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Grants for Solar Panels for Nonprofit Organizations

By SSK Admin November 22, 2021

If you are looking for grants for solar panels as part of a nonprofit organization, then you are not alone. In addition to millions of home and business owners around the world, nonprofits can also save a considerable amount of money with solar energy while focusing on their mission. 

So what better way to get started with solar than a grant used o help finance your green energy upgrade? 

At Shop Solar Kits, we’ve helped thousands of customers get solar kit supplies to bring the power of the sun into their homes, RVs, cabins, worksites, and more. In this article, we will explain how to find grants and other financing opportunities to secure solar panels for your nonprofit organization. 

How to Find Grants for Solar Panels as a Nonprofit

Although fundraising is one of the primary operations of many nonprofits, finding grants for solar energy systems is a unique process in it itself. Solar panels and other renewable energy grants may be available through local governments, national programs, energy utilities, and other private organizations.  

To find solar grants for your nonprofit, we suggest beginning with federally available opportunities and slowly identifying local incentives, rebates, and offers. Unfortunately, since almost all nonprofits are tax-exempt, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) cannot be applied to most organizations’ solar purchases. 

Popular Nonprofit Solar Panel Grants 

If you’re looking for a small solar energy system for a DIY nonprofit organization, we suggest that you buy solar panels here. Our high-quality products and affordable prices make small-scale solar panel power generation possible for any organization looking to benefit from the free and readily available energy from the sun. 

Of course, with bootstrapped cash and ongoing electrical demands, nonprofits would be wrong to not seek out grants for large solar panel installations. Before exploring your local resources, we will outline some of the most popular grants for solar panels available to nonprofit organizations in the US below.  

High Energy Cost Grants

If your organization is using too much of its budget on energy costs, the U.S. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development project has made it possible to secure federal grants for solar panels and other energy systems. Aside from nonprofits, USDA High Energy Cost Grants may be available to state and local government entities as well as federally recognized tribes.

Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program 

Serving similar communities to the high energy costs grants, the Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) has been established to help develop rural infrastructure projects. 

Although the loans are primarily set up for drinking water and wastewater treatment, solar panels are often included in system designs for the cheap and ongoing operation of new electrical infrastructure systems. 

REAP Grants

The USDA also provides REAP grants as a part of the “Rural Energy for America Program.” REAP grants are reserved for rural agricultural and small businesses in need of a better energy solution. In addition to solar panels, REAP grants also tend to include funding for energy efficiency improvements on the property. 

In a similar vein, the USDA also encourages rural entrepreneurship, with nonprofit grants for microenterprises and start-ups in rural areas outside of small cities and towns across the country. Funding is made available through the Rural Microloan Revolving Fund. 

Rural Business and Community Development Initiative Grants

With a clear focus on bringing funding to America’s rural areas, the USDA also provides both business and community development grants for underserved communities. Nonprofits are required to have less than $1 million in gross revenue to be eligible, and grants are reserved for organizations with fewer than 50 employees.

For community development, nonprofit housing developments and community planners can incorporate solar panels into new and redesigned infrastructure. This is similar to the federally available Housing and Urban Development grant for retrofitting low-income communities with renewable energy systems.

In addition to physical solar development, grants are also often used to bring renewable energy education into rural communities for increased and ongoing independence. Beyond technical solar knowledge, USDA resources help communities find additional parts, funding, and energy business necessities for sustainable access to electric power.  

Tribal Energy Programs

The US Department of Energy’s Indian Energy Policy and Programs (IEPP), has created over $15 million in funding to help American Indian Tribes get the funding and supplies they need for a renewable energy system. For instances in which a foldable solar panel (also known as folding solar panels) won’t cut it, communities may be eligible for:

  • EPA Environmental Justice Program Grants
  • Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Tribal and Insular Area Grants
  • Low-Income Weatherization Grants
  • The DOI Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program
  • NREL Decision Support for Native American Tribes
  • Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grants
  • And more

EPA Environmental Justice Program Grants

Besides tribal communities, the EPA’s Environmental Justice Program grants may also be used to help fund solar panels for non-profits in underserved areas all across the country. The funds are generally divided into two main funds: the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program and the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program.

Bottom Line 

Nonprofits and solar panels were invented for the same reason: to make the world a better place. With a solar panel grant for your nonprofit organization, it is now more possible than ever to bring renewable energy generation, infrastructure, and education into rural and underserved communities throughout the United States. 

If you’re starting small with solar power, we recommend looking into one of our independent, plug and play solar panel kits. While one of these systems is not going to change an entire community, it will be able to provide a ton of off-grid electricity anywhere the sun shines.

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