Lafayette Square, an impact investment platform, and Invenergy, a global developer and operator of renewable energy projects and solutions announced that the two companies have formed a joint venture, dubbed Reactivate, which will operate as a community solar energy platform supporting development in underserved communities.
Under the joint venture, Lafayette Square and Invenergy will provide capital, technical assistance, and executive leadership to build and operate Reactivate, which will finance, acquire, develop, and operate solar energy projects primarily serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities and areas disproportionately affected by the clean energy transition.
According to Reactivate, the company isn’t limited to just developing community solar projects, and will also explore opportunities in small-scale utility solar projects, energy storage, building electrification, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Beyond project financing and development the company attests that it is focused on creating development, construction, and operations jobs while focusing worker training efforts on traditionally underrepresented segments of the workforce and those transitioning to the renewable energy industry.
“By bringing together capital, technology, experienced solar operators and targeted employee training programs, we believe we can create a more inclusive and localized renewable energy production model benefitting historically marginalized communities,” said Founder & CEO of Lafayette Square, Damien Dwin.
By 2030, Reactivate seeks to develop 3 GW of renewable energy capacity, save $50 million in energy costs for LMI households, sign 100 contracts with minority or women-owned contractors, and facilitate workforce training for 2,500 underserved workers.
While electrical bill savings may seem like a benefit or added perk of supporting renewable energy to some, the bill savings can be absolutely critical to the finances of LMI families and individuals. Research done by Energy Outreach Colorado found that one-in-four households in the state struggle with a high energy burden, which leads to such households spending a disproportionate amount of their income on energy bills, when compared to higher-income households, with the average burden being three times worse. Households that meet or are below the 80% area median income threshold can see energy bills take up to 20% of their monthly income.
By bringing bill savings via community solar, Reactivate said it hopes to do away with one of the most consistent financial burdens these families and individuals have to face.
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