Communities of Color Building Solar Capacity


Program Summary and Expectations


CBSC is a program that seeks to build the capacity of communities of color to implement their own community-owned solar (COS) projects. The CBSC program will provide examples and case studies of community-owned solar projects already in existence, and share direct testimony from key players in those projects. Participating organizations will also receive online training which answers the following questions:

  • What is community-owned solar?
  • How can my community benefit?
  • What are some of the legal and policy challenges?
  • How might we access the new federal climate programs?

People’s Solar Energy Fund will provide financial support in the form of mini-grants up to $10,000 for each community-based organization or group participating in CBSC, to assist their work. Uses for these funds can include: hiring contractors to support the organization’s efforts, budgeting for community events such as training sessions, etc.

All participating organizations will receive staff support from the CBSC Program Coordinator, as well as a dedicated intern. PSEF will also connect all organizations with each other, and with key Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led regional and national resources.


The goals of CBSC are as follows:

  • To promote awareness of new federal climate programs
  • To increase organizations’ capacity and readiness to access these funds
  • To empower organizations to begin preliminary research toward starting a community solar project
  • To strengthen a BIPOC ecosystem of growing community-owned solar


All organizations participating in CBSC are expected to maintain:

  • A strong interest in learning about community-owned solar and its potential benefits
  • A commitment for the organization to undertake learning about COS, and then to offer training (supported by PSEF) for its community
  • Active participation
  • Acceptance of support from a PSEF intern and agreement to foster a good working relationship by appointing 1 designated staff person as liaison
    • Liaison should devote at least an hour a week to engaging with the intern to enable mutual benefit
  • Engagement for the full 8-12 month term

For further information, see our visual project model




The People’s Solar Energy Fund advances energy democracy by supporting the growth of community-led, community-owned solar projects with a focus on low income and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities. PSEF provides funding, technical assistance and shared services for a network of nonprofit and coop solar developers. 

PSEF is committed to equal opportunity regarding employment and program selection in our efforts to build open, inclusive and affirming spaces that reflect the rich diversity of the communities we serve. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community,  people with a lived experience of poverty/ racism and people from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.