Creating Training & Jobs at 4:1 Ratio from Industrial Shared Solar
Maximizing aid to the people most in need of weather-resilient power and carbon emissions relief
WASHINGTON and BATON ROUGE, La., May 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Distributed Sun (DSUN) announced today a proposal for contributions of $82 million over 15 years to workforce development and community reinvestment. Funding would be sourced from revenues generated under an Industrial Shared Solar pilot program with a capacity limitation of 250MW in Entergy LA territory and 250MW from other utility territories. If approved, reinvestment dollars will be earmarked for Louisiana communities most impacted by emissions from subscribing customers. Workforce funds would target the areas where individual solar projects are built – ensuring nearby residents and community stakeholders share real benefits from clean, solar power generation in and around their communities.
DSUN has proposed a model that can grow the impact of funds contributed in two important ways. First, two-thirds of reinvested funds, approximately $55 million, will be available for matching grants – doubling dollars put to use within area parishes to $110 million.
Second, one-third of funds, approximately $27 million, are reserved for workforce development – creating 4 new jobs for every 1 job required for solar. If approved, the workforce will be sourced from the parish where the project is located, with tenant farmers receiving preferential consideration. Under the proposed program, employees are enrolled in corporate apprentice and internship programs to obtain education and experience required for even better jobs. As trained employees move to new jobs resulting from the corporate initiatives, their positions will be refilled as the training program accepts new workers. Initial funds target the long-term employment for 192 local area residents.
Together, the community reinvestment funds and funding for workforce development could provide $137 million to communities nearby the project site or nearby the facilities of the subscribing customers.
In addition to creating meaningful training for good jobs, reinvestment funds can be used for power resiliency and pollution mitigation programs. Significantly, the dollar value of the workforce development and community reinvestment funds are double that proposed for savings by industrial subscribers to the program.
DSUN filed its proposal for the Industrial Shared Solar tariff with benefits to communities most affected by industrial emissions in the Louisiana Public Service Commission in the Customer-Centered Options docket (R-35462). Under the shared solar program, project owners are required to contribute 10% of subscription revenues before profits workforce development and community reinvestment. Management of the workforce development process and of the community reinvestment funds will be conducted by third parties with experience in working with local communities.
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SOURCE Distributed Sun LLC