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Texas Groups Send $250 Million Application to EPA Solar For All Competition

An experienced team of clean energy leaders jointly applied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for grant money from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s “Solar For All” program.

Proposal from Clean Energy Fund of Texas and Bullard Center would bring solar power and jobs to the U.S. South

Today an experienced team of clean energy leaders jointly applied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for grant money from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s “Solar For All” program. If approved, the proposal would bring a community solar and energy resiliency infrastructure to low income communities in southern states.

This Texas proposal leads with equity, targeting the deployment of solar and battery resources on the campuses of 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. 

“This proposal would be a game changer for 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 climate pollution and high energy costs, and now – with the Solar For All program – we can really start turning the tide.”

This joint proposal from the Clean Energy Fund of Texas and the Bullard Center proposes a Southeastern Regional Community Solar Network engaging 69 “Minority Serving Institutions” and community based organizations to deploy an estimated 172 megawatts of community solar and 84 megawatt hours of energy storage. This would allow the community to use 80% of the solar power generated, lowering electric bills by about 25% and saving households approximately $139.8 million.

“This collaborative proposal embodies the vision 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. “Together we can save money for lower income households and communities of color while boosting renewable energy, creating jobs and caring for the climate.”

The program will result in $300 million of wealth creation in the affected communities and $250 million of private capital mobilization.

“This Solar for All proposal will lift working conditions in a region where all too often workers face dangerous and low-road economic conditions,” said Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy. “Expanded training opportunities in ’Solar for All’ — with a good union job waiting at the other end — will concretely address issues of racial and economic justice. The historic partnership between union workers and the Clean Energy Fund of Texas is a ringing affirmation that centering workers in the fight against climate change, discrimination and inequality is not only possible, but essential to achieve the livable planet that we all seek.”

“The Clean Energy Fund of Texas and Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice application is uniquely positioned to realize energy transition benefits for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions, as well as their surrounding communities with equitable, family-sustaining, middle-class building trades career opportunities,” said Sean McGarvey, President of the North America’s Building Trades Unions. “NABTU is proud to partner with these institutions to create socially, environmentally, and economically beneficial projects across the country.”

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

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Background:

The Bullard Center for Environmental & Climate Justice at Texas Southern University represents the Historically Black College and University Climate Change Consortium. The Center helps raise awareness and find solutions to the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized and underserved communities. The goal is to develop a new generation of HBCU student leaders, scientists, practitioners, and advocates on environmental, climate and energy justice through community-university partnerships and business collaboratives.    

The Clean Energy Fund of Texas is a financing provider for Texans of all backgrounds. Its mission is to develop and offer cost-effective ways for Texans to finance the installation of solar power, storage, and energy efficiency upgrades.

The Texas AFL-CIO is the state labor federation that includes 240,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas. The Texas Climate Jobs Project, a partner of the Texas AFL-CIO, is  a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on the intersection of good, union jobs, clean energy, and climate change, and is part of a coalition of more than twenty labor organizations from across the state dedicated to advancing a pro-worker, pro-climate agenda.