Solar Austin Happy Hour: the Solar in Your Community Challenge

This month, Solar Austin will focus on efforts across Central Texas to make solar more accessible to low- and moderate- income families. Low- and moderate- income families represent 40% of America’s population, but less than 5% of all solar customers. These households, non-profits, and government organizations face several barriers to going solar, including limited financing options, low or no credit history, and lack of access to the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit.

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative aims to make solar energy a low-cost electricity source for all Americans through efforts in collaboration with public and private partners. SunShot has given rise to many programs, including the “Solar in Your Community Challenge.”

Teams are competing for a $500,000 grand prize, and the Department of Energy has committed up to $5 million in cash prizes and technical assistance through this competition to support innovative and replicable community-based solar business models and programs that will bring solar to underserved communities. Solar Austin is excited to present representatives from three Central Texas “Solar in Your Community Challenge” teams:

  • Eric Coffman, founder and Director of Trailhead Energy, from the Waco Community Solar Farm team;
  • Scott Nguyen, PhD, founder and CEO of Braket Technologies and 1PlanetSol, and team lead for 1PlanetSol; and
  • Ramsey Cripe, an ERCOT market and regulatory analyst, from the Kerrville Area Solar Partners team.

Tuesday, October 24th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd
RSVP here.

The Waco Community Solar Farm will significantly reduce energy costs for 87 low and moderate income families living in affordable housing by partnering with Green Mountain Energy to take advantage of a “virtual net-metering” solution. 1PlanetSol is developing the 1AustinSol Community, leveraging consumer interest and buying power to support the installation of solar on the homes of low-income families in Austin—the 1AustinSol Community will soon reach 1000 members and 100 businesses to support 100 kW of solar to benefit low-income households. Kerrville Area Solar Partners will work with a solar developer, local non-profits and property owners to install a 999 kW solar project with 100% output dedicated to support a new, lower cost rate class for qualified low- to moderate-income families and non-profit customers.

We hope you’ll join us on October 24th for this exciting conversation!