Community-Led Solar in Boston
In 2014, Energy Allies began designing a process that would defer all decision making power to a dedicated group of paid community stakeholders. Once convened, this group has met regularly to make key project decisions via ranked choice voting to determine the final outcome of the project. Energy Allies facilitated this process along the way, sharing presentations and leading active discussions on topics including solar siting, workforce development, and project finance.
The following key decisions have been voted on by the Boston Community Advisory Board and will be components of the project once completed:
To reach a just 100% clean energy future, it's essential that clean energy projects are community-led.
Our work prioritizes community and builds intergenerational wealth. We convene with stakeholders from our Community Advisory Board (CAB) and local organizations to cultivate local leadership and ownership of clean energy projects, engagement in community-led policy advocacy, energy system research and educational resource sharing in our communities
Energy Allies is co-designing an adaptable model for community-led solar projects that maximizes benefits for climate-impacted communities.
In today’s community solar landscape, the average community solar project is controlled by profit-driven developers. These entities source and secure land for projects, oversee project installation and related hiring, seek capital (usually driven by tax equity investors) to finance the project. Once built they typically control the process for subscribing households to the project. At each step of the process, profit maximization is often prioritized above all else, including climate justice and energy equity.