Oweesta Supports Native Solar Energy Initiatives with Submission of Application to EPA’s Solar for All Program

Longmont, CO – On October 12th, 2023, Oweesta Corporation, the longest-standing Native CDFI intermediary in the country, applied for a historic $250 million dollar Solar for All program grant through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This proposal would support the deployment of residential solar generation, battery storage, and resilience upgrades for Native communities across the United States.

“As greenhouse house gases continue to become a larger problem and fossil fuels increase in cost (and decrease in availability), moving toward solar energy within our grids is crucial,” stated Oweesta’s Chief Executive Officer, Chrystel Cornelius. “Providing our Native communities with the means to build solar infrastructures through the Solar for All program will not only lower energy costs but also provide for economic recovery.”

Oweesta Corporation’s Solar for All program aims to address adoption barriers to Native residential and community solar deployment through a nuanced approach that looks at these barriers from the perspective of regulatory, commercial, and housing. Deployment of funds will be leveraged through a well-established network of financial and professional organizations focused specifically on supporting solar development in Native communities; predominantly Native CDFIs and Native-owned or Nativeserving banks.

Oweesta will also address these barriers by deploying a 3-tier technical assistance model. This technical assistance model takes a systems-building approach which will reduce learning curves for partners, developers, Tribal governments and Tribal organizations. Oweesta’s proposal creates the mechanism and processes for Tribal organizations to rapidly implement deployment strategies and goals for appropriate scale renewable energy adoption that will help draw investment into their communities and diversify revenue streams.

Oweesta was also excited to complete several letters of support for partners’ Solar for All applications through this process.

“Oweesta looks forward to accessing increased resources to address economic development, homeownership, and cost of living for Native communities across the nation through the energy sector,” shared Robin Danner, Oweesta Corporation Board Chair.

Over the past 24 years Oweesta has focused on addressing the lack of capital access faced by Native communities that affect economic development and community well-being, through the provision of capital and technical assistance to Native CDFIs, Native nonprofits, and Tribes. Ensuring that Indigenous communities have equal opportunity to access this historic investment in green and solar energy is of utmost priority.

Oweesta Corporation provides opportunities for Native people to develop assets and create wealth by assisting in the establishment of strong, permanent institutions and programs, leading to economic independence, and strengthening sovereignty for all Native communities. Oweesta is the oldest Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. Specifically, Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy to help Native communities develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and products.

Contact: Chrystel Cornelius (President and CEO, Oweesta)

303.774.8838 • chrystel@oweesta.org