Solar Program for the Poor

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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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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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