The £160 million project will see around 100,000 households receive solar panels from UK company Solarplicity.
The government aims to fit a further 800,000 homes with solar panels over the next five years
Around 100,000 households will receive panels in the next 18 months, reducing their energy bills by an average of £240 a year.
Over 40 local authorities and other landlords have already signed up to the program.
International Trade Minister Greg Hands visiting a social housing development in Ealing. (PA)
Mr Hands said: “After a record year for new foreign investment into the UK, this initial £160 million capital expenditure program will deliver massive benefits to some of the UK’s poorest households.
“As well as creating 1,000 jobs and delivering cheaper energy bills for up to 800,000 homes, it shows yet another vote of confidence in the UK as a place to invest and do business.”
Tenants in the North West will be the biggest beneficiaries with over 290,000 homes receiving solar panels in towns like Oldham and Bradford, followed by the North East and Midlands, with 184,000 and 154,000 homes from Leeds to Derby.
David Elbourne, chief executive of Solarplicity, said: “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our exciting growth in the energy market, backed by international capital investment through the Department for International Trade.”