The Clean Energy Group (CEG), a national nonprofit focused on the equitable expansion of clean energy, announced that it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to community-serving organizations advancing solar + storage to benefit frontline communities. The grants have supported the work of 86 affordable housing and nonprofit community organizations, representing 93 solar+storage projects across 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To date, the grant awards have resulted in the completion of 30 resilient solar+storage projects in low-income communities and communities of color, with more projects working toward implementation.
Clean Energy Group first launched its Technical Assistance Fund grant program in 2014 as part of the organization’s Resilient Power Project. The Resilient Power Project was established in response to the devastating power outages resulting from Superstorm Sandy, with the goal of increasing access to the resilience, health and economic benefits of solar+storage through the advancement of inclusive programs and policy, and by providing technical assistance support to facilitate community-based project development in underserved communities.
“It is extremely gratifying to have been able to work with so many diverse partners over the years,” said CEG VP Seth Mullendore. “The role of solar + storage in community energy resilience was still a novel concept when we first introduced the Technical Assistance Fund in 2014. With today’s realities of extreme weather and life-threatening power outages, we’re working hard to just to keep up with the growing demand for our services.”
The Technical Assistance Fund specializes in issuing small, targeted grants, averaging about $10,000 each, to support solar + storage projects in the early stages of exploration. The grants fill a capacity gap among community-serving nonprofits and affordable housing providers that do not have the in-house expertise to evaluate solar+storage and lack the financial resources to engage experienced technical services providers. In addition to project-based technical assistance, a portion of the grant funding also supports knowledge-building for nonprofits new to solar + storage. As of 2021, more than 50% of grant dollars awarded have gone to support the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations, a goal that CEG is committed to continue going forward.
“Our technical assistance grant from Clean Energy Group supported our efforts to verify the feasibility of our Resilient Native Generations project,” said Nicole Lim, executive director of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center. “In serving our local tribal community, it is critical that we implement strategies that provide environmental and cultural resource protection and emergency response during wildfires and power outages. The grant facilitated support from local government officials and partnership organizations for the museum to become a designated resilience hub and generated capital funding from multiple federal and private sources.”
The Clean Energy Group is actively raising funds to achieve its goal of awarding another $1 million in Technical Assistance Funds to advance solar + storage projects in low-communities and communities of color over the next three years. To support this ongoing campaign, visit www.cleanegroup.org/donate.