The Clean Energy Group (CEG), a national nonprofit focused on the equitable expansion of clean energy, announced it has awarded more than $1 million to grants to organizations serving the community and promoting solar + storage to benefit frontline communities. The grants have supported the work of 86 affordable housing and nonprofit organizations, representing 93 solar + storage projects in 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To date, the awards have resulted in the completion of 30 resilient solar and storage projects in low-income and communities of color, with more projects working towards implementation.
Clean Energy Group first launched the 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 caused by Superstorm Sandy, with the aim of increasing access to the resilience, health and economic benefits of solar + storage through the promotion of inclusive programs and policies, and by provide technical assistance support to facilitate community-based project development in underserved communities.
“It has been extremely rewarding to have worked with so many different partners over the years,” said CEG VP Seth Mullendore. “The role of solar + storage in community energy resilience was still a new concept when we first introduced the Technical Assistance Fund in 2014. With the current reality of extreme weather and life-threatening power outages, we are working hard on it. to keep up with the growing demand for our services.”
The Technical Assistance Fund specializes in providing 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 who lack the in-house expertise to evaluate solar + storage and lack the financial resources to engage experienced technical service providers. In addition to project-based technical assistance, part of the grant will also support knowledge building for nonprofits new to solar + storage. As of 2021, more than 50% of the awarded scholarship dollars has gone to support the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations, a goal CEG is committed to continuing.
“Our Clean Energy Group technical assistance grant 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 protect environmental and cultural resources and provide emergency relief during wildfires and power outages. The grant facilitated the support of local government officials and partnership organizations to help the museum become a designated resilience center and generated capital funding from multiple federal and private sources.
The Clean Energy Group is actively raising funds to achieve its goal of allocating an additional $1 million in technical assistance funds to advance solar and storage projects in low-income and colored communities over the next three years. To support this ongoing campaign, visit www.cleanegroup.org/donate.
News item from the Clean Energy Group (CEG)