Estimated Regional Impacts
282 new jobs $7.9M in private investment $5.4M in energy savings 64 new commercial and institutional solar projects 4.9 MW of new solar capacity 6,715 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions offset
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The SFF addresses economic and employment challenges in Central Appalachia by:
- Investing in Appalachia’s solar industry to create new jobs throughout the solar supply chain
- Lowering electricity costs for local businesses, public institutions and nonprofits, leading to cost savings that can be reinvested to expand social services, grow local businesses, and increase wages
- Creating new employment opportunities in coal-impacted communities that may be filled by displaced coal workers who possess highly transferable skill sets between mining and renewable energy development
Financing barriers that prevent the completion of otherwise viable and impactful solar projects are especially common in coal-impacted communities due to economic and policy disparities. The SFF directly overcomes these barriers by providing catalytic funding for projects at dozens of sites across the region while establishing a scalable model with the potential for even further-reaching impacts.
The SFF supports critical community services by reducing energy burdens and establishing predictable energy costs for anchor institutions such as schools, government buildings and medical centers. The millions of dollars in energy savings realized through SFF-supported solar projects directly translate to reduced operating costs for host institutions while creating hundreds of new jobs in counties that have been negatively impacted by the decline in the coal industry.
The SFF’s deployment strategies are targeted to grow new and existing solar businesses in the coal-impacted counties of Central Appalachia. Because many skills needed for solar installation are strongly aligned with those required for mining (e.g., electrical, construction, equipment operation), coal-impacted workers will benefit from new local employment opportunities as the region’s solar industry grows.