. GRID has actively participated in federal efforts, including the Department of Energy (DOE) National Community Solar Partnership and the Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities Accelerator. GRID is currently partnered with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association on a DOE-funded effort to expand community solar access in rural communities.

GRID has partnered with utilities to develop low-income community solar projects serving their highest energy-burdened customers and manage utility-offered community solar programs for low-income customers.

Solar Industry
GRID has successfully supported low-income community solar customer acquisition for for-profit industry partners and we work closely with community solar installers to integrate workforce development into partnerships. GRID is an active member of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a leading community solar industry association working nationally to expand access to community solar.

Project Finance
GRID has started a community solar program-related investment fund, supported through a three-year grant from the Department of Energy to develop and implement a new project financing mechanism to unlock capital and higher savings for low-income qualified rate payers.

Affordable Housing Providers
GRID is partnering with multifamily affordable housing providers and public housing authorities like the Denver Housing Authority and Pueblo Housing Authority to develop community solar projects that benefit their operations and tenants, including the development of solar workforce training programs.