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Clean Energy Fund of Texas and Bullard Center Selected for $156 Million Grant from EPA Solar For All Competition

solar panels

Game-changing plan will spread solar power and jobs across the U.S. South

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $156 million grant to an initiative that is designed to provide community solar and energy resiliency infrastructure to low income communities in southern and southeastern states. The grant, through the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s “Solar For All” program, is one of the largest such grants awarded of its kind.

“This funding will change the course of solar energy and equity across Texas and the South,” said Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and Director of the Bullard Center for Environmental & Climate Justice at Texas Southern University. “Southern states bear a disproportionate burden of high energy costs and climate pollution and now – with this funding – we can turn the tide.”

This proposal contains significant equity components, targeting the deployment of solar and battery resources anchored at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities. The application covers multiple states mainly in the U.S. South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, including Washington, DC.

This joint project from the Clean Energy Fund of Texas and the Bullard Center includes a Southeastern Regional Community Solar Network that seeks to engage up to 70 “Minority Serving Institutions” to deploy up to an estimated 172 megawatts of community solar and 84 megawatt hours of energy storage in low income, disadvantaged communities. The universities will use up to 50% of the clean power on site, with the remaining power available to local communities.

“We are grateful to the EPA for selecting this multifaceted project as part of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Solar For All program,” said Billy Briscoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Clean Energy Fund of Texas and an HBCU graduate himself. “This partnership with minority serving institutions of higher education will lower energy burden for low income communities, jumpstart the green economy with the creation of jobs through workforce training programs, and provide energy resiliency after a climate event.”

The program will result in hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth creation in the affected communities and of private capital mobilization.

Workers are at the center of this initiative, in partnership with the Texas Climate Jobs Project, a partner of the Texas AFL-CIO. “The historic partnership between union workers and the Clean Energy Fund of Texas in this initiative will fight climate change, discrimination and inequality,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. 

“We’re grateful for this federal funding, which will provide underserved communities with equitable, family-sustaining, middle-class building trades career opportunities,” said Sean McGarvey, President of the North America’s Building Trades Unions.

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Contact: Oliver Bernstein, Oliver@SteadyHandPR.com, 512.289.8618