Opportunity Home San Antonio Receives EPA Funding to Close Solar Equity Gap

Date Published: 
May 14th, 2024

From Opportunity Home San Antonio's press release:

Opportunity Home San Antonio will be a sub-recipient of a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bridge the solar equity gap and work toward achieving net-zero energy across its properties. The organization is a member of the Texas Solar for All Coalition, which was awarded $249.7 million as part of the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. 

Opportunity Home is one of 60 awardees of the highly competitive EPA grant. Approximately 150 applications were submitted nationwide. Funding is part of $7 billion in grant awards through the Solar for All grant competition to deliver residential solar projects to more than 900,000 households nationwide. The investment in clean energy is projected to generate an estimated 200,000 jobs across the nation.  

The grant will support the deployment of clean solar energy to benefit low-income and Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) across Texas, while simultaneously creating green jobs, reducing carbon pollution, and fostering resilience in communities. Funds were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law in 2022. 

Opportunity Home will specifically use the funding to implement solar power at designated Public Housing and Beacon communities in an effort to provide energy-cost savings for residents and enhance sustainability efforts across Opportunity Home properties. The goal for the organization is to be net-zero at all Opportunity Home communities.     

“Opportunity Home’s sustainable housing policy is already robust, but this grant will only add to the success of the program,” said Hector Martinez, director of construction services & sustainability, Opportunity Home. “The sustainable staff has been working toward this goal for years now, and is excited to enter this next level of energy efficiency.”   

The Texas Solar for All Coalition, led by Harris County, also includes the City of Houston, Dallas County, the City of SanAntonio, the City of Austin, the City of Waco, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), the Clean Energy Fund of Texas, and several other local and county Texas partners, representatives and community-based organizations. 

The coalition brings together representatives from cities, counties, nonprofits, and community partners in collaboration on shared goals for providing solar opportunities to disadvantaged communities in Texas, one of the largest populations in the nation. 

The coalition is expected to deliver distributed solar to more than 46,000 low-income and disadvantaged households, reduce statewide emissions by more than 310,000 tons per year, and create $17 million in annual household electricity bill savings over the course of five years. Coalition programs will support workforce training to serve low-income and disadvantaged residents, and support minority- and women-owned businesses as well as collaboration among community-based organizations.

HARC served as lead applicant for the grant. Though Opportunity Home originally submitted for an amount of $38.5 million, the exact amount the organization will receive is pending. 

The Solar for All grant program marks the third portion of funding awarded through the Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The previous two tranches included the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator.   

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