Announcing the Next SolSmart Engagement Partner: The Nature Conservancy in Florida!

| By Avery Palmer, Interstate Renewable Energy Council

SolSmart is thrilled to announce our latest engagement partner: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Florida! TNC will help bring more local communities into the SolSmart program and allow even more Americans to enjoy the benefits of solar energy, like the other two engagement partners we recently announced.

As a global environmental organization, TNC is a leader in advancing renewable energy in the Sunshine State.  

To protect people and nature from the increasing effects of climate change, TNC is particularly focused on ensuring that Florida benefits from the transformative funding opportunities made available through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Expanding participation in SolSmart is an important complement to this work. Reducing barriers to solar energy use will help Florida’s communities make the most of federal funds to promote energy cost savings, resilience, emissions reductions, and economic opportunity.

“TNC was recently part of a nonprofit coalition that applied for $250 million from the federal Solar for All program to expand solar access and ownership among low-income and disadvantaged communities in Florida, in partnership with the Solar Energy Loan Fund (SELF) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN),” said Morgan Higman, Climate Strategy Director for TNC. “There is tremendous opportunity for communities to leverage the SolSmart program to make the most of these federal funding opportunities, bringing the benefits of solar to as many households as possible.”

As an engagement partner, TNC will help bring in new SolSmart communities within Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. These communities will receive no-cost technical assistance to help meet national best practices to encourage solar energy growth. Within this work, TNC is especially prioritizing communities that have been identified by the federal government as disadvantaged, recognizing that these communities often face higher energy and pollution burdens and historic barriers to clean energy access. This priority aligns with other TNC initiatives across the South that to strive to ensure that renewable energy projects benefit vulnerable groups and minimize impacts to environmentally sensitive areas.

As part of its outreach to communities, TNC will leverage its relationships and partnerships with local governments, including outreach through TNC’s monthly convenings of Florida’s eight climate collaboratives.

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in Florida, visit TNC’s website.

(Photo courtesy Boca Raton, Florida—SolSmart Silver.)