Today, Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) announced its selection by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Solar in Your Community Challenge to participate in a $5 million prize competition aimed to expand solar electricity access. The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption.

“We are honored that our team, Kerrville Area Solar Partners, has been chosen to join the Solar in Your Community Challenge,” said Mike Wittler, General Manager & CEO of KPUB. “Our approach is definitely unique—we are not aware of any project, or program, produced by an electric utility to partner with non-profit solar site hosts and low income property managers to develop a solar project which would benefit all participating as well as their community at large.

We look forward to working with our team and partner participants, as well as others in the community to develop the best plan to promote and expand solar access in our service area. This project furthers, and is in keeping with, KPUB’s mission to be a provider of reliable, high-quality utility services at the lowest reasonable price.”

Kerrville Area Solar Partners will join dozens of other teams from around the country in their pursuit of solar projects and programs that expand solar access to low and moderate income households and non-profit organizations. During this challenge, KPUB will be awarded up to $60,000 in cash and $10,000 in technical assistance towards meeting their goals. As a team completes its milestones throughout the 18-month performance period, it will receive a portion of its total potential seed award. All teams will compete for $1 million in final prizes to be awarded by judges based on each project or program’s innovation, impact, and the ability to replicate the model into communities across the nation.

Currently, KPUB is seeking non-profit partners that want to join in this endeavor by hosting a large ground mounted solar system ideally 2-10 acres in size. The system will serve the hosting non-profit, and low and moderate income and will also help to reduce summertime peak demands and associated costs, thereby benefitting all in the KPUB service area.