The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every U.S. household and enable communities to realize meaningful benefits, such as reduced energy burdens, increased resilience, and workforce development. The NCSP is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative led by the Solar Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Partners leverage peer networks, technical assistance, and informational resources to set goals and overcome barriers to expanding community solar access.
One way the NCSP delivers technical assistance is through collaboratives, which are groups of partners within sectors seeking to address common barriers to community solar deployment through peer exchange and support from technical experts. Convened in 2020, the MFAH Collaborative aimed to increase community solar access for MFAH residents nationwide. Thirteen MFAH providers from across the United States—with portfolios ranging in size from five buildings to more than 300—participated in the collaborative and received technical support from DOE, NREL, and partners Urban Ingenuity (UI) and Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF). The phase of active engagement for the MFAH Collaborative concluded in March 2022, culminating in the publication of resources based on the work of the Collaborative to support this sector more broadly.
The UI portfolio modeling tool was developed to help MFAH providers undertake portfolio-scale solar PV projects. This tool, based on typical real estate development models, provides a framework for MFAH providers to evaluate the financial feasibility of a potential multi-state portfolio of solar PV projects. The tool is highly adaptable, developed for portfolio scale analysis while also useful for single site projects. The tool provides preliminary indicators such as project returns and savings / benefits to various partners. MFAH providers who choose to proceed with project development can use the tool to begin prioritizing candidate sites for further project scoping and to engage with finance and development partners. For additional information and resources, please visit: Multifamily Affordable Housing Collaborative webpage on energy.gov.