Solar Uniting Neighbors (SUN) Workshops for I&M/AEP Customers to Learn About Solar PV Grants

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   October 08, 2014  /   Posted in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Electric Power (I&M), Uncategorized  /   No Comments


SUN Community Solar Workshops Announce

SCP is excited to be partnering with IACED on the Solar Uniting Neighbors (SUN) program to build capacity for solar projects in Indiana. Recently, we announced the SUN Community Solar Workshops will be held later this month.

The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED) announces three SUN Community Solar Workshops to be held at the end of October.

Solar Uniting Neighbors (SUN) is a financial incentive program for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations that brings together local leaders in the Indiana portion of the Indiana-Michigan (I&M) service territory of American Electric Power (AEP) to design, finance, and install solar PV projects. For a map of AEP’s I&M service territory, visit

Through the SUN program, IACED will offer technical and financial assistance to its members and other partners to install small solar energy projects (less than 0.5 megawatts). The grants likely will range from $20,000 to $30,000 for 10 to 17 separate installations.

IACED is hosting three Community Solar Workshops to educate local leaders about the project and strategies for implementing solar PV projects. The workshops will be held in Muncie, Fort Wayne, and South Bend – the urban centers within AEP’s I&M service territory, where electric utility ratepayers are eligible applicants. The workshops are free and individuals interested in attending are asked to register online before October 25. The dates, times, and registration links for the workshops are as follows:

Muncie Community Solar Workshop
Monday, October 27-- 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Register here:

Fort Wayne Community Solar Workshop
Monday, October 27-- 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Register here:
South Bend Community Solar Workshop


The workshops will discuss the SUN program and components of a successful solar PV project including design, zoning and permitting, financing, installation and maintenance. Hypothetical project examples will be used to illustrate costs, power output, and return on investment scenarios, and case studies from existing solar PV projects will be highlighted. Solar PV installers, financing partners, and renewable energy consultants and advocates will be available to answer questions about solar PV projects and provide guidance to potential SUN program applicants.

“Solar and other types of renewable energy are a strategy for community sustainability and resiliency,” said Andy Fraizer, IACED executive director. “This program will provide resources for local organizations, remove barriers and teach neighborhoods and communities across the state about the benefits of solar energy projects.”

IACED has partnered with Sustainable Catalyst Partners (SCP) to design and implement the SUN program. Allyson Mitchell, President of SCP and Program Manager for the SUN program, is thrilled to leverage the IACED member network to host and gather potential applicants for these workshops. “IACED brings their reputation for relevant and valuable community trainings to an engaged, passionate membership of community leaders as workshop attendees, and I am honored to develop and administer this program and these workshops in the collaborative spirit exemplified by IACED’s mission and practice.”

“IACED’s sole goal is to help local leaders and residents build and revitalize communities across the state,” said Andy Fraizer, IACED executive director. “We are excited to work with SCP to host these workshops to build capacity for solar installations in communities in Indiana. Our partners in north and northeast Indiana will benefit not only from the available grant funding, but from the opportunity to learn about the components of solar PV projects and discover resources within their communities for implementing them. The goal is to build a legacy of increased capacity for community solar projects.”

Following the three Community Solar Workshops, interested applicants will be required to submit a letter of intent. In the two-page letter, potential project sponsors will outline project concepts, describe partners, outline funding strategies, and define how the project will meet program requirements, including matching funds. Qualified applicants will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP). RFP submittals will be reviewed in spring 2015 and financial awards will be distributed in summer and fall 2015.

For more information on the SUN Program or the SUN Community Solar Workshops, contact Allyson Mitchell at


About IACED    IACED is a statewide organization that supports a network of organizations that builds vital communities and resilient families. It advocates for public policies and assists members and community partners in developing solutions that engage local leaders in rebuilding and revitalizing Indiana communities and neighborhoods. IACED has worked alongside its members in Elkhart, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Evansville and other communities on a variety of comprehensive community development strategies.

About SCP       SCP is a sustainability planning and consulting firm in Indianapolis that assists clients in understanding the breadth of sustainability principles, creating more sustainable policies and operations, and identifying and solving problems for a more profitable, equitable and sustainable outcome. In addition to sustainability planning and consulting, SCP performs strategic team building from an independent third-party perspective to achieve our clients’ sustainability goals.

FYI: Laura Ann Arnold with The Arnold Group is serving as a Technical Consultant to this program. or (317) 635-1701.

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