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    Solar industry group backs proposal to expand CRA to include clean energy financing

    August 8, 2022 - Financial Regulation News


      An organization representing the solar energy industry is urging federal banking regulators to expand the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to include financing for solar and energy storage projects.

      © Shutterstock

      The CRA is a law that directs financial institutions to better serve their communities, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, with banking and investment services. Federal banking regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, are considering a proposal to better align the CRA with the Biden Administration’s clean energy and climate resilience plans.

      The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) supports that proposal. Specifically, SEIA is in favor of proposed changes to the CRA that could inject new funding for sources for solar and storage projects across all market segments. SEIA officials said this would not only lower emissions but increase credit access and create more jobs and business opportunities in communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change.

      “After decades of environmental racism, we now have the opportunity to lead with equity and use community investment banks to finance new solar and storage projects in communities that need them most,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, said. “If we expand the Community Reinvestment Act to include clean energy access, we can funnel quality jobs, cleaner air, and new business opportunities to underserved neighborhoods across the country. As we look to ramp up clean energy deployment in the Solar+ Decade, we must double down on equity and one of the best ways to do this is to target and support programs that are already reaching frontline communities.”

      The new funding options could help to bring more solar projects to low- and moderate-income communities, including community solar projects, new financing options for residential solar and storage projects built in urban environments, and lending and tax equity support for utility-scale solar in rural areas.

      “If we want to address systemic inequities and deliver economic prosperity to all Americans, it starts with updating laws like the Community Reinvestment Act, which aims to serve local communities,” Dana Clare Redden, founder of Solar Stewards and a board member of the Black Owners of Solar Services, said. “Bringing the cost-saving benefits of clean energy to all Americans is of paramount importance, especially in times of rampant climate change and rising costs. Resilient and affordable solar energy can be a game-changer for American families on a limited or fixed income and expanding the Community Reinvestment Act will only further the impact we can have on underserved communities in America.”

      SEIA is also urging regulators to expand definitions of emergency preparedness and infrastructure to account for President Joe Biden’s executive actions on climate change. In addition, the organization would like to see regulators identify clean energy as a critical solution for climate resiliency in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.

      The post Solar industry group backs proposal to expand CRA to include clean energy financing appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

      The views expressed in content distributed by Newstex and its re-distributors (collectively, "Newstex Authoritative Content") are solely those of the respective author(s) and not necessarily the views of Newstex et al. It is provided as general information only on an "AS IS" basis, without warranties and conferring no rights, which should not be relied upon as professional advice. Newstex et al. make no claims, promises or guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness, nor as to the quality of the opinions and commentary contained therein.


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