Why community-led, community-owned solar?
The People’s Solar Energy Fund (PSEF) aggregates community solar projects in low- and moderate-income communities across the country to secure financing at scale with a path to local ownership. The Fund is organized as a cooperative of community-based solar developers working in BIPOC and Low Income Communities. It provides peer technical assistance, loans for community equity, project pre-development funding, project term debt, and project equity for member projects.
Traditional community solar developments generally only offer up 10-20% electricity discount to residential subscribers, which is not transformative in reducing energy burden or economic exclusion. This return to the hosting community may not adequately compensate for the opportunity costs associated with the development compared to other neighborhood-serving uses. By contrast, community-led projects are more responsive to community needs and effective at balancing across stakeholder interests.