Fort Wayne aims to offer residents solar panels if EPA grant approves – WFFT FOX 55 Fort Wayne | Indiana News & Weather

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) – Affordable and renewable energy. That’s the goal for the city of Fort Wayne as they try to secure a grant that could bring solar energy to residents within city limits.

Solar For All” is a $7 billion campaign through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the city receives the money, qualifying houses could get solar panels for free.

What the EPA is trying to accomplish with this grant is to allow solar energy to be available for all, targeting low-income areas within city limits.

60 grants are going to be awarded nationwide. If the city gets the money, solar energy is expected to come to at least 1,200 homes, 600 of which will actually receive the panels on their property.

“We’re trying to get the opportunity to the low-end disadvantaged communities for those homes that are older and don’t have the infrastructure that could accept the solar on their roofs, we’ve got the other options where they can do it with the community solar,” said Chief Sustainability Officer, Doug Fasick.

Community solar is a part of the city’s bigger plan to supply power to those whose homes don’t qualify for the panels.

The city is working with Indiana Michigan Power to integrate a solar pond that supplies renewable energy to the other 600 homes.

The goal is to give these participants a discount of up to 20 percent on utility bills for using the community solar; this goes for renters as well.

“We’re going to reach out to the renters and if they’re paying the electric bill we’d like to get them involved and get them to participate in the program. It’s an economic development tool for them if we can show them the economic advantage it is for the renters,” said Fasick.

“Solar For All” is part of Sustaining Fort Wayne, a climate action plan designed to build a sustainable city for the future.

Fasick says the goal is to reduce the city’s carbon footprint as much as possible.

City leaders will find out this month if they’ll receive the grant to fund this plan from the EPA; if they do, they will begin phase one in a five-year plan to complete the program.

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