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Clean Power solar panel California

Published on December 1st, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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Solar Program for the Poor

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December 1st, 2010 by Zachary Shahan 

One of the simple facts about solar energy is that shouldn’t just be for those who can afford the upfront costs of installing a system, right? I sure don’t think so. Apparently, some folks in California and Morgan Stanley agree with me and are making it available to low-income residents of California now. Central Coast Energy Services in California, the Association of California Community Energy Services (ACCES), financial giant Morgan Stanley (to be specific, its solar energy subsidiary, Morgan Stanley Solar Solutions), and 12 energy service providers are now working together on a 10-year pilot program focused on providing free solar power to “income-qualified residents” of California.

The key objective of the pilot program is to install 600 solar photovoltaic systems on low-income multi-family dwellings in California. These systems would, of course, end up saving these residents a ton of money.

“This solar energy project is a wonderful example of innovative public-private partnerships that deliver real benefits to low-income citizens,” said Arleen Novotney, executive director of Association of California Community.

Of course, this reminds me of a similar program I wrote about just a couple months ago — Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH). That program uses a tiny portion of the California Solar Initiative’s $3.2 billion to put solar panels on low-income homes in California (for free). Looks like a great program that I think could be extended across the U.S.

And, going a little further back in time, this new pilot program reminds me of another California project that even goes a step further. As part of the GoSolarSF initiative, San Francisco has a program in place now (at least until the middle of 2011) that hires residents of affordable housing units in San Francisco to put solar power systems on their own buildings.

These are all great initiatives bringing solar power and its many benefits to a larger portion of the population. Great to see their proliferation in California.

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Photo Credit: 138 Photo via flickr (CC license)

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Agnes Stupak

    I wanted to correct the statement above regarding the Multifamily Affordable Housing (MASH) program. This is a utility rate payer program that provides a $/watt cash rebate and although it offsets a large portion of the project cost it is not free.

  • Roof Geeks

    This is great to see, hopefully the trend follows and we start seeing other locations do the same.

  • http://www.calsolareng.com California Solar Engineering

    this is exactly where the energy revolution NEEDS to go. I am so excited to see it get there are finally help save money where money is tightest.
    Great Program- would love to help.

  • http://lgcroofingnj.com/ LGC Roofing

    California has long been the pioneer of innovation and taking the first steps towards such environmentally conscious projects. It’s great too see the state investing in what will definitely be the core of our energy source in the future. Thanks Zachary, for this timely article.

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