Inclusiv Launches Free Virtual Solar Lending Professional Training Series and Certificate Program to Increase Credit Union Capacity for Solar Finance
For Immediate Release
New York, NY (October 28, 2020) – Today, at the 2020 Inclusiv Conference, Inclusiv announced the launch of a free virtual Solar Lending Professional Training and Certificate program that will provide lending professionals at community-based financial institutions training in solar power lending. The program is designed to increase access to solar financing for individuals and small businesses in low-income communities and communities of color.
Solar energy can be a powerful tool to drive economic revitalization by building good jobs, while increasing energy affordability and reliability. In most markets, solar energy provides a unique opportunity to invest in a proven technology with decreasing costs and improving project economics. Despite widespread growth in the renewable energy sector, many individuals and small businesses in low-income communities and communities of color have not been able to equally access these solar energy investment opportunities.
Community-based lenders, such as credit unions, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and community banks, have underwriting experience and deep community relationships, but relatively few offer specialized financing for solar energy. This new Solar Lending Professional Training series seeks to bridge this gap by providing professionals the practical application skills and tools needed to design and implement (or refine) solar lending programs.
To apply, please visit: https://carsey.unh.edu/center-for-impact-finance/solar-lending-training-series.
The program has been developed by the Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy and the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy Center for Impact Finance, with major funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. It is part of an effort to build a network of community-based financial institutions committed to designing and scaling green lending solutions and promoting the adoption of affordable and sustainable energy for all people, particularly low-income communities and communities of color.
The series will be divided into two tracks: Consumer Solar Lending and Commercial Solar Lending. Each training course will last for six weeks and each track will be offered four times a year. This virtual training series will launch in January 2021 and will be available free of cost to lending professionals at community-based financial institutions who are interested in building (or refining) solar lending programs at their institutions. The training sessions will bring together small cohorts of lending professionals with high capacity to implement solar loan programs at their institutions. Each cohort will participate in a combination of weekly, instructor-led, live Zoom sessions and self-paced lectures and homework assignments and will earn a Solar Lending Professional Certificate.
The content for this training program has been developed in close collaboration with project partners: Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Bright Community Capital, and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. An advisory committee of solar professionals, credit union leaders and support organizations has provided advice and input to help develop course content: Affinity Plus FCU, Clean Energy CU, Clearwater CU, Cooperativa Jesus Obrero, Kaua’i Government Employees FCU, NeighborWorks America, Nusenda Credit Union, Opportunity Finance Network, Seattle CU, Self Help Ventures Fund and CU, United Nations FCU, and VSECU.