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Green Banks Get $27 Billion Windfall to Lend Where Others Don’t

Much of the money will go to bringing solar panels, heat pumps and other clean energy infrastructure to communities that traditional investors pass over. 

Solar Panel Installations As California Regulators Reconsider Move To Cut Solar Subsidies
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

When nearly 2,000 solar panels are installed on top of the Henderson-Hopkins elementary school in east Baltimore next year, they will generate enough carbon-free power for 175 area residents. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring the economic benefits of renewable energy to a disadvantaged neighborhood. 

Yet traditional finance steers clear of ventures like this one, with lenders often wary of the high credit risks, potentially long payoff periods and uncertainty of investing in low-to-moderate-income communities.