Sol Systems, a national solar energy finance and development firm, has launched a new initiative with Microsoft Corp. that creates the first community investment fund and the company’s single largest renewable energy portfolio energy purchase agreement.
Sol Systems and Microsoft designed the portfolio to maximize its positive environmental, community and societal impact. The strategic initiative will help Microsoft meet its goal of shifting to 100% renewable energy by 2025.
“We recognize that climate and environmental issues don’t impact every community the same way and we need to address environmental equity as a broader issue. Our work with Sol Systems is a first-of-its-kind initiative tying the purchasing of renewable energy to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities,” says Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft.
“What makes this partnership unique is that we will be working with local leaders, prioritizing minority and women-owned businesses and making community-lead grants and investments,” he adds.
Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate a portfolio of over 500 MW of solar projects in the U.S. and will sell energy from those projects to Microsoft. In parallel, working with local leaders in nearby communities and those disproportionately impacted by climate change, Sol Systems and Microsoft will invest at least $50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration and programs that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency.
Delivery of the portfolio will take place over the next several years.
Photo: Sol Systems’ The Sol Footprint web page