Growth Opps and The Industrial Heartland Solar Coalition Receives $156 Million EPA Grant for Equitable Solar Expansion

CLEVELAND, OH, April 22, 2024 – Growth Opportunity Partners (Growth Opps) proudly announces their commendation for the esteemed Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) grant under the Solar for All program to lead the Industrial Heartland Solar Coalition’s transformative initiative. The prestigious grant, totaling $156 million, will catalyze the expansion of solar access to over thirty-one (31) low- and moderate-income communities across eight Midwest and Rust Belt states.

“Today we’re delivering on President Biden’s promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good- paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change.

Expressing gratitude and excitement for this pivotal recognition, Michael Jeans, CEO of Growth Opps, articulated, “Receiving this award from the EPA is a testament to our unwavering commitment to driving positive change in disadvantaged communities through sustainable energy initiatives. This grant marks a significant milestone in our mission to facilitate an equitable transition to clean power within America’s industrial heartland.”

The EPA grant signifies not only a boost in solar capacity with over 110 megawatts to be installed but also promises annual energy savings of approximately $19 million to households, a remarkable reduction of 160,000 tons of carbon emissions yearly, and the support of over 1,000 new solar jobs emphasizing local hiring and high-road labor practices. Emphasizing the monumental impact of the initiative, Michael Jeans further noted, “This grant will empower us to bring the benefits of the renewable energy transition to communities that have long awaited such advancements. The combined strength and experience of our coalition in community development, workforce expansion, and renewable energy will be instrumental in creating a more equitable, sustainable future for all. “

John Mitterholzer, Director of Climate and Environmental Justice at The George Gund Foundation, in echoing appreciation for the coalition’s dedication to community development and climate justice, remarked, “The George Gund Foundation is thrilled to see our early support to establish Growth Opps’ GO Green Energy Fund as the first African American-led Green Bank in the nation culminate in today’s historic announcement from the EPA. This is a win for climate justice and an equitable energy transition.”

Comprised of 31 municipalities across Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, the Industrial Heartland Solar Coalition is positioned to advance this initiative. This infusion of funds will accelerate solar market growth, drive sustainable economic prosperity, and foster enduring benefits across the region.

As Growth Opps embarks upon this groundbreaking solar expansion journey enabled by the EPA grant, their commitment to fostering equitable access to clean energy and driving impactful change remains steadfast and resolute.

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About Growth Opportunity Partners (Growth Opps)
Growth Opportunity Partners (Growth Opps) is a mission-based community financial institution and Green Bank dedicated to providing community development capital, services, and solutions to growing small businesses, primarily located in disadvantaged, low and moderate income (LMI) communities. Recognizing that capital markets have historically failed to reach low-income and communities of color in the same manner as others, Growth Opps was created to make capital, professional high quality advisory services, and data accessible. The organization bridges the gap between opportunity and access, ensuring that all communities have the resources they need to thrive.

About The Industrial Heartland Solar Coalition
The Industrial Heartland Solar Coalition is a collaborative of 31 communities spanning eight Midwest and Rust Belt states, including Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. These municipalities represent the legacy of America’s 20th century industrial decline, which brought economic hardship and environmental injustice to many communities. The coalition aims to catalyze an equitable transition to clean energy that finally delivers the benefits of renewable power to disadvantaged households in the region. Together, the coalition applied for $250 million in EPA Solar for All funding to deploy solar energy and battery storage for low- and moderate-income residents, dramatically expanding clean energy access across America’s urban and industrial heartland.