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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Eco-Entrepreneurship Project
(2024)

Green Credit: An Online Community Solar Subscription Platform (Eco-E)

Group Members: Lindsay Edelman, Gabe Ingman, Meet Muchhala

Faculty Advisors: Emily Cotter, Don Fullerton

Deliverables:

Executive Summary

Final Presentation

Description

California’s progressive policies and commitment to decarbonize the grid have positioned the state as a leader in residential solar deployment in the United States. Over 1.5 million Californian households have benefited from subsidized rooftop solar, and subsequently offset a portion of their electricity bills. However, not all California residents benefited equally: As high-income solar adopters use less energy from the grid, utilities face rising costs and need to raise rates. Consequently, low-and-middle income (LMI) residents bear the burden of rising electricity costs. To address this challenge, the Green Credit eco-entrepreneurship team explored different business solutions that deliver reduced electricity costs and solar accessibility for LMI residents in California. The result of our research led us to envision a community-centered online solar subscription platform that would provide subscribers access to community solar projects, education, and additional energy efficiency programs. The platform allows households and businesses to subscribe to solar energy projects in their community and receive solar credits on their electricity bills, without the overhead cost or maintenance of their own solar panel installations. In twenty-two other states, community solar succeeds as an effective solution to eliminate barriers and provide affordable, renewable energy.

The community solar landscape in California is supported by several policies that allocate 41 MW capacity that have yet to be maximized for communities in need. As a community-centered business, Green Credit will advocate for new projects, build engagement and awareness, and connect stakeholders to build successful community solar farms.

Acknowledgements

UC Santa Barbara Bren School Faculty: Emily Cotter, Professor and Eco-Entrepreneurship Program Manager; Don Fullerton, Professor Emeritus University of Illinois; Ashley Larsen, Associate Professor, and Dena Montague, Environmental Justice Lecturer Stanford University, and former Bren Lecturer

Bren School Alumni: Lauren Barnum, MESM’ 24; Craig Kopulsky, MESM’ 22; Logan Ruggles, MESM’ 24, and Gilbert Yu, MESM’ 24

Industry Advisors: Minos Athanssiadis, Business Director of HarvestMark, a division of Trimble and Eco-Entrepreneurship Advisor, and Dana-Clare Redden, CEO of Solar Stewards

Donor: John Campanella, President of Bermant Homes

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