This week’s Solar for All Announcement expands access for solar, creates options for low- and moderate-income families in Wisconsin

By: Heather Allen, Elevate; Antonio Butts, Walnut Way; Sam Dunaiski, RENEW Wisconsin; Robin Lisowski, Slipstream; Abby Novinska-Lois, Healthy Climate Wisconsin; – members of the Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin

The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement this week awarding Solar for All grants to the state of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Tribal communities – through awards to the Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association (MTERA), Three Affiliated Tribes and Grid Alternatives – is a monumental step forward in our state’s clean energy transition. Solar for All will increase access to renewable energy for approximately 15,000 Wisconsin homes through single-family, multi-family, or community solar projects. With $62,450,000 coming just to the state of Wisconsin, this historic investment will increase solar access for Wisconsinites – whether you live in a rural area or urban center.

For too long, the benefits of renewable energy have been out of reach for many low- and moderate-income families across our state. But this game-changing funding will open the door to solar options for all citizens, regardless of their income level or zip code. Being selected as a recipient of a Solar for All grant represents a massive down payment on achieving energy equity and environmental justice.

The impacts of this program will be wide-ranging and catalyze progress on multiple fronts, most notably putting Wisconsin on the path to reaching our decarbonization goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. By giving people greater access to affordable solar power, we can create healthier, more sustainable homes while accelerating efforts to electrify heating and appliances.

These federal funds have the potential to create a cascading effect of positive change across Wisconsin, especially for Tribal and environmental justice communities. Local economies will benefit from the infusion of investment and jobs, utilities benefit as solar panels come online and offset power needed from other, more expensive sources, and individual households and neighborhoods benefit from lower power bills by generating their own electricity. Everybody wins.

This announcement is just the beginning. The Inflation Reduction Act is unleashing a wave of federal investments aimed at helping states like ours transition to clean energy while lowering household energy costs. Complementary funding streams from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will empower Wisconsin families to continually enhance clean energy and sustainability in their homes.

After years of hard work by clean energy advocates, Wisconsin finally has a clear path forward for an equitable and affordable renewable energy transition. Thanks to visionary federal leadership and the dedicated team at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), our state’s clean energy future has never looked brighter. Let’s get to work bringing these benefits to every community.

Heather Allen is Policy Director at Elevate

Antonio Butts is Executive Director at Walnut Way Conservation Corps.

Sam Dunaiski is Executive Director at RENEW Wisconsin

Robin Lisowski is Managing Director of Policy at Slipstream

Abby Novinska-Lois is Executive Director at Healthy Climate Wisconsin

The Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin is a group of climate, energy, environmental justice and conservation organizations, businesses and allies. The Coalition leverages the combined strength of its members to enhance the quality of life for all Wisconsinites by accelerating the state’s transformation to a clean energy economy.

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