22 Legislators and Advocates from Six States Honored for their Role in Expanding Community Solar
WASHINGTON — The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) today announced that 22 individuals have been chosen as Community Solar Champions for 2023.
Award winners were selected for their dedication and progress in supporting and expanding community solar programs around the country. This year’s class of Community Solar Champions includes state legislators, environmental and sustainability advocates, policy experts, and health care professionals.
“This year’s Community Solar Champions have driven landmark legislative victories that will deploy more community solar across the grid,” said Jeff Cramer, CEO of CCSA. “These awards applaud our champions’ ongoing efforts to provide electric bill savings for customers, create local jobs and economic development for communities, and increase grid resilience with community solar.”
An estimated two-thirds of American households do not have access to solar power because they either rent, live in a multi-tenant building or have roofs unable to host a solar system.
Through community solar, customers can enjoy equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar generation by subscribing to small local solar arrays. They then receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof.
There are currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia with policies in place that permit third-party, competitive community solar, while multiple states are advancing legislation to enable new programs.
This year’s champions hail from six states, including:
For collective efforts in advancing AB 2316 into law, and advocating for the Net Value Billing Tariff at the California Public Utility Commission as a new model for community solar.
For sponsoring and passing community solar bill credit stabilization legislation, and offering ongoing energy policy knowledge to Colorado decision makers and leaving a lasting legacy for accelerating renewable energy in Colorado and across the country.
For sponsoring and passing key legislation to protect and reform Maine’s solar programs, while defeating opposing legislation that would have greatly weakened Maine’s community solar program.
For the successful legislative effort to expand and make permanent the community solar program in Maryland, and the stakeholder organizing necessary to pass the bill.
For strengthening and reforming the initial community solar gardens program from 2013, and for the ongoing commitment for Minnesota to reach 100% renewable energy and zero emissions by 2050.
For her work advocating and educating decision makers about the regulatory and implementation rules to deploy community solar across New Mexico.
CCSA’s Community Solar Champion Awards recognize victories across the country that sustain the growth and access of community solar. After witnessing the demonstrated advantages of community solar, policymakers, host communities, landowners, subscribers, and other stakeholders are scaling community solar programs throughout the nation.
By the end of 2023, Wood Mackenzie predicts there will be six gigawatts of community solar across the country, or enough to power more than one million homes or some combination of homes, businesses, houses of worship, government buildings, and hospitals.
The Biden-Harris administration is calling for community solar to generate power for five million homes and save $1 billion on utility bills for low and moderate-income (LMI) households by 2025. The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act also includes $7 billion in new incentives for community solar plus storage projects that benefit LMI families and pay prevailing wages. States must develop plans to offer low-cost community solar in order to access a portion of these funds.