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

Sept. 1, 2022, 9:00 AM

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.

And in dense urban areas, some projects — such as community solar — are too small to be seen as worth the effort, even ...