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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

AZ receives millions of dollars for solar investments

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Monday, April 29, 2024   

The State of Arizona has received $156 million to invest into solar systems for Arizona families.

Adrian Keller, Arizona program director for the nonprofit Solar United Neighbors, said the group is "thrilled" about the grant made available through the federal solar policy known as Solar For All. The policy sets out to expand or create new low-income solar programs, which the Environmental Protection Agency claims will enable more than 900,000 homes across the nation to benefit from.

Keller expects the funding will help between 10,000 and 11,000 Arizona families.

"These are all low- to middle-income families," Keller pointed out. "The state is projecting somewhere around 61 megawatts of new solar throughout the state of Arizona and there are a bunch of different funding pools and mechanisms to make sure that this funding is disbursed equitably and throughout communities in the state, not just hitting certain metro areas."

Despite Arizona ranking second for solar energy potential in the nation, Keller acknowledged there are still many in the Grand Canyon State who would like to transition to solar but cannot afford to do so. He stressed the federal funds are a step in the right direction. He added through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, Solar for All will allocate $21 million to support clean-energy job creation and train workers.

Keller argued while there are significant federal dollars flowing into Arizona for solar systems and incentives, some of the state policies around solar energy are lackluster. Keller noted the Arizona Corporation Commission is in the process of determining how rooftop solar customers in the state will be compensated, but could end up lowering bill credits.

"We're kind of in this interesting place with the current landscape of solar in Arizona," Keller explained. "In some ways it's really good, because we've got these great federal policies, but at the same time the state is sending mixed signals, particularly the corporation commission about the value of solar in Arizona."

Keller considers Solar for All to be a "transformative opportunity" to change the narrative surrounding solar-energy accessibility and added his organization is eager to partner with the state to start rolling out the program later this year. He said 300 rural households will also benefit from solar plus battery systems for their homes, protecting them from electricity service disruption.


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