Making Community Solar Work for Low-Income Access

July 25th at 1:00 PM ET// 10:00 AM PT

This webinar will feature Community Solar projects that have been built for low income customers. Hear from the developers and stakeholders about the challenges and logistics for building and operating these projects. The projects we will hear about include:

  • A community solar project for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota, which is a low-income community solar installation that is integrated into an energy assistance program.
  • The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) Low-income Community Shared Solar Demonstration  Project is an initiative working to develop low-income community solar projects in Colorado that complement the state’s low-income weatherization program to achieve significant energy burden reduction for low-income ratepayers. Through this project, GRID Alternatives is currently working with Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA), a rural electric cooperative, on a 1.75 MW community solar project that enables low-income participation through an on-bill repayment process.

This webinar is part of a joint SEIA and Vote Solar quarterly series intended to highlight and discuss aspects around low income solar and how to expand accessibility of solar energy to all.

Register here

Webinar Archives

A Bold First Step: Breaking Down New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources Tariff

The New York Public Service Commission has just released the first iteration of its much-anticipated distributed energy resources tariff.  More than just approving a tariff, the PSC’s order lays out a roadmap for valuing distributed energy resources with increased granularity and precision, as well as a host of measures to help reduce soft costs and increase access to solar.  Join our panel of experts as they unpack the PSC’s order and discuss what it will mean for the solar industry going forward.

Recording coming soon

The Illinois Solar for All Program: Shining the Light for Low-Income Solar and Community Engagement

Recent legislation (SB 2814) culminated in the passage of a sweeping energy policy package in Illinois.  While much attention was focused on the fate of nuclear energy in the state, SB 2814 promises to drive strong renewable energy growth over the coming years.  A particularly bright spot in SB 2814 is the Illinois Solar for All Program, which includes a number of important pieces like dedicated funding for incentives for low income customers. The legislation was successful in part because of effective community engagement that included a variety of community organizations joining forces to craft a strong legislative proposal and supporting it.

This joint SEIA and Vote Solar webinar is to discuss the Future Jobs Bill and the Solar for All Program in Illinois. The webinar will explain the components of the Solar for All Program, and will highlight lessons learned for successful community engagement.

Recording coming soon

Solar in Texas: Current Status & Future Projections

They say everything is bigger in Texas—but what about solar energy? Charlie Hemmeline, Executive Director of the Texas Solar Power Association, will give an update on the current status of the solar energy market in Texas, and share his thoughts about the future of solar in the Lone Star State.

Video recording here and slides (PDF) here

The Colorado Settlement: A Case Study for Different Approaches on Low Income Solar

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission recently approved a comprehensive settlement across 3 major regulatory dockets. And for the first time in Colorado, programmatic offerings for low income solar will be available – which include a rooftop installation option, a dedicated low-income Solar*Garden solicitation, and a standard offer low-income Solar*Garden.

Vote Solar and SEIA invite you to join this webinar which will explore the different approaches that will be undertaken in Colorado.


Joseph Pereira, Director of Low-Income Energy Services, Colorado Energy Office

Tom Figel, Grid Alternatives

Moderator: Sara Birmingham, SEIA

Co-host: Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Vote Solar

Video recording here and slides (PDF) here

VC Funding in Renewable Energy — Trends and Prognostications

Andrew Beebe has been at the heart of the solar revolution for a long time. Now, as a partner with the VC firm Obvious Ventures, he spends his days finding, and funding, the next generation of clean energy solutions. Current solar investments include Mosaic, Sighten, Clarus Power and Solstice Initiative. Andrew will share his thoughts on current investment trends — and where the industry is headed in the future.

Video recording here and slides (PDF) here

US Solar Roundup: 2016 Success and 2017 Projections

Led by a surge in utility-scale projects, the U.S. solar market will top 25 gigawatts this year. But, how will the market fair in 2017? Join GTM Research for a dive into the latest findings from its U.S. Solar Market Insight report. GTM Research analysts will discuss state and segment-level trends and lay out a forecast for 2017.

View recording here and slides (PDF) here

A Chronic Problem: The Energy Costs and Climate Impacts of Marijuana Cultivation

Cultivation of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes is a growing source of energy consumption and carbon emissions, but several barriers prevent the industry from investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Because marijuana cultivation and sale remains federally illegal, solutions will need to come from multiple players, including electric utilities, the public utility commissions that regulate them, state and local governments, and marijuana business associations. With Kelly Crandall of EQ Research.

View recording here and slides (PDF) here

Comparing Utility Interconnection Timelines for Small-Scale Solar PV

Even as distributed PV systems become increasingly common, utilities’ interconnection processes are often lengthy and problematic. EQ Research surveyed installers operating in utility territories with the most residential PV in order to compare utilities’ interconnection timelines. Join Chelsea Barnes, Policy Research Manager of EQ Research, to discuss the results, the issues that cause delays, and solutions to expedite the interconnection process.

View recording here

The White House Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative

Rohan PatelSpecial Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, White House, and Melanie Santiago-MosierProgram Director, Low-Income Solar Access
Jeremy Kalin, CEO and President, Eutectics

Register to view recording

Societal Benefits on the Path to Sunshot  

Robert Margolis and Ryan Wiser,
NREL June 22, 2016 Video here

U.S. Renewables Portfolio Standards (RPS): Past their prime or primed for progress? 

Galen Barbose
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory June 29, 2016 Video here

Solar: 2015 year-in-review 
Corey Honeyman
Greentech Media April 6, 2016 Video here and slides here (pdf)

Energy storage: 2015 year-in-review 
Ravi Manghani
Greentech Media March 9, 2016 Video here and slides here (pdf)

Residential solar and property values
Ben Hoen
Lawrence Berkeley Lab February 24, 2016 Video here and slides here (pdf)

Rooftop solar in CA is being installed in middle-income neighborhoods 
Ethan Sprague
Kevala Analytics January 20, 2016 Video here and slides here

Power for All: promoting energy access
Kristina Skierka
Power for All January 13, 2016 Video here and slides here (pdf)

The Revolution will be Distributed
Ryan Hanley
GridX, SolarCity December 16, 2015 Video here and slides here (pdf)

Solar + Electric Vehicles: a Groupon for a Sustainable Future
December 8, 2015 Video hereslides here (pdf)

U.S. solar’s short and long-term future 
Shayle Kann
Greentech Media Video here and Slides here (pdf)

Update on PACE financing programs 
David Gabrielson
PACENow October 14, 2015 Video here and Slides here (slideshare)

Fixed charges: a false fix to the utility industry’s solar challenges
Wellinghoff + Tong
July 22, 2015 Video here and Slides here (pdf)

Views on Solar Cost, Market, and Deployment Trends
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
May 13, 2015 Video here

Rethinking Fixed Charges and Standby Fees
January 14, 2015 Video here

Shaping the Future of Energy: New York’s Perspective
Richard Kauffman
January 28, 2015 Video here

Rooftop Financing: Who’s winning in court, who’s winning in the market?
August 20, 2014 Iowa Supreme Court Ruling on PPAs – Notes here

Moving from a Niche Market: Integrating Solar into the Grid
May 21st, 2014 Powerpoint here Recording here

Utility Leadership on Rooftop Solar: Green Mountain Power’s Story
April  8th, 2014 Watch the interview here

Let it Shine: the 6,000 Year History of Solar Energy
March 12, 2014 Recording here

JOIN THE MOVEMENT Sign up for updates from Vote Solar on solar progress and energy justice across the U.S.