Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $250 Million to Deliver Residential Solar, Lowering Energy Costs and Advancing Environmental Justice Across California


As the Biden-Harris Administration celebrates Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank (Ibank) has been selected to receive $249,800,000 through the Solar for All grant competition. With this funding, the Bank will develop long-lasting solar programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from residential solar. This award is part of the historic $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, developed under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to lower household energy costs, create good-quality jobs in communities —including historically disadvantaged communities, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis.

California's Solar For All program (CA-S4A) represents a coalition of state entities with deep programmatic expertise in regulatory design, capacity building, project finance, infrastructure development, and grid management. Together with the investment announced today, the coalition will leverage California’s transformation of the solar energy market over the last two decades to reach the homes and businesses statewide that are most in need of affordable, reliable, clean energy. With this infusion of highly flexible, equity-focused new resources, California will build new programmatic capacity, expand current efforts, address funding gaps, and add momentum to new strategies under development to address future market conditions as California continues to advance the decarbonization agenda. California has transformed the solar market, at home and globally, in the last two decades; through new equity-focused partnerships and an emphasis on a modernized and cost-effective grid, the CA-S4A program will help the state do so again. 

“For years, the benefits of household solar – such as the significant savings on energy bills – have been out of reach for too many in California,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “With this new EPA investment of nearly $250 million, residents across California, including those in our disadvantaged communities, will now be able to adopt solar and reap the advantages of this climate change-fighting technology.”

California’s Ibank is among 49 state-level awardees the EPA announced today, receiving approximately $5.5 billion in total. Six awards to serve Tribes total over $500 million, and five multistate awards total approximately $1 billion.

Additionally, GRID Alternatives’s Solar Access for Nationwide Affordable Housing Program was selected to receive $249,800,000 to deploy residential solar in multiple states while headquartered in California. Uniting with lead applicant GRID Alternatives, a ten-organization team of America’s mission-driven nonprofit solar and affordable housing providers and allies have developed the Solar Access for Nationwide Affordable Housing Program (SANAH). SANAH is designed to maximize household and community benefits and advance justice while reducing unhealthy pollution and addressing climate change.

SANAH will support single- and multifamily affordable housing across dozens of priority states and territories by providing financial assistance through grants and incentives and technical assistance from organizations with significant experience in equitable deployment of residential-serving renewable energy. Program benefits will similarly include expanded access to solar and storage for income-qualified households; deep energy savings and burden relief; efficiency and electrification co-benefits; job training and inclusive workforce development opportunities; support for American manufacturing; opportunities for small- and disadvantaged business enterprises; increased community and grid resilience; and community-centered engagement and participatory governance based on relationships of respect and trust. Based in California, GRID Alternatives' SANAH program will operate in over half of the United States.

EPA also selected California-based GRID Alternatives’ Western Indigenous Network Solar For All program (WIN-SFA) to receive $62,450,000. Grid Alternatives' WIN-SFA program is based on its long experience working in Tribal communities. The program is designed to maximize Tribal household benefits and energy sovereignty while addressing environmental destruction and climate change. By providing financial assistance through grants and incentives—along with technical assistance from organizations with deep experience in equitably deploying Tribal residential-serving renewable energy—WIN-SFA will provide solar to thousands of Native American households across the nation. Program benefits include expanded access to solar and storage in Tribal Nations; vastly improved and more affordable integrated energy solutions, both on- and off-grid; job training and inclusive workforce development opportunities for Tribal members and opportunities for Tribal- and member-owned business enterprises; increased resilience against climate change impacts and other harms; and community-centered engagement and participatory governance based on relationships of respect and trust. GRID Alternatives WIN-SFA program will operate nationwide, prioritizing Tribal communities in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

The EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s Solar for All website provides a complete list of the selected applicants.

The Solar for All program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of specific federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. All the funds awarded through the Solar for All program will be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities. The program will also help meet the President’s goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

EPA estimates that the 60 Solar for All recipients announced today will enable over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from distributed solar energy. This $7 billion investment will generate $350+ million in annual savings on electric bills for overburdened households. The program will reduce 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions cumulatively from over 4 gigawatts of clean energy capacity. Solar projects funded by this program will generate over $8 billion in household savings over the 25-year lifetime of the assets. Solar and distributed energy resources help improve electric grid reliability and climate resilience, which is especially important in disadvantaged communities that have long been underserved.

Solar for All will also deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to creating high-quality jobs with the free and fair choice to join a union for workers across the United States. This $7 billion investment in clean energy will generate an estimated 200,000 jobs nationwide. All selected applicants intend to invest in local, clean energy workforce development programs to expand equitable pathways into family-sustaining jobs for the communities they are designed to serve. At least 35% of selected applicants have already engaged local or national unions, an engagement that demonstrates how these programs will contribute to the foundation of a clean energy economy built on strong labor standards and inclusive economic opportunity for all American communities.

The 60 selected applicants have committed to delivering on the three objectives of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: reducing climate and air pollution, providing benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities, and mobilizing financing to spur additional deployment of affordable solar energy. Solar for All selected applicants are expanding existing low-income solar programs and launching new programs. In 25 states and territories nationwide, Solar for All is launching new programs and opening new markets for low-income, residential solar by providing subsidies and low-cost financing so households in low-income and disadvantaged communities can build and access affordable solar energy for the first time.

Review and Selection Process Information

The 60 selected applicants nationwide were chosen from 150 Solar for All competition applications. The selectees were chosen through a robust competition review process. This multi-staged process included hundreds of climate experts, power markets, environmental justice, labor, and consumer protection from across EPA, the Department of Energy, Housing and Urban Affairs, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy’s National Labs – all screened through ethics and conflict of interest checks and trained on the program requirements and evaluation criteria.  

EPA anticipates that awards to the selected applicants will be finalized in the summer of 2024. The selected applicants will then begin funding projects through existing programs and expanding community outreach programs to launch new programs. Selections are contingent on resolving all administrative disputes related to the competitions.

Informational Webinars

EPA will host informational webinars as part of the program’s commitment to public transparency. Registration details for this week’s webinar are included below. Information on other Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) webinars can be found on EPA’s GGRF webpage.


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