Solar deployment has increased rapidly in the last 10 years, allowing more communities to access the benefits of solar photovoltaics (PV). This increase has also allowed solar to play an important role in local plans such as resilience planning, sustainability planning, and climate action planning.
Community Driven Climate Action Plans
As cities answer the calls from their taxpayers to increase their efforts to protect the environment, some are taking it a step further by creating a “climate action plan.” This is a tool that helps cities take a comprehensive and strategic approach to their sustainability efforts.
Establishing Sustainability Goals
It’s not only larger metro-area cities that are adopting climate action plans. Communities as small as Grand Marais (population 1,337) and La Crescent (population 5,276) have plans to reduce carbon emissions by taking actions like retrofitting aging properties, promoting solar, and creating more walkable, bike-able streets.
Climate action plans allow for many different avenues to reduce a community’s carbon footprint, like taking steps towards energy efficiency, organizing and strategizing to become energy independent, updating local policies, zoning codes and processes, and developing local workforce training and education programs.
Fulfilling Your Goal with Solar
Ultimately, the largest step a community can take towards their climate action plan is to install solar on or near public buildings that directly offset energy expense and power the buildings and infrastructure. Sharing your progress towards energy independence can be a powerful reminder to your community that you care about their concerns, the environment and being fiscally responsible.
For many communities there has been a steep barrier to entry into installing on-site solar due to the high upfront cost of the solar installation and being a non-taxable entity, communities are unable to access the lucrative tax credits available to businesses and individuals that install solar.However, there is a solution to this problem.
Funding Your Solar Array
Innovative financing models through iDEAL Energies’ allow Cities to in install solar for no upfront cost and save money day 1 with energy expense savings. These financing models work by providing 100% financing toward the arrays and the City's only financial obligation to the system is to purchase the power it creates at a discount to what they currently pay their utility for a term. Following this term, they receive all energy from the solar array for free for the remaining life of the system.