The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund is a new project to catalyze commercial and institutional solar projects in coal-impacted communities throughout Central Appalachia.
Through the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund, Appalachian Voices will partner with the Central Appalachian Network, Partner Community Capital, Invest Appalachia and New Resource Solutions to accelerate solar development and economic growth in the region. The fund will deploy targeted financial tools to jumpstart emerging local solar markets and unlock new commercial and institutional solar energy projects that face unique barriers due to region-specific challenges.
On September 16, 2021, Appalachian Voices was awarded $1.5 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission for the project. This award is part of a $46.4 million package supporting 57 projects across 184 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. Additional support for the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund is provided by the Appalachian Investment Ecosystem Initiative, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and other pending sources.
The SFF will use this ARC POWER award to deploy select subgrant awards for solar projects on nonprofit and public buildings. The SFF also will develop investment and credit enhancement strategies and will facilitate competitive contracts for technical assistance for solar installations on commercial enterprises. The resulting solar projects will produce a powerful convergence of employment opportunities, business creation, new investments and wealth retention in Central Appalachian communities directly impacted by the decline in the coal economy.
Email Autumn Long,
Appalachian Solar Finance Fund Project Manager