Tag Archives: Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL)

The Low Income Energy Issues Forum publishes new report

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine

One of the most popular sentiments in growing the reach of the solar industry is getting limited and low-income customers
involved, usually through community or shared-living solar
programs. However, not all low-income customers are the same and no two community solar subscription models are the same. And, just like pistons in the engine driving the solar industry,
inconsistency and wiggle room can lead to trouble.

This was the issue studied by The Low Income Energy Issues
Forum in their newly-published report, Low Income Consumer Solar Working Group. The report
focuses on how varied and flexible community solar programs have the potential to improve utility services for these financially-limited customers. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

UMN researchers incorporate solar panels in low-income housing, Minnesota Daily

A new report focusing on making solar energy more accessible may help homeowners meet mortgage payments.

“Habitat for Humanity — they provide affordable housing to
people, but even after you have an affordable home, you still have home costs like insurance … and one of those [costs] is
energy too,” said Erica Bjelland, a program development
specialist at Rural Renewable Energy Alliance. RREAL is a
nonprofit that works to make solar energy accessible to people at all income levels. The University of Minnesota’s Chan Lab partnered with RREAL to develop ways to alleviate poverty using solar energy.

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance Website

Illustration by Abby Adamski

Minnesota-Vermont partnership will offer solar to low-income families

Written by Demetria Lee, Energy News Network


The energy assistance project aims to reduce energy costs for 50 households by building a community solar garden.

When a Minnesota nonprofit partnered with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to build a
community solar array in 2017, they believed their model could scale nationally. That theory is being tested as the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) travels east to Vermont’s Windsor
and Windham counties where they are working with Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) to provide solar power to 50 low-income households. Jason Edens, director of RREAL, started the nonprofit in his garage with a group of local volunteers. Their goal was to alleviate the burden of high energy bills in northern Minnesota by installing solar units for low-income households. Continue reading here.

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL)

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance Photo: A RREAL crew installs a solar panel at Pine River-Backus School in central Minnesota.