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RVA Solar Fund

The RVA Solar Fund, a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation, is seeking grant applications from nonprofits, local governments and public school systems in the greater Richmond region to fund transitions to solar energy.

This grant initiative was developed after a group of donors approached the Community Foundation to learn more about the use of solar energy in the Richmond region. After several sessions together, they collaborated to establish a donor advised fund offering grants to encourage the deployment of solar energy systems at public and nonprofit facilities. 

Grantees will enter into a Power Purchase Agreement with our selected partner, Secure Futures, a Certified B Corp. Grantees will only pay for the electricity that is generated from the solar equipment that Secure Futures will install. Secure Futures will own and operate the solar panels. The fund will leverage private investment to catalyze up to 5 megawatts of clean power generated on public and nonprofit sites. Grant recipients will also enjoy no capital costs, no maintenance obligations, and guaranteed savings while reducing C02 emissions.

Current Opportunities:

The RVA Solar Fund is currently offering grant funding for local nonprofits, local governments and public school systems. If your organization is interested and eligible for this grant (see details below), please submit your Notice of Interest (NOI) by Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

The Notice of Intent creates a point of contact and identifies potential sites for solar power installations. Organizations that submit a notice will receive a preliminary technical review and those with good solar power potential will be invited to obtain a comprehensive feasibility study and continue to the final grant application stage.  

Additional details and instructions are available to help you manage this process:


The RVA Solar Fund is a donor-driven funding opportunity to empower nonprofit organizations, local governments and public school systems to choose solar energy at no upfront or net operating costs.

(1) Grantees may use funds to cover overhead related to this effort, implement educational programs or training, or obtain other clean energy services.

(2) After notification of intent to award a grant and prior to receiving funding, grant recipients must enter into a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with our selected partner Secure Futures, a Certified B Corp specializing in solar installations for public purpose entities.

To create long-term annual budget cost savings, Secure Futures will provide solar energy from these panels at less than the cost of traditional energy.


Applicant Eligibility

The following criteria must be in place for consideration:

  • Nonprofit organizations in the Community Foundation service area, including: the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan; or
  • Local governments and public school systems in the following areas: the counties of Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Essex, Gloucester, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Powhatan, Prince George, Richmond, Westmoreland; and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond.
  • Applicants should submit a minimum of 10,000 square feet of solar-ready roof area for consideration in their Notice of Interest. This is roof area that is both unshaded and in good condition. It may be spread across multiple public buildings, but each building must have a minimum of 5,000 square feet of solar ready roof area to be considered.
  • Additionally, open land area of at least 3 acres and not more than 1,000 feet from a metered building is also eligible.

Acceptable Use of Grant Funds

Grants may be used for:

  • Administrative costs associated with applying for a grant and executing the PPA
  • Energy audits
  • Energy improvements on site
  • Roof repairs and other maintenance or improvements needed to enable solar installations
  • Community education materials such as signage, monitoring hardware and software, training curriculum, website development and hosting and events
  • Instructor training in solar power systems
  • Curriculum, classroom materials and training

Grant funds cannot be used for:

  • Solar panels or electricity (Solar energy from the panels is provided to the grant recipients as part of the PPA with Secure Futures.)

Grant Amounts


In this grant cycle, multiple grants of up to $100,000 may be awarded. Individual grant amounts will depend on the merits of the proposal and the amount of solar energy to be generated at the applicant's site(s).

Qualified applicants should provide an estimated square footage of their solar-ready rooftops (unshaded and in good condition) or adjacent open land in their Notice of Interest.

Applicants seeking the maximum grant amount should identify solar ready area of at least 150,000 square feet (rooftop, land or a combination thereof).


You must submit your Notice of Interest through our online grants system via the link below.

Non-binding Notices of Interest due by 5pm on January 15, 2019. Please note that you will need the following documents to complete your application:

Invitations to obtain a solar feasibility study and to continue the application process will be sent by February 1, 2019.

Full Application due by 5pm on June 13, 2019. 

Grant notifications distributed by June 30, 2019.

Solar equipment installed in starting in the winter of 2019 / 2020.

The deadline for Notices of Interest is January 15, 2019. Please click below to submit through our online grants system.

Access online system