Solar Power Funding Blazes New Jobs for West Virginia’s Coal-Impacted Communities
Solar power is bringing jobs and aiding a just transition for southern West Virginia communities thanks to a generous federal grant award. The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund (SFF) is proud to be part of the Appalachian Climate Technologies (ACT Now) Coalition’s RePower Appalachia initiative!
This historic West Virginia-based coalition won a $62.8 million grant award package through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The award is matched by an additional $26 million from other agencies and foundations dedicated to aiding southern West Virginia’s coalfield communities to shape a brighter future.
The majority of the SFF’s newly expanded funding pool will be targeted toward the ACT Now Coalition’s 21-county region of focus in southern West Virginia. The remainder will support the SFF’s broader geographic scope of coal-impacted counties across six Central Appalachian states. See if you work in an SFF-eligible county here.
“This federal funding, plus additional match and leverage, doubles the Solar Finance Fund’s resources to help local nonprofits, public institutions, and small businesses go solar,” said Appalachian Solar Finance Fund Director Autumn Long.
“For decades, we’ve known the economy of southern West Virginia needs diversification. Some progress has been made on this goal, but not nearly enough,” says Coalfield Development CEO Brandon Dennison. “ACT Now constitutes a real opportunity to take a major leap forward in this generational challenge to become a vibrant, growing, diversified economy. In the wake of continued coal-job losses, nothing could be more important for our region.”
The Central Appalachian Network and the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund celebrate this award as one of the largest investments in climate change technology in West Virginia state history. Thanks to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Appalachian Regional Commission for their generous funding support, and to Coalfield Development Corporation for leading this historic coalition-building effort. This collaboration sets the stage to rebuild and maintain sustainable communities for decades to come.
The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund is a program dedicated to aiding coal-impacted areas of Central Appalachia through competitive grant awards and technical assistance. If you are interested in adding solar power to your community, learn more about the fund and apply online at https://solarfinancefund.org/.
Coalfield Development Announcement: https://coalfield-development.org/u-s-department-of-commerce-announces-62-8-million-award-to-west-Virginia-coalition/