On Earth Day, Nevada awarded $218M for solar projects

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 24: A Sunrun worker carries a solar panel for installation on the roof of William and Marcia Lee' home on August 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Photo by David Becker for the Washington Post)

By Casey Harrison

April 22, 2024

A Nevada non-profit was one of 60 groups nationwide to receive some of the $7 billion for a Biden administration program to make solar power affordable for low-income Americans.

A Nevada-based nonprofit was selected for a $156 million federal grant on Monday to use what officials are calling “landmark funding” to support solar installation projects for individual homeowners and other community initiatives.

The Las Vegas-based Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) said it was awarded a Solar for All grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition to solar conversion projects, the group said it will use the funds to provide education and workforce development opportunities for communities across rural, urban, and Tribal areas statewide.

It comes as the EPA announced that the group was among 60 recipients across the US who received some of the $7 billion for the Solar for All program, which officials said could fund solar projects for up to 900,000 low-income households across the country.

The funding, which is provided by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, is expected to save low-income Americans $350 million per year, according to the EPA.

“This historic funding will make solar energy accessible to those who need it most,” Kristen Stasio, the nonprofit’s chief executive, said in a press release Monday. “These programs will break down the chronic financial and market barriers that prevent Nevada’s low-income communities from accessing solar energy and reducing their energy burdens.”

MORE: Las Vegas solar manufacturing facility to triple operations after federal funding

NCEF said its proposal was endorsed by more than 70 governmental and community entities across the state. The group added it doesn’t yet have a timeline for when the public can apply for these funds, but that it will work in the coming months to develop an implementation strategy.

Many in Nevada’s congressional delegation celebrated Monday’s announcement. In a joint release from Nevada Democratic US Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, they highlighted that the funds were only made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, a key piece of Biden’s agenda they voted to pass.

“Every time we invest in Nevada’s solar industry, we invest in good-paying jobs in our state,” Rosen said in a statement. “I was proud to help secure $156 million to expand Nevadans’ access to solar energy, helping create more jobs and lower energy costs.”

Cortez Masto added that, “Nevada is leading the nation in solar energy, and this grant will make it easier for all communities to take part in our clean energy future.”

Additionally, Nevada US Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford on Monday separately announced an additional $62.5 million was awarded to state partners through the Western Indigenous Network Solar For All program. Those funds will help expand solar access and workforce programs for Tribal Nations, as well as subsidize climate resilience projects.

“These funds will help modernize our energy grid and ensure that renewable resources are accessible to all Nevadans, including tribal communities,” said Horsford, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “I’m excited about the jobs, educational opportunities, and sustainable energy solutions that will go to where they are most needed to build a sustainable future.”

Added Lee: “Nevada has long been among the leading states for solar industry jobs in the nation, and it’s investments like these that will continue to propel us forward.”

  • Casey Harrison

    Casey Harrison is political correspondent for The Nevadan. Previously, he covered politics and the Oakland Athletics' relocation to Southern Nevada for the Las Vegas Sun, and before that, was a digital producer at The Detroit News. Casey graduated from Michigan State University in 2019.

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