By ZACK COLMAN
07/27/2022 07:00 AM EDT
Biden launches plan to bring solar to low-income homes
The Biden administration projects the program could spur the development of 134 gigawatts of new solar power capacity nationwide.
The Biden administration unveiled a new effort on Wednesday to hook up low-income residents with solar power — a move that could allow communities that have long been shut out of the fast-growing market for renewable power to reduce their utility bills.
The move, shared earlier with POLITICO by an agency official, is the latest by President Joe Biden to focus on executive actions to reach his ambitious climate goals after plans to pass hundreds of billions worth of clean energy incentives collapsed in the Senate.
The initiative would connect participants in a federal program that subsidizes energy costs for low-income residents with developers of community solar projects, which sell subscriptions to households for renewable power with the promise of lowering their monthly electricity bills.
The Biden administration has big aspirations for the program, projecting it could spur the development of 134 gigawatts of new solar power capacity nationwide, the agency official said. To put that in perspective, total U.S. solar capacity today sits at 97.2 gigawatts, according to the Energy Department.
And it could lead to sizable savings, too: DOE estimated participants in the five initial pilot project states and the District of Columbia alone would save more than $1 billion on their energy bills annually.