Community Solar and Affordable Housing
Community Solar and Affordable Housing
Community Solar and Affordable Housing

Community Solar and Affordable Housing



REP will use an existing project under development to capture lessons learned for using community solar as a tool to make housing more affordable for low-income families and to leverage job training opportunities for low-income families. The project will be based on Minnesota's groundbreaking community solar law and solar energy development at Old Home Plaza, an urban redevelopment site in St. Paul, with an off-site solar project at a neighborhood charter school. Porject financing will integrate solar tax credits with the same buyer of low-income and historic tax credits at Old Home. Job training will be done by REP as part of its existing state-funded project for entry-level solar jobs.

Awarded:: Participant

Team Information

Team Lead
Jamez Staples
Team Lead LinkedIn Profile
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Project Description

Project / Program Description

REP is currently developing solar energy as part of the Old Home Plaza redevelopment project on a transit corridor in St. Paul.  The project includes 132 kilowatts of on-site solar that will offset common area electrical costs and provide a revenue stream for the non-profit community development organization that is managing Old Home.  It also includes 150 kilowatts off-site at the High School for Recording Arts charter school just a few blocks away. The charter school will benefit from 30 kilowatts of the solar, and two kilowatts will be assigned to each of the 60 affodable housing units at Old Home as community solar subscriptions.  The community solar subscriptions will provide a credit of $23-24 on monthly utility bills, a benefit that will rise over time and be in place for at least 25 years.  Solar tax credits have been included in the same package for a single buyer which is also buying the low-income and historic tax credits at Old Home.  REP is starting the second year of a two-year state-funded job training program that trains individuals for entry-level jobs in solar energy with pathways to higher-skilled and higher-paying jobs with utilities and energy-related businesses.  The job training will be available to students of the charter school who are at least 18 years of age.  REP is proposing to use the lessons learned from this project to identify a second phase of new projects based on the following goals:  solar energy that offsets common area electrical bills for affordable housing, community solar subscriptions that benefits low-income housing residents, coordinated tax credit financing of solar and affordable housing, and leveraging of solar projects as job training opportunities for low-income individuals.