PSEF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Now recruiting for round 2 of our fellowship -

Movement for Solar Capacity & Leadership (MSCL) 

(2023/12/13)

Help us find great fellows! Solar is one of the fastest-growing industries, and offers tremendous positive impact for our communities. Enhance your knowledge and skills by joining our second cohort of our Movement for Solar Capacity and Leadership ("MSCL"). The program will begin in late February. The application will be available HERE as of Monday, December 18th – and is due Monday, January 8th. For this round, special priority will be given to applicants in the Midwest and Southern US regions; however we encourage everyone who meets the criterion noted below to apply.


MSCL is a 4-month, free, unpaid fellowship, requiring only a few hours a week, but with significant learning and networking. Following an initial in-person retreat in late February/early March, the program is entirely virtual. It is designed for community leaders interested in community-owned solar for BIPOC and low income communities. Ideally, applicants will come with some experience in/knowledge of solar, energy and/or environmental issues, but certainly should have some existing engagement in social justice work, along with an intense interest in the multiple benefits of community solar: health, quality green jobs, reduced energy cost, and potential for community asset development and ownership. Cohort 1 was excellent, with representatives from around the country. We're expecting great things from, and for, Cohort 2! Keep checking back to this site for periodic updates.



PSEF’s New Initiative Selected for Mosaic Movement Infrastructure Grant  

(2023/05/03)

The team at People’s Solar Energy Fund (PSEF) is excited to share that we have been selected for a Mosaic Movement Infrastructure grant. Working in partnership with the Energy Foundation, Mosaic—a project of The Tides Center— will fund PSEF’s Communities of Color Building Solar Capacity (CBSC) initiative.

Through robust online training, multi-city partnerships, cross-pollinating virtual convenings, and collaborations with key institutions of color, the CBSC Initiative will help communities of color seize this rare moment by promoting knowledge of, advocacy for, and active utilization of the new federal offerings with a particular eye towards the climate, health, green jobs and wealth-building promise of "community-owned solar." Additionally, partners under this unique initiative will be guided—utilizing PSEF's technical and financial assistance—through actual first stage project development.

WIth this initiative, PSEF is seizing this rare moment by leveraging the new federal initiatives to provide the support and ongoing training BIPOC leaders need to advance not only environmental justice—for which there is fortunately a strong infrastructure—but actual climate solutions. Working with partner community-based organizations (CBOs) and national advocates, the CBSC initiative will address these core issues by building core knowledge in the field, investing in field capacity, and linking to national BIPOC-led resources.

We are grateful to Mosaic and the Energy Foundation for seeing the strong potential for impact of CBSC. And we are especially grateful to our partners in this work, including initially Cooperative Energy Futures (Minneapolis), Cleveland Owns, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. 

To learn more about Mosaic’s Movement Infrastructure grant and its recipients, you can read the official press release here, and the full announcement on Mosaic’s website here.

People Power Solar Coop and Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) Make Waves at the Sunny Awards


(2023/01/26) 

The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar proved to be a big win for two members of PSEF’s network, People Power Solar Coop  and  Cooperative Energy Futures  (CEF). The Sunny Awards , which were held on January 19th, are an initiative of the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Annual Summit, a coalition of community solar stakeholders keen on making community solar more accessible.  

Cooperative Energy Futures’ Faribault Community Solar Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota was one of five $10,000 grand prize winners. Grand prize winners were determined by an external panel that reviewed eligibility requirements and used a pre-set set of scoring guidance to make final prize determinations.  
 
People Power Solar Coop walked away with a Meaningful Benefits Category Special Recognition award to acknowledge its unique innovation in developing and executing a community ownership model.  

Both organizations work diligently to transform the community solar space with equity and accessibility as their guideposts, and were among 50 overall finalists up for the Sunny Awards. People’s Solar Energy Fund is proud to have them as part of our member network. Join us in celebrating their big wins! 

See below for some images from the event: 



PSEF Member Ho'āhu Energy Coop Leading Hawaii’s First Two Community-Owned Solar Projects  

(2023/01/23)

People’s Solar Energy Fund is excited to share that our member Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai is working alongside Hawaiian Electric to spearhead Hawaii’s first two community-owned and designed solar and battery projects. 

The projects, Kualapuʻu Community Based Renewable Energy Project and Pālāʻau Community Based Renewable Energy Project, will be the first on Moloka’i to offer community-based renewable energy (CBRE). According to Hawaiian Electric’s January 12 press release, the projects could meet “over 20% of Molokai’s energy needs and serve an estimated 1,500 households on the island.” This 20-year initiative has the potential to transform the community’s relationship with CBRE — not only will CBRE be accessible to many Moloka’i residents for the first time, but they’ll see a reduction in energy bills and in the island’s carbon footprint long-term. 

Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai (Hoʻāhu) was formed by advocates on Moloka’i in 2020 with the aim of empowering the community to design and own renewable energy. The coop is a volunteer-run grassroots organization committed to democratizing energy and building community equity. They work with partners in the renewable energy space to create “resilient, sustainable, equitable, culturally conscious energy for all.”

PSEF is proud to have played a small part in supporting Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai as they moved through the bidding process for these projects.

To read the official press release, click here: https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/hawaiis-first-two-community-owned-and--designed-solar-projects-coming-to-molokai
To learn more about Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai, visit their website: https://hoahuenergy.coop