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HomeNewsLocal newsEPA Approves $62 Million For USVI Solar Power

EPA Approves $62 Million For USVI Solar Power

The Virgin Islands Energy Office received a $62.45 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for solar power programs. (Source file photo)
The Virgin Islands Energy Office received a $62.45 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for solar power programs. (Source file photo)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will send $62.45 million to the territory for residential community solar and power storage projects, federal officials announced Monday.

Awarded through the Solar for All grant program, the funding is meant to allow the Virgin Islands Energy Office to develop long-lasting solar programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to benefit from solar power.

With this funding, the Energy Office could build on its former Solar+ Financing Pilot and further expand the accessibility of solar by providing residential and residential-serving community solar for its most underserved residents, according to a statement from the EPA.

In its application for the grant, the Energy Office said the funding has the power to transform the USVIs residential energy landscape, addressing residents high electricity costs while creating new opportunities for energy resilience and reliable, affordable, clean power for communities most in need. The grant was a big step up from a $2.6 million grant in April 2023 for similar purposes.

The grant was part of the President Joe Bidens $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which, under the Inflation Reduction Act, aims to lower energy costs, create quality jobs in communities that have been left behind, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis, according to the EPA.

“This grant will help communities across the U.S. Virgin Islands access solar power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while benefiting from programs that will provide good paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. Today were delivering on President Bidens promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities.”

Also on Monday, the Puerto Rico Office of Management and Budget was selected to receive $156.1 million from the Solar for All grant program. Given the vulnerability and instability of Puerto Rico’s power grid, solar power is essential to increasing the ability to deliver power during grid outages, EPA officials said.

EPA officials estimated the funds would be allocated in autumn and winter 2024.

The EPA plans informational webinars on the Solar for All program as part of the programs commitment to public transparency. The half-hour April 29 webinar starts at 4 p.m. Those interested can register for the meeting at this link

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