Designed to provide low-to-moderate income (LMI) families with access to solar energy, WDC has helped secure $285,000 to support this community solar program

San Antonio, TX – June 23, 2020 – The Westside Development Corporation (WDC) has secured $285,000 in grant funds to support the Big Sun Community Solar Assistance Program. Funding partners for this initiative thus far include the 80/20 Foundation, Microsoft and the San Antonio Area Foundation.

The Big Sun Community Solar Assistance Program is designed to provide low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents an affordable path to solar panel ownership. Grant funds will be used to finance the purchase of 11 solar panels by providing a $6,000 grant to each of the approved 40 LMI residents. Participants also receive ongoing financial counseling, tax preparation assistance, and education pertaining to technology and energy. This program is a collaboration between CPS Energy, Go Smart Solar (GSS), River City Federal Credit Union (RCFU), Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute (TEPRI), University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) and WDC.

The program works by deploying solar panels on carports in surface parking lots across San Antonio, thus providing the opportunity for renters or citizens who may not be able to install solar panels on their roof to go solar and reap the energy saving benefits solar provides. Solar energy credits are then delivered to participating customers’ CPS Energy bills, saving customers an average of $215 per year on their bill.

“Microsoft is proud to support the Big Sun Community Solar Assistance Program and its unique approach to bringing renewable energy and its benefits to the residents of San Antonio,” said Holly Beale, Program Manager and Lead for the Microsoft Community Environmental Sustainability initiative. “The program removes the barriers for low- and moderate-income households to acquire solar panels and power their homes with renewable energy.”

The Big Sun Solar program launched in 2019 and is currently accepting applications until 440 solar panels have been purchased, supporting up to 40 low-income families.

“Our goal is for participants to benefit from the energy savings this program provides; every dollar not spent on energy costs is another dollar that can be spent on other critical living essentials like groceries and medication. This program is a long-term investment in our community that will have a lasting impact for many years to come,” says Ramiro Gonzales, Interim-President/CEO of WDC.

Loan applications for this program can be processed by RCFCU by phone, online, or in-branch. Those interested in more information about the Big Sun Community Solar Assistance Program may contact Melinda Gonzalez at 210-501-0192 or via email at melinda@westsidedevcorp.com.

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About the Westside Development Corporation
The Westside Development Corporation is a City of San Antonio delegate agency, non-profit organization and Local Government Corporation responsible for attracting new business and assisting existing business in the Westside of San Antonio. The organization has been responsible for fostering economic development, promoting the development and redevelopment of real estate, creating viable urban communities, and preserving the character, culture and history of San Antonio’s Westside. For more information, about the WDC please visit WestsideDevCorp.com. For more information about San Antonio’s Westside, “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Westside-Development-Corporation/ or follow us on Twitter @westsidedevcorp.

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