Solar For Our Neighborhoods
Solar For Our Neighborhoods
Solar For Our Neighborhoods

Solar For Our Neighborhoods



Bringing Solar to Our Neighborhoods

Awarded:: TA Voucher, Participant

Team Information

Team Lead
Tom Bonner
Team Lead LinkedIn Profile
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Project Description

Project / Program Description

Solar for Our Neighborhoods is an innovative plan to build10 MW of solar on under-utilized urban land with financial benefits of theseprojects shared with low-income residents in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Qualifyinglow-income customers will benefit from these solar projects by receiving billcredits for reducing their home energy usage, lowering costs for all customers.Program partners include the regional utility, government and community organizations,solar industry professionals, financial institutions and low-income energyefficiency service providers. Our partners will work together to supportlow-income customer program enrollment and provide energy efficiency education.

Project Updates

In collaboration with the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA), the Solar For Our Neighborhoods team has funded the development of a project proposal to install approximately 3 MW of rooftop solar PV systems at Philadelphia School District (PSD) sites serving overwhelmingly low-income student populations.Through the analysis performed by the project consultants procured through the Solar in Your Communities Marketplace, it was confirmed that three PSD building provide suitable host locations for these solar projects and that installing solar at these schools will enable other PSD schools located within a two-mile radius of these schools to benefit from “virtual net metering” under Pennsylvania law.

As part of the restructuring of the original Solar in Our Neighborhoods project, the Project Team focused on testing the concept of using school-based solar projects to benefit the overwhelmingly low-income communities served by Philadelphia School District schools.  By reducing the long-term energy costs of these PSD buildings, as well as others within the eligible virtual net metering radius, the benefits of these projects will be shared throughout these low-income communities. 

PECO continues examining potential low-income community solar business models, and the work of the PEA team and the selected consultants has provided a detailed examination of the opportunities and challenges of using school district buildings as host sites for low-income solar development.  Through this analysis, the model appears potentially viable for future replication. 

An essential element of this project is also supporting workforce readiness in our low and middle-income communities.  To that end, PECO has provided a $100,000 workforce grant to the Philadelphia Opportunities Investment Center (OIC) to support solar and other energy skills job training through the Smart Energy Technical Training (SETT) program.  This spring the program graduated its first nine participants, all of whom represent diverse populations.  A second class began in Fall 2018, also serving participants from diverse populations in the community.

Team Images