Local Government Guide for Solar Deployment

Author: US DOE  SETO Staff           Published:  1.19.22                SETO

illustration of homes and buildings that have solar panels on them

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) designed this guide to assist local government officials and stakeholders in boosting solar deployment. The content is based on the Solar Power in Your Community guidebook, updated in 2022, which contains case studies with approaches to reduce market barriers that have been field tested in cities and counties around the country. Many examples are the direct result of SolSmart, a national designation program that recognized municipalities, counties, and regional organizations that are addressing market barriers and making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar.

Solar Power in Your Community serves as a guidebook to assist local government officials and stakeholders in increasing local access to and deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV). This 2022 edition highlights new technologies and strategies to maximize the benefits of solar to all communities. It also emphasizes strategies for improving the equity of solar deployment at the local level. Similar to previous iterations of the guidebook, the 2022 edition offers an in-depth introduction of each topic, case studies of real-world applications, and supplemental resources, including reports, references, tools, and a state and federal policy guide.

 

HOW CAN I HELP MY COMMUNITY DEVELOP A SOLAR DEPLOYMENT PLAN?

WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING A SOLAR DEPLOYMENT PLAN?

WHAT SHOULD MY COMMUNITY CONSIDER WHEN SETTING LOCAL SOLAR TARGETS?

WHAT ACTIONS CAN MY COMMUNITY TAKE TO ENSURE EQUITY IN THE LOCAL SOLAR MARKET?

WHAT KINDS OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE OR OTHER RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP MY COMMUNITY IMPLEMENT A LOCAL SOLAR PLAN?

CAN SOLAR PLAY A ROLE IN MY COMMUNITY’S RESILIENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND CLIMATE PLANNING?

WHAT KINDS OF PROGRAMS CAN MY COMMUNITY IMPLEMENT TO MAKE SOLAR AVAILABLE TO MORE HOUSEHOLDS, BUSINESSES, AND NONPROFITS?

HOW CAN WE ENABLE COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECTS?

HOW CAN UPDATING LOCAL POLICIES IN MY COMMUNITY HELP REDUCE INSTALLATION COSTS AND IMPROVE THE MARKET ENVIRONMENT FOR SOLAR?

HOW CAN I SPEED UP SOLAR PERMITTING?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INNOVATIVE SITING PRACTICES, LIKE FLOATOVOLTAICS, AGRIVOLTAICS, OR SOLAR ON BROWNFIELDS?

CAN MY COMMUNITY INSTALL SOLAR ON GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS OR LAND?

HOW CAN MY COMMUNITY DEVELOP INCLUSIVE SOLAR-RELATED OUTREACH MATERIALS FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS?

HOW CAN MY COMMUNITY CREATE MORE JOBS AND PREPARE OUR RESIDENTS TO WORK IN SOLAR?

Featured Case Studies

Each topic area covered in the 2022 Solar Power in Your Community guidebook highlights real-world applications from a wide range of communities that have successfully implemented the policy, program, or concept. Read some of the highlighted case studies here.

 

BRONZEVILLE, IL

PHILADELPHIA, PA

MADISON, WI

EAST SALINAS, CA

EDINA, MN

SANTA FE, NM

SAYREVILLE, NJ

 

NABS Building A National Team To Apply for US EDA Funding Opportunities

Author: NABS Staff            published: 12/15/21      NABS

Meeting Recording:
Start Time: Dec 7, 2021 12:57 PM
Meeting Recording:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/Dr6GdEFbZX7BaN4ZytA1N9qO7JhG4d_XcTK3bz7WRX-Le9eDfIDXiAyOUJihRJfC.9KKvHPjHdyD_L1BP

National Association of Blacks in Solar

Webinar

Building A National Team to Apply

For

 US EDA FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

           Good Jobs Challenge

    Build Back Better Regional Challenge

      Economic Adjustment Assistance

       Statewide Planning, Research and Networks

                                                                 Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

Agenda

Timeline 1HR and 30 minutes.

  1. Ronald Bethea President of NABS and Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC. …….. 10 minutes Introduction and Purpose.
  2. Will Shirley President of Sundail Solar and VP of NABS…… 10 minutes explaining how this collaboration can work
  3. Mark Davis owner of WDC Solar.…… 10 minutes Solar for All Program, DC and WDC Solar Virtual Workforce Development Program.
  4. Cherie Brooks owner Power 52 ……. 10 minutes Solar Workforce Development.
  5. Christ White founder of Global Appren ticeship …….10 minutes Funding Workforce Development.
  6. Marvin Perry Ph D. Consulting Team ……10 minutes explaining Junior College connection.
  7. Wes US Business Funding Solutions ……..10 minutes
  8. 15 minutes Q and A.
Bar_Highlights

Do you plan to apply for the Good Jobs Challenge? Submit Your Intent

  • The Good Jobs Challenge allocates $500 million toward industry-led workforce training programs to help get Americans – particularly women, people of color and those in underserved communities – back to work in good-paying jobs. Applications are due January 26, 2022. Get your applications in today!
  • Assistant Secretary Castillo now has her own Twitter account! Follow her @AsstSecCastillo.
Good Jobs Logo

National and Federal Opportunities for the week ending January 14, 2022!

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WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON ADVANCING EDUCATIONAL EQUITY, EXCELLENCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THROUGH  HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Thank you for subscribing to the U.S. Department of Education, Initiative weekly newsletter. If you have questions about any of the opportunities listed or would like your organizations resources and events included in our next distribution, please email: HBCUnewsletter@ed.gov



Upcoming Opportunities!



U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

HRSA Office of Health Equity

Booster Messaging Toolkit: We Can Do This HHS expanded and updated its toolkit for community messaging to include new materials you can use to educate your community about who is eligible for a booster.



AmeriCorp

AmeriCorps

Learn the Value of AmeriCorps Service! Interested in addressing local challenges in communities across the country while developing job skills and earning money for school?

Join a virtual information session to find out if a year or summer as an AmeriCorps member serving with the VISTA program could be right for you. We’ll share service opportunities, benefits, requirements, and more.

AmeriCorps VISTA: Get the Basics

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2-3 p.m. ET

Register

Learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program.



NSF Webinar Flyer

Virtual briefing with the National Science Board on The State of U.S. Science & Engineering 2022

Join a virtual briefing from the National Science Board on Science & Engineering Indicators 2022: The State of U.S. Science and Engineering.

January 20, 2022 12:30 pm. – 1:30pm EST

Please submit requests for accessibility accommodations to Nadine Lymn nlymn@nsf.gov.



IRS logo

HBCU Tax Preparation Session

On January 25, 2022 from 4-5PM, EST, The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through HBCU’s federal agency partner, the Internal Revenue Service, will be hosting a session to teach HBCU students the ins and outs of filing their taxes.

About this event

Join the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA) and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) for our upcoming session to teach HBCU students the ins and outs of filing their taxes. The session will also discuss ways that your HBCU can offer free income tax preparation to students and the community on campus.

To register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hbcu-tax-preparation-registration-220781061097



MBDA logo

The Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is seeking public comment on the establishment of a Rural Business Center Program. MBDA is seeking comments from members of the public, including but not limited to operators of rural businesses and persons with expertise and information, to provide information related to minority businesses in rural areas. Comments must be received by January 25, 2022 at 5 pm ET. Read more here.



NTIA logo

Broadband Grant Programs Public Virtual Listening Sessions

NTIA will host broadband grant program public virtual listening sessions in connection with the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program; the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program; and the Digital Equity Act Programs, which include the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. These public virtual listening sessions are designed to collect stakeholder input to help inform program development and implementation.

NTIA will hold the public virtual listening sessions based on the following schedule:

  1. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs Public Virtual Listening Session #3: Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. ET;
  2. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs Public Virtual Listening Session #4: Wednesday, February 9, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. ET; and
  3. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs Public Virtual Listening Session #5: Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. ET.

These listening sessions will be hosted via NTIA’s virtual platform and conducted as a live public listening session. NTIA will post the registration information on its BroadbandUSA website .

Federal Register NoticeBroadband Grant Programs Public Virtual Listening Sessions



GeoAg conference flyer

2nd Annual Virtual GeoAg Conference

You are invited to attend the free 2nd Annual Virtual GeoAg Conference on Friday, February 4, 2022, from 10 am to 5 pm EST hosted by the Florida Memorial University Department of Health and Natural Sciences; the KEEP Foundation; and the GeoAg Institute.

RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/geoag-annual-conference-tickets-174148993327

Over 250 faculty researchers at more than 50 HBCUs and African Universities are knowledgeable about geological agriculture. This conference will highlight the research of the top 20 GeoAg researchers from around the world from the academic and private sectors engaged in a variety of fields of study and initiatives.

This year’s conference will include new research presentations from volunteer faculty from:

  1. Florida Memorial University
  2. Savannah State University
  3. Morehouse College
  4. Morgan State University
  5. Bronx Community College
  6. Tennessee State University

RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/geoag-annual-conference-tickets-174148993327

We will forward to seeing you or one of your colleagues on the First Friday in February 2022.  Feel free to share and post this invitation to those interested in innovation and research.

Click here to view the flyer: GeoAg 2nd Annual Conference Feb 4 2022.jpg



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U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Chamber News

Transition of the Data Universal Numbering System Number to the Unique Entity Identifier in the System for Awards Management (DoD)(acq.osd.mil)

Upcoming Web-Conference Meetings

GovCon Optimization | Introduction to GovCon Optimization, 03/15/22

Registrations Now Open! National Small Business Federal Contracting Summit | Spring Virtual 3/9/2022 – 3/10/22  Accepting Nominations – 2022 USWCC Women Contractor Awards 



Student Opportunities, Internships & Employment Opportunities!



Analyzing Relationships Between Disability, Rehabilitation & Work (ARDRAW) Small Grant RFA Released for 2022!

Get funded for your graduate student research project! Applications for Research Stipends Due: Friday, February 25, 2022. For more information and to applyhttps://ardraw.policyresearchinc.org



Mission in Motion: HBCU Engagement and Collaboration

Government, industry, academia, and non-profits share many goals for research collaboration and diverse talent development. Mission in Motion: HBCU Engagement and Collaboration, is a forum that brings together research-minded and partnership leaders from all sectors to strengthen and build intentional, collaborative relationships with HBCUs. Convened by the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), Mission in Motion will be held March 28-29, 2022, at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta and is co-hosted Atlanta University Center Consortium, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College. At this one-of-a kind event, you’ll meet with and learn from your peers in government program leadership, academic and corporate engagement, research administration, and talent development in general sessions and breakouts. Learn more and register.



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Giant Eagle Jobs-Information Technology

Giant Eagle Jobs – Information Technology  Showing the top 20 jobs – View All Jobs



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 U.S. Department of Labor

Below is a link to this weeks’ job announcement highlightsFULL list of application links for all DOL career opportunities can be found at https://www.usajobs.gov/Search?d=DL

VETERANS’ EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES (VETS)

Veterans Program Specialist – https://www.usajobs.gov/job/630662900

 As of 1/14/22 there are 176 DOL agency career opportunities!. List changes daily! Check it out!        



SSA

Social Security Administration Fellowship and Grants Opportunities!

The Social Security Administration is offering various fellowship and grant opportunities for students in a variety of disciplines at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College https://crr.bc.edu/about-us/grant-programs/Please market these student opportunities in the Department of Education’s weekly newsletters on a continuous basis from now until the application period closes on January 31, 2022.

We are also offering opportunities in the Analyzing Relationships between Disability, Rehabilitation and Work (ARDRAW) Small Grants Program https://ardraw.policyresearchinc.org/. information webinar on January 13. 2022 and application due date is February 25, 2022 this and additional information is contained on the attached link.  Please market these student opportunities in the Department of Education’s weekly newsletters on a continuous basis.



advisory council oh histric preservation

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation invites college students to join us for a four-part webinar series this spring semester, featuring interactive conversations with leaders in the field of historic preservation, as well as inspirational individuals who are engaged in preserving, restoring, interpreting, and discussing the history and heritage of African Americans in the United States through the power of historic sites.

To register for one or more of our FREE webinars, just click on the following link: https://achp.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_DmZEwJcvS2ax7wZQm9rqIg

  • January 26, 7 p.m. ET – Find a Career in Historic Preservation and Related Fields
  • February 23, 5 p.m. ET — Interpreting Enslaved People’s History Into Historic Sites
  • March 30, 2 p.m. ET –Preserving African American Burial Sites
  • April 27, 5 p.m. ET- Natural Disasters and Their Threat to Historic Preservation

To register for one or more of our FREE webinars, just click on the following link: https://achp.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_DmZEwJcvS2ax7wZQm9rqIg


advisory council oh histric preservation

ACHP Internship Opportunity for Newsletters

Are you, or do you know of, a student interested in the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources? The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in Washington, D.C., has internship opportunities available for undergraduate or graduate students, as well as individuals at an early stage of their career and professional development. A small, independent federal agency, the ACHP oversees the historic preservation review process for federal projects and manages a variety of preservation programs dealing with national preservation policy and legislation, Native American interests, building a more inclusive preservation program, promoting public appreciation of cultural heritage, sustainability, community revitalization, economic development, and youth engagement.

Candidates should have an interest in historic preservation and may come from a wide variety of disciplines, such as history, architectural history, archaeology, planning, law, architectural design, cultural resource management, communications, or education. Selected interns complete projects contributing to or broadening awareness of the work of the ACHP nationwide. Specific assignments are developed based on current agency needs and the skills and interests of selected interns. Interns become familiar with the full range of work of the agency through orientation, training, and by participating in meetings to observe the development and implementation of federal historic preservation policy, as well as in programs with others interning at related agencies and organizations. Advisory Council members, staff, and the ACHP Foundation assist interns with networking and advice.

Summer internships generally last 10 weeks/full-time or part-time and will be carried out remotely in 2022. Projects can be designed so that academic credit can be awarded, and professional staff members supervise all interns. The ACHP Foundation provides a stipend equivalent to $15/hour.

Interested applicants should apply using this form and a resume. Send to Judy Rodenstein, Internship Program Coordinator, at jrodenstein@achp.gov. The deadline to apply in Feb. 11, 2022.



African American Musuem

National Museum of African American History and Culture is Hiring!

Meaningful internships offering hands-on experience in digital preservation of African American history and culture.

Deadline is February 15, 2022. See attached flyer!



NASA logo

University Student Research Challenge (USRC)

Amendment 2 to the NASA ARMD Research Opportunities in Aeronautics (ROA) 2021 NRA has been posted on the NSPIRES web site.

University Student Research Challenge (solicitation NNH21ZEA001N-USRC) seeks to challenge students to propose new aeronautics ideas/concepts that are relevant to NASA Aeronautics.  USRC will provide students, from accredited U.S. colleges or universities, with grants for their projects and includes the challenge of raising cost share funds through a crowdfunding campaign.  The process of creating and implementing a crowdfunding campaign acts as a teaching accelerator – requiring students to act like entrepreneurs and raise awareness about their research among the public.

The solicitation goal can be accomplished through project ideas such as advancing the design, developing technology or capabilities in support of aviation, by demonstrating a novel concept, or enabling advancement of aeronautics-related technologies.

Notices of Intent (NOIs) are not required for this solicitation.  Three-page proposals for the next USRC cycle are due February 24, 2022.

Proposals can also be submitted later and will be evaluated in the third cycle. The due date for the third cycle is June 23, 2022.



Energy logo

U.S. Department of Energy

Omni Technology Alliance Internship Program

The DOE Omni Technology Alliance Internship Program provides paid 10-week summer internships for up to three consecutive summers for talented undergraduate and graduate students in Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and other related fields.

Interns will hold appointments at DOE national laboratories, Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), plants, DOE Headquarters, and other approved sites.

Interns will receive hands-on experience in an immersive environment that provides them with an understanding of the mission, operations, and culture of DOE. Moreover, interns will be mentored by leading scientists, engineers, and other top professionals to address cybersecurity and information technology challenges while gaining valuable, real-world experience to complement their education and open opportunities for careers within the federal government.

For more information, click here: https://orise.orau.gov/doe-omni/index.html



Brazil

2021 U.S.-Brazil Innovation Fund Grant Competition

All higher education institutions in the United States are invited to apply for a grant competition with SENAI (Brazilian National Service of Industrial Training) Higher Education Schools and Innovation Institutes. The competition is sponsored by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative. Proposals must promote academic exchange and training for students in the fields of: i) Internet of Things (IoT), ii) Cloud Computing, iii) Big Data, iv) Cybersecurity, v) Artificial Intelligence, vi) Environment & Climate Solutions, vii) Human Rights and Public Policy, viii) Health Sciences and Public Health, ix) Education (Technology & Distance/Virtual Ed), x) Biotechnology, xi) Business Development, xii) Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), xiii) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The intent of this Innovation Fund grant competition is to award up to six (6) Innovation Fund Grants of up to US$34,250 each to selected proposals co-developed by teams of U.S. and Brazilian eligible institutions (SENAI Higher Education Schools and Innovation Institutes), pending the proposal evaluation and selection process.

Application Period: October 14, 2021 – March 28, 2022

For more information, visit: http://www.100kstrongamericas.org/grants/



National and Federal Opportunities



NEA logo

National Endowment for the Arts

Research Awards Application Guidelines Webinar,Hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts

Feb 9, 2022 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Research Grants in the Arts funds research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life. NEA Research Labs funds transdisciplinary research teams grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, yielding empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike.

Registration is required for the webinar.

Closed captions will be available during this webinar. Should you need ASL or Spanish interpretation, please email events@arts.gov by Friday, January 21st, 2022.



NASA logo

The NASA SBIR and STTR 2022 Phase I Program Solicitations are now open, with proposals due by March 9, 2022, at 5:00 pm ET.

The annual NASA SBIR and STTR Phase I solicitations are your invitation to join a community of NASA experts, small businesses, and research institutions who are researching and developing the technologies of tomorrow. If selected, you could be awarded up to $150,000 to further develop your technology idea. And Phase I is just your start…you can receive up to $1.15 million during your first three years, plus up to nearly $3 million or more through our Post Phase II opportunities. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your submission:

1. Carefully read the solicitation(s) you’re applying to, including:

  • Chapter 2, which has information about how to complete the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SAM.gov registration processes: SBIR | STTR
  • Chapter 9, which contains the Focus Area and Subtopics that you will need to choose from: SBIR | STTR

2. Attend the January 20th “Dissecting the Solicitations” webinar. A recording will be posted on the program’s website if you are unable to attend.

3. Consider applying for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program and/or Technical and Business Assistance (TABA), which help small businesses commercialize their innovations through additional funding and other support. You’ll be able to indicate interest in either one when submitting your proposal.

4. Review other materials available on the NASA SBIR/STTR program website, such as:

  • The Firm Templates, which will get you familiar with required forms
  • The Resource Library, especially the “Preparing for a Phase 1 submission to increase likelihood of award” section We look forward to receiving your proposals by March 9, 2022, at 5:00 pm ET


IES

Institute of Education Sciences

IES Invites Applications for The Community College Recovery Research Network

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is encouraging applications from eligible postsecondary education agencies , community college systems, and researchers to the Improving Pandemic Recovery Efforts in Education Agencies grant program (84.305X), to examine recovery activities in community colleges. This grant program seeks to address disruptions caused by COVID-19 which have led to significant reductions in overall enrollments for learners at community colleges, stressed the existing support systems that community colleges use for meeting learners’ academic and non-academic needs, and highlighted existing disparities between community colleges and four-year institutions. IES encourages applicants to proposed projects that address the needs of student subgroups that have disproportionately been affected by COVID-19 including low-income students, racial/ethnic minority students, students experiencing homelessness, students with disabilities, migrant students, and students with low English proficiency.

More information about applying to this grant program can be found at the Funding Opportunities at IES web page. Interested applicants should consult the Request for Applications for the full set of eligibility and application requirements. Some key dates and resources are as follows:.

  • January 31, 2022: Deadline for submitting a prospectus (not required) of your project plan to the program officer (by midnight). The program officer will review prospectuses and provide written feedback by COB on February 11, 2022.
  • March 10, 2022, by 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time: Applications are due.
  • September 1, 2022: Approved projects will start.

If you have questions about the Community College Recovery Research Network, please feel free to email the program officer responsible for this competition: James.Benson@ed.gov


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U.S. Department of Agriculture

About the Farm to School Grant Program On an annual basis, USDA awards competitive Farm to School grants that support planning, developing, and implementing farm to school programs. USDA’s Farm to School grants are an important way to help state, regional, and local organizations as they initiate, expand, and institutionalize farm to school efforts.

FY2022 Request for Applications (RFA) Now Available!

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Farm to School Grant Program RFA is now available through www.Grants.gov. Be sure to visit the Grant Applicants Resources page to access other helpful resources, including links to webinars that provide specific assistance on applying for a Farm to School Grant.

Application Period Opens for Rural Business Development Grants

The Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues.

Rural public entities are eligible to apply, including but not limited to: towns/local government, state agencies, authorities, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, federally-recognized Tribes, and rural cooperatives (if organized as a private nonprofit corporation).    RBDG funds must be used for projects that benefit rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more.

Applications must be submitted to Rural Development by February 28, 2022, 4:30 p.m. local time.



IES logo

Joint IES and NSF Funding Opportunity for National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

IES has partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in a new funding initiative to encourage scientists to focus on research and development of AI-driven innovations to radically improve human learning and education.

As a result of this partnership, IES is providing partial funding for NSF’s National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes – Accelerating Research, Transforming Society, and Growing the American Workforce (Solicitation 22-502) under Theme 6: AI-Augmented Learning to Expand Education Opportunities and Improve Outcomes. This theme has two tracks associated with the two IES Research Centers:

  • Theme 6 Track A: AI-Driven Digital Platforms to Expand and Accelerate STEM Learning in PreK-12 Settings. Under Track A, NSF and the National Center for Education Research intend to fund an institute that will advance AI research on digital learning platforms and create next-generation architectures for preK-12 STEM learning. Through this track, researchers are invited to propose to study the design and implementation of AI technologies (such as intelligent/cognitive tutors) that support highly adaptable, personalized, and distributed systems to expand access, equity, and depth of learning across diverse learners, institutions, and settings.
  • Theme 6 Track B: AI-Augmented Learning for Individuals with Disabilities. For Track B, NSF and the National Center for Special Education Research intend to fund an AI Research Institute that will advance AI-driven research and innovations for learners (birth through postsecondary) with or at risk for physical, cognitive, or social and behavioral disabilities, aiming to transform identification, assessment, and support for these learners. This institute will be funded through the American Rescue Plan and proposals must discuss how the work will respond to the needs of learners with or at risk for a disability in an area where the COVID-19 pandemic has further widened existing gaps and/or resulted in decreased access and opportunities for students with disabilities to learn and receive support services.

We strongly encourage education and special education researchers to consider applying to this funding opportunity by establishing partnerships with experts in the field of AI to design a research-based approach to meet the goals of Theme 6.

Please review the full solicitation for more information about each track and additional requirements for this AI Institute. Additional program-related announcements and resources, including information about an upcoming webinar and FAQs, can be found here. Note the following important dates:

  • The deadline for required preliminary proposals is January 14, 2022
  • The deadline for full proposals is May 13, 2022
  • Projects can start as early as June 1, 2023 (For the work focused on students with disabilities (Track B) the start date can be as early as January 1, 2023)

The Institute of Education Sciences is the independent research, evaluation, and statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Visit the IES website, sign up for the IES news flash or follow IES on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.



Critical Minerals Webinar Recording

Author: Our Energy Policy Staff      Published: 1/18/22        OEP

Critical Minerals Webinar Recording
Critical Minerals: America's Achilles' Heel?
Watch our most recent webinar on critical minerals! It featured Sharon Burke (Ecospherics), Morgan Bazilian (Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines), Melanie Kenderdine (Energy Futures Initiative), and Aaron Thiele (Office of Senator Lisa

5 Promising Renewable Energy Organizations in Africa

Author: African Green Revolution Staff        Published:  9/27/21        AGR

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There are several up-and-coming renewable energy organizations, we have listed 5 great start-ups.  Africa has an enormous amount of energy power potential.  And Africa has the potential to produce tons of renewable energy, however, two out of three Africans lack access to electricity — that’s 621 million people. Brighter Africa also reported that the sub-Saharan Africa area has 13% of the world’s total population and 48% of those without electricity.

Sub-Saharan Africa is currently in an energy crisis. However, technologists and entrepreneurs from Africa are finding solutions to their energy problems. It could lead to a 27 percent reduction in carbon emissions if sub-Saharan Africa promotes renewables.  Bloomberg recognized Africa as a leader in renewable energy.

 

Five Startups That Help Africa Power Its Energy:

1. M-Kopa Solar

M-Kopa capitalized on Africa’s popularity for mobile phones to start a pay-as-you-go solar revolution. Customers can replace their kerosene lamps with solar lamps and radio/phone charging stations via SMS messaging using mobile money networks in a few months.

Image: m-kopa.com

The founders of M-Pesa in Kenya, a popular mobile money system that has been a model for others, founded the company. This company provides customers with solar lamps that can also recharge their mobile phone or radio.

M-Kopa customers love the service because it is affordable and simple to use. M-Kopa’s customers also like that it is easy to pay for. M-Pesa is a Kenyan mobile money service that is highly regarded.

2. Quaint Global Energy Solutions

Quaint Global, based in Nigeria, is developing 50 megawatts of renewable energy to provide electricity to Kaduna State. The company is currently in collaboration with Tetra Tech, an American company.

Access Infra Africa is a company that specializes in developing, owning, and managing power assets. In June 2020, Access Infra Africa signed a joint agreement with Quaint Global Energy Solutions in order to invest $100 million in the ABIBA Solar Project in Nigeria.

This Nigerian company expands renewable power projects and got a US Trade and Development Agency grant as part of Power Africa, a US government initiative. Quaint Global and Tetra Tech (a California-based energy project developer) are working together on a feasibility study to determine the best path forward for the project. This effort will provide 50 megawatts of clean energy for Kaduna State in Nigeria. It could also generate more than $160million.

3. Freedom Won

This startup is focusing on electric vehicles. Their first cars were electric Jeep Grand Cherokees that were used to drive tourists on safaris. They have since developed an energy storage system that can enhance lithium-ion battery performance. Called FreedomCOR, the design is similar to the Tesla Powerwall.

Image: freedomwon.co.za

Freedom Won is a cutting-edge energy storage system that significantly increases operational efficiency and service life at a fraction of the cost of other options.

We have Africa’s unique power needs covered with our superior range of LiTE batteries (LiFePO4-Lithium Iron Phosphate). Freedom Won’s Lithium LiTE batteries are the best choice for those who want to make advancements in renewable energy.

The South African company was established in 2011 to develop Africa’s electric vehicle and clean energy solutions. They developed Freedom1, the first prototype of an electric vehicle. Since then, several others have been built, mainly for safari drives and wildlife tourism.

Freedom Won has created a wall-mounted Tesla Powerwall like system, the FreedomCOR. It uses lithium-ion battery storage to store renewable energy. These modular batteries range in size from 5 to 30 kilowatts for residential use or larger for industrial use and are said to last for up to 13 years.

4. African Clean Energy

For some people, the simple act of making a meal can be hazardous. Cooking using dirty fuels or even open pit fires causes accidents that kill four million people every year. African Clean Energy was concerned by this number and created a stovetop that can burn any biomass, consume 70% less energy, and cut costs by half. The ACE 1 Ultra-Clean biomass cookstove can also burn cleanly and is suitable for indoors.

This company estimates that around three billion people cook on open fires and with dangerous, dirty fuels, and accidents resulting from that kill four million people a year. African Clean Energy created the ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove to address this problem. It burns biomass cleanly indoors and outdoors. As a result, it cuts fuel consumption by about 70%, saves 50% on costs, and dramatically improves the lives and well-being of children and women who cook the bulk of the food.

The ACE One energy system provides an integrated energy solution to off-grid households in developing countries. It uses both thermal and electrical generation to offer a smokeless, clean cooking experience. In addition, it generates solar-powered electricity that can be used to charge phones and light up the room.

Hardware

The ACE One hybrid solar-biomass energy system is a combination of solar and biomass. It provides thermal and electrical energy for its users while emitting very little smoke, protecting their health.

The ACE One provides electricity access, allowing users to charge their phones or plug in the LED light accessory, which saves them money and makes the ACE One more affordable.

The ACE One’s efficient burning and ability to burn any dry solid biomass fuel (animal residue, crop residue, small sticks) reduces the demand for unsustainably harvested wood fuel and saves our environment.

Digital Infrastructure

The ACE One is being sold now as part of the ACE Connect package, including a second-use Samsung phone with a preinstalled ACE Connect application.

In 2019, we updated the ACE One to include ‘smart’ capabilities, allowing customers to connect it to their smartphones. Remotely, the new ACE One can be turned off remotely, which gives customers greater flexibility in their loan repayments and reducing the loan risk.

Customers can also track their loan repayments using the ACE Connect app. In addition, they can also communicate directly with their customer service team via the app.

Physical Infrastructure

A skilled team of maintenance services on the ground is ready to support their customers through any product malfunctions.

Teams of salespeople who travel to communities and demonstrate the ACE One. They can set up loans and contracts on the spot.

Expanding our physical infrastructure of mobile retail shops throughout our markets to give continuous access to clean energy products and services. This project is being co-funded by the European Union.

The ACE team is spread across three continents: the Netherlands, Lesotho, and Uganda, as well as Cambodia.

5. iCoal Concept Ltd

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center of the World Bank launched a mentorship program for crowdfunding for East African entrepreneurs to provide them financial services and mentorship. iCoal Concept Ltd was one of the selected startups which turns charcoal waste into modern energy. The company takes charcoal waste from the community and turns it into charcoal-based briques that are 35% cheaper than regular charcoal.

Kenyan households use 700 tons of charcoal per day. iCoal now handles the market and produces three tons of SmartCharcoal daily for farmers, hotels, and residential communities.

Innovative recycling is the name of this Kenyan company’s game, and it’s safe to say they’re winning right now

iCoal Concept Ltd. transforms the charcoal from the community into briquettes that can be used for powering homes. Recycled briquettes cost 35% less than regular coal. The company’s efforts will help Kenyans improve their quality of life as well as energy efficiency.

iCoal is a market leader in developing climate change solutions that will help achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The following interventions are part of their mission and goals:

This information is intended to motivate individuals and private sector organizations to act on climate change. This information is shared through various platforms, including periodic newsletters and magazines sent to clients, websites, and social networks.

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Democratic Sens. Manchin and Sinema Effectively Kill Voting Rights Bills

Author: Stacy M. Brown        Published:  1/14/22      WI

**FILE** Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat (Wikimedia Commons)

President Biden has whiffed in his attempts to persuade holdout Senate Democrats to go around or abolish the filibuster to get voting rights legislation through Congress.

The White House, led by the president, had engaged in a fiery campaign to push bills through that would protect voters against the cavalcade of suppression laws that have passed in Republican-led states in reaction to former President Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 election.

Any hopes of getting legislation through were quashed when Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) reiterated their refusal to change Senate rules so that the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act could pass.

The two renegade Democrats pre-empted Biden’s visit to the Capitol in embarrassing fashion. Before he arrived, the duo took to the Senate floor to declare they would not support any changes to the filibuster under any circumstances.

Unless the president and other Democrats miraculously find at least two Republicans to vote favorably for changing the rules and cast ballots in favor of voting rights legislation, the push to blunt suppression through lawmakers will have died.

Biden and administration officials had declared to get the bills passed by any means necessary.

“Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we come back and try it a second time,” Biden offered. “We missed this time.”

In a conciliatory tone, the president described the harm that anti-voting laws may cause.

“And the state legislative bodies continue to change the law not as to who can vote, but who gets to count the vote — count the vote,” Biden asserted.

“It’s about election subversion, not just whether or not people get to vote. Who counts the vote? That’s what this is about. That’s what makes this so different than anything else we’ve ever done.”

He continued:

“I don’t know that we can get it done, but I know one thing: As long as I have a breath in me, as long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moving.”

US DOE Is Hiring Clean Energy Corps

Author: US DOE Staff       Published: 1/13/22       SETO

Video Url Scheduled for Jan 24, 2022

Hear from Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, Department of Energy’s Chief of Staff Tarak Shah, and Chief Human Capital Officer Erin Moore about the brand-new Clean Energy Corps. Fight the climate crisis with our expert staff, billions of dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, world-class National Labs and technology, and the benefits of government employment.
US Department of Energy

Who We’re Looking For

Addressing the climate crisis will require a large, ambitious, and talented team of America’s best and brightest. The Clean Energy Corps is dedicated to fighting climate change through public service and supporting American competitiveness on a global scale.  To meet this challenge, DOE is hiring a team of industry veterans, experienced technical experts, and the next generation of climate leaders. We’re looking for individuals who are ready to act at this critical moment, we need YOU.

While not an exhaustive list, DOE is looking for candidates in the following career fields to support the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law:

  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Engineering
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Grants/Contract Management
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology/Cybersecurity
  • Legal
  • Legislative Affairs
  • Physical Science
  • Program and Portfolio Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Policy
  • Safety and Occupational Health

1. Careers

Whether you’ve been working on Clean Energy issues for decades or are just starting out – we want you as part of the Clean Energy Corps. Apply Now!

DOE’s Clean Energy Corps is comprised of the staff from more than a dozen offices across DOE — current staff and new hires — all working together to research, develop, demonstrate, and deploy solutions to the world’s greatest challenge. The Clean Energy Corps is a diverse group of talented individuals committed to public service and with a mission of supercharging the clean energy revolution.  This is YOUR opportunity to join us in making that future a reality. Regardless of whether you are new to clean energy, or have been doing this work for years — we want YOU as part of our Clean Energy Corps.

DOE is collecting resumes for candidates interested in becoming part of the Clean Energy Corps via our Applicant Portal. The Applicant Portal is a streamlined application process which will allow applicants to align their talents with their passion by indicating specific areas of interest and allow hiring managers throughout the agency to review candidate resumes simultaneously to find the best fit for YOU in DOE.

 

As the largest funder of clean energy technology in the country, DOE has led the way on the innovations that have brought us the wind, solar, and energy efficient technology we know today. Now, with the investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE’s Clean Energy Corps will be able to do even more. With a focus on deploying next generation clean energy technology, the Clean Energy Corps will help America meet its goals of a carbon-free power sector in 2035 and a decarbonized economy in 2050. But we can’t do it without YOU.

The Clean Energy Corps is hiring NOW. We need talented, diverse, kind, and hardworking people like you to join this team.

With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Clean Energy Corps is charged with investing more than $62 billion to deliver a more equitable clean energy future for the American people by:

  • Investing in American manufacturing
  • Creating good paying jobs
  • Expanding access to energy efficiency and clean energy for families, communities, and businesses
  • Delivering reliable, clean, and affordable power to more Americans
  • And building the technologies of tomorrow through clean energy research, development, and demonstrations

We are looking for new team members from every community in America who are passionate about solving the climate crisis, are team players, and are  willing to give their all to this fight. We know the only way we’ll be able to bring the innovative solutions we need to the massive challenges we face is with a diverse team ready to serve. That starts with YOU.

Staff positions are available across the country and many opportunities offer the ability to work remotely.  And, as a Federal employer, we welcome candidates that have served our country in other capacities such as the military and the Peace Corps. Learn more about the Benefits of Working at Energy.

As the nation’s Solutions Department, there is no better institution than the Department of Energy to take on this challenge and help our nation transform our energy system for the 21st century.

 

An attack on solar net metering threatens Florida’s disadvantaged communities

Author: Lewis Jennings      Published: 1/13/22      NAACP

Lewis Jennings

High energy bills are a persistent monthly burden for everyone, but it weighs especially heavy on disadvantaged communities. Between recent utility rate increases and volatile natural gas prices, the financial drain on already challenged household budgets shows no sign of easing.

To lower costs and take control of their own energy consumption, some members of minority and low- to moderate-income communities have turned to solar power. However, the state’s monopoly utilities are leading an attack on this cost-saving energy option by pushing for unfair changes to the state’s solar net metering policies.

Net metering is a billing system that allows homeowners who have installed solar to send any extra power their panels produce back to the energy grid, in exchange for credits that lower their bills. This fair system benefits both homeowners and utilities by letting homeowners cut down on energy costs and utilities resell the excess power for a profit.

Unfortunately, big utilities are bent on furthering their monopolies and expanding their record-breaking profits even more – all at the expense of consumers. They are pushing the Florida Legislature to essentially do away with net metering and the benefits it brings to homeowners.

They also have a history of using front-line communities and people of color to shield their greedy intentions, going so far as claiming that net metering actually increases these groups’ utility rates.

This simply isn’t the case. Solar homeowners make investments in solar themselves and provide power that adds a net benefit to the energy grid. This reduces costs for everyone, and that’s especially important for disadvantaged customers suffering under skyrocketing energy costs.

Power companies have a history of profiting off low-income and minority communities. They recently pushed for rate increases that will add up to billions of dollars over the next few years, and customers will be socked with the bill. The worst effects will be felt by poor communities, where too many residents already live without consistent access to electricity.

Utilities already left these vulnerable groups in the dark during the COVID-19 pandemic. They shut the lights and air conditioning off on over 500,000 Floridians at the height of the public health and economic crisis. While too many of our neighbors struggled to pay their utility bills, they brought in record earnings in 2020.

Power companies’ attack on home-based solar energy demonstrates their continued insistence that their customers rely on outdated, dangerous sources of energy that put Florida closer to the devastating consequences of climate change. That poses an even greater threat to minorities and disadvantaged communities, as they will experience the first and worst damage from the warming climate.

For the sake of these vulnerable communities, Florida must ensure that important clean energy policies are preserved and advanced. The Legislature should stop this unfair, unwanted attack on net metering and the Florida communities who benefit from it.

Lewis Jennings serves as the Environmental & Climate Justice Chair for the NAACP Florida State Conference.

“The Invading Sea” is the opinion arm of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a collaborative of news organizations across the state focusing on the threats posed by the warming climate.

 

Supreme Court Strikes Down OSHA Mandate, Says Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Workers Can Proceed

Author: Megan Redshaw          Published: 1/13/22               CHD

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for large businesses, but ruled separately that a mandate for healthcare workers can move forward.

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the Biden administration’s mandate requiring employees of large businesses to be vaccinated against COVID or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask indoors while working.

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the Biden administration’s mandate requiring employees of large businesses to be vaccinated against COVID or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask indoors while working.

The court’s conservative majority said the administration overstepped its authority by imposing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees.

At the same time, the court allowed to move forward a separate rule mandating COVID vaccines for workers in healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid.

The Supreme Court on Jan. 7 heard oral arguments pertaining to both of the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandates. The focus of the hearing was whether to stay or to grant temporary injunctions requested by plaintiffs in a number of lawsuits challenging the emergency mandates for millions of Americans.

At the time, the rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), was stayed for 24 states that initiated lawsuits, but the OSHA stay was lifted by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court’s decision today reversed the lower court rulings, imposing a stay on the OSHA mandate and allowing the CMS rule to proceed.

 

 

Today’s rulings came three days after the OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard went into effect, targeting more than 84 million workers and two-thirds of the nation’s private-sector workforce.

The conservative justices wrote in an unsigned opinion:

“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.”

The conservative majority also expressed concerns over the implications of allowing OSHA to implement a widespread mandate without congressional authorization.

“Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life — simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock — would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization,” the opinion stated.

A majority of the Supreme Court’s justices concluded the applicants challenging OSHA’s mandate were likely to succeed in the merits of their claim and the secretary of labor lacked authority to impose the mandate, resulting in a stay while the case works its way through the 6th Circuit Court.

“Administrative agencies are creatures of statute,” the justices wrote. “They accordingly possess only the authority that Congress has provided.”

In a joint dissent of the OSHA ruling, the court’s three liberal justices argued the court was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts.

“Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies,” Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a joint dissent.

The justices contended OSHA’s mandate is comparable to a fire or sanitation regulation imposed by the agency, while the majority said a vaccine mandate is strikingly unlike the workplace regulations that OSHA has typically imposed as a vaccination “cannot be undone at the end of the workday.”

DOE Sets 2025 Community Solar Target to Power 5 Million Homes

Author: US DOE Staff              Published: 10/ 8/ 2021        SETO

National Community Solar Partnership - to 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar's Pathway to Success - Annual Summit January 25, 2022

2025 Milestone Will Play a Key Role in Achieving Justice40 Goals and Create $1 Billion in Energy Savings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a new National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) target: to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. Reaching these milestones will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and ensure that all Americans can reap the benefits of renewable energy while building community wealth and resiliency.

“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.”

There is enough solar installed to power 19 million households across the United States. Despite this unprecedented deployment, many Americans still lack access to affordable solar electricity, including many renters, homeowners who lack affordable financing options, and those without suitable roof conditions. Community solar is a form of energy generation where members subscribe to a portion of a solar array, usually located near their community. As the solar array produces energy, subscribers receive a portion of the revenue from the energy produced, typically as savings on their monthly electric bill — a critical factor for low-income and disadvantaged communities whose energy burden is three times higher than for non-low-income households.

There is enough community solar installed in the U.S. today to power 600,000 households—achieving DOE’s new NSCP target would mean an increase of more than 700% in the next four years. The recently released Solar Futures Study report from DOE and National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows how solar can play a major role in a decarbonized grid.

The NCSP is a DOE initiative led by the Solar Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with the NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The partnership includes a coalition of community solar stakeholders, such as State, local and Tribal governments, solar developers, and community-based organizations, working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household. Partners leverage peer networks as well as technical assistance funding and resources to overcome the persistent barriers to expanding community solar access with a focus on those in underserved communities. As of September 2021, NCSP had over 650 members from over 440 partner organizations.

The Sharing the Sun report released by NREL in collaboration with NCSP shows that community solar can lead to substantial bill savings—from 5 to 25%. Achieving $1 billion in cost savings would mean that, on average, community solar projects would provide a 20% bill savings. This target, along with other potential solutions for equitable community solar deployment, was informed by NCSP stakeholders in a recent request for information.

To achieve these new targets, DOE is offering free, on-demand technical assistance to NCSP partnership members. Technical assistance provides personalized support to organizations deploying community solar to help them accelerate implementation, improve the performance of their program or project, and build capacity for future community solar development. NCSP has already distributed $1 million for technical assistance and hopes to provide $2 million in the next year.

Learn more about NCSP and join the partnership.

2022 National Community Solar Partnership Annual Summit

Author: US DOE Staff       Published: 1/13/22       SETO

National Community Solar Partnership - to 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar's Pathway to Success - Annual Summit January 25, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hosting the second National Community Solar Partnership Annual Summit on January 25th, 2022.

REGISTER FOR THE SUMMIT HERE

This year’s summit theme, ‘To 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar’s Pathway to Success,’ reflects National Community Solar Partnership’s new target goal to power the equivalent of 5 million households with community solar by 2025, realizing $1 billion in energy bill savings for subscribers. Through stakeholder feedback and market analysis, the Partnership has developed a roadmap to address persistent barriers affecting equitable access to community solar across the country.

At the Annual Summit in January 2022, NCSP and DOE leadership will discuss the plan to reach this new goal – what achieving it will mean for the community solar industry, and why, with the support of our growing community, we are confident we can reach it.

Agenda

Time Session Title Speaker(s)
11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Welcome Address Principal Deputy Asst. Secretary Kelly Speakes-Backman, U.S. Department of Energy
11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. National Community Solar Partnership Target and Modeling Pathway to Success Moderator: Nicole Steele, U.S. Department of Energy
Roundtable Guests:
Jenny Heeter, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dave Feldman, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Ammar Qusaibaty, U.S. Department of Energy
11:50 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Break
11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Keynote Address TBA
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. State Engagement Roundtable TBA
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m Lunch Break
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Access to Financing Roundtable Moderator: Jahi Wise, Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Finance, White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy
Roundtable Guests:
Eric Hangen, University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy;
Michelle Moore, Groundswell;
Victor Rojas, Sustainable Capital Advisors
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Technical Expertise and Capacity Building Roundtable Roundtable Guests:
Ajulo E. Otho, Esq., Enerwealth Solutions;
Sandy Fazeli, National Association of State Energy Officials;
Travis Neal, Orcas Power and Light Cooperative;
Lauren Westmoreland, Stewards for Affordable Housing
3:00p.m. – 3:05 p.m. Break
3:05p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Messaging and Recognition Roundtable Moderator: Katherine Hamilton, Chair, 38 North Solutions
Roundtable Guests:
Zaid Ashai, Nexamp;
Kiran Bhatraju, Arcadia;
Julia Hamm, Smart Electric Power Alliance;
Kristal Hansley, WeSolar
3:50 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Partner Commitments and Next Steps Nicole Steele, U.S. Department of Energy

For regular event updates and access to exclusive National Community Solar Partnership resources and opportunities, register to join the Partnership today. Membership in the National Community Solar Partnership is free and open to any community solar stakeholder located or doing business in the U.S.

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to communitysolar@ee.doe.gov for more information.

Learn more about the National Community Solar Partnership.

Federal Resources for Rural America

Author: Aspen Hill Staff           Published: 1/13/2021          Aspen Institute

 

The passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides new and expanded opportunities for rural America, and more federal legislation is forthcoming. On this webpage, Aspen CSG is collecting links and resources explaining federal opportunities for rural people and places. We are trying to be as rural-specific as possible with these resources, but some collect rural information alongside urban and suburban-relevant information. The understanding of how this bill will affect rural America is evolving, so check back regularly for more information.

Indigenous youth on the steps of the Capitol

Learn about RPP:  Within the Congressional budget reconciliation package – which is in active negotiation right now – a proposed Rural Partnership Program (RPP) would make flexible funding available across the country to regional and local collaboratives. RPP represents a new approach for how federal resources can support rural America.

Click to Visit the Proposed RPP Info Page

Events | Federal Resources | Tools | News and Analysis

Timely Events and Notices

January 18-20: USDA ReConnect Application Workshop on applying for ReConnect funds. Register here.

January 25: National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call, hosted by the EPA. Participation in the call will be on a first-come first-serve basis – register here.

January 26-27: White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council Public Meeting. Register here and learn more about WHEJAC here.

February 6-9: 2022 AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference. Learn more and register here.

February 8-10: USDA ReConnect Application Workshop on applying for ReConnect funds. Register here.

February 17-18: Save the Date for Bridges: Building Resilience: Regional Readiness for Investment & Growth in the South conference. Hosted by the Southern Crescent Regional Commission Coalition and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Register here.

April 4-7: Appalachian Regional Commission Outdoor Economy Conference. Get tickets here.

May 20 – 21: Save the Date for the Regards to Rural Conference. Hosted by Rural Development Initiatives.

Find past workshop recordings at the USDA Rural Development YouTube Channel.

Back to top

Federal Agencies Resources

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • NEW: LIHEAP and ERA Winter Month Energy Assistance Resources. Click here for the DHS Memorandum. Click here to access the new LIHEAP clearinghouse webpage.
  • ACF and USDA joint resource guide to strengthen and expand child care facilities in rural communities. Read it here.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • NEW: DOC’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is seeking public comments on issues related to rural areas and rural minority business enterprises. Deadline: January 25, 2022. Provide comments here.
  • DOC’s Good Jobs Challenge is making funding available for projects that will strengthen regional workforce training systems to help workers find quality jobs. Deadline: February 10, 2022. Apply here.
Department of Energy (DOE)
  • NEW: DOE offers free technical assistance for advancing Tribal energy projects to federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal entities. Request assistance here.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • NEW: HUD is providing waivers and flexibilities from the requirements for Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG), and Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) grantees located in areas that are covered by Presidentially Declared Disasters (PDDs)Learn more here.
  • NEW: HUD has prepared a guide on CDBG-CV Rural Coronavirus Response. It describes and provides examples of how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funds can be used for eligible activities to support issues facing rural areasView here.
  • HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program can support experienced legal service providers in providing free legal assistance to low-income tenants who are at risk of eviction. View here.
Department of Labor
  • NEW: YouthBuild, a community-based alternative education program for youth, is supporting organizations with pre-apprenticeship programs focusing on education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and high-quality post-program placement opportunities to opportunity youth. Deadline: January 21, 2022View here.
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • NEW: EDA is providing funding to help Indigenous communities recover economically from the pandemic through their Indigenous Communities Program. Deadline: September 30, 2022. Apply here.
  • EDA’s ARP Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation grant will fund infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects to help local tourism industries recover from the pandemic. Deadline: January 31, 2022. Apply here.
  • EDA has made a Coal Communities Commitment to allocate $200 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants (Deadline: March 31, 2022) to coal communities. Learn more here.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • NEW: EPA Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities Grant supports local efforts to monitor air quality. Approximately $2 million each has been set aside for tribal governments and community-based organizations. Deadline: February 25, 2022. Learn more here.
  • EPA will be providing $50 million in ARP funding available to improve ambient air quality monitoring for communities across the United States. Stay tuned here for updates as they announce more details in Fall 2021. Learn more here.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides discounts for broadband service and specific technology purchases for eligible households. Apply here.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • NEW: HRSA’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is providing funding to strengthen and expand the prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance use disorder and opioid use disorder. Deadline: January 13, 2022. Apply here.
Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • NEW: IHS Tribal Self-Governance Planning Cooperative Agreement Program supports Tribes in tailoring their health care programs to their needs. Deadline: February 10, 2022. Learn more here.
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
  • NEW: IMLS Native American Library Services Basic Grants Program is assisting Native American tribes in improving core library services for their communities. Deadline: March 1, 2022. Learn more here.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Park Service (NPS)
  • NEW: NPS Tribal Heritage grants are providing funding to assist Indian Tribes, Alaskan Native Villages/Corporations, and Native Hawaiian Organizations in protecting and promoting their unique cultural heritage and traditions. Learn more here.
United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD)
  • Useful Link: USDA RD’s full list of grant and loan programs- from broadband to business development to water infrastructure- can be found by clicking this link.
  • New: USDA RD Seeks Applications to Advance Equity and Expand Regional Economies in Distressed Rural Communities. The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant program encourages a regional, innovation-driven approach to economic development by funding job accelerator partnerships in low-income rural communities. This includes communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. Deadline: April 19, 2022. Learn more and apply here.
  • NEW: USDA RD Non-Profit Transfer Technical Assistance Grant is accepting applications from qualified nonprofits (NP) and public housing authorities (PHA) to assist Multi-Family Housing borrowers and applicants. Deadline: February 8, 2022. Apply here.
  • NEW: USDA RD is implementing a common application – the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative – for four of their key programs: the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantee Program; the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program; the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program; and the Rural Energy for America Guaranteed Loan ProgramLearn more here.
  • NEW: USDA RD Business & Industry Loan Guarantees program gives lenders loan guarantees for their loans to rural businesses. Applications are accepted year-round. Learn more here.
  • NEW: USDA RD Seeks Applications for Rural Energy for America Program. Funds are being made available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). USDA is seeking applications for Fiscal Year 2022 funding. The deadline is March 31, 2022. Applications for technical assistance grants are due Jan. 31, 2022. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.
  • NEW: USDA RD Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is now accepting applications for fiscal year 2022 for the ReConnect Program, which is providing $1.15 billion in funding to help people in rural areas get access to high-speed internet. Application deadline: Feb. 22, 2022.
  • NEW: USDA RD recently announced that they are seeking applications to support rural communities in regional economic and community development planning through the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) initiative. This program includes several different types of grants in FY2022, including funding for community facilities, water, and wastewater disposal. Apply here.
  • USDA RD‘s Electric Infrastructure Loan Program is offering insured loans to finance the construction of electric distribution facilities in rural areas. Deadline: Ongoing. Apply here.
  • USDA RD created a guide on how rural communities can leverage USDA resources to build a stronger workforce. View here.
  • USDA RD unveiled a resource guide in both English and Spanish as part of National Preparedness Month to help rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance.
  • USDA RD Stakeholder Announcement to Prioritize Investments That Address Top Challenges in Rural Communities. Read it here.
  • USDA RD‘s telecommunications infrastructure program is providing financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas. Deadline: Ongoing. Apply here.
  • USDA RD Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Examples of community facilities include hospitals, courthouses, child care centers, museums, food pantries, and more. Deadline: ongoing. Apply here.
  • USDA RD Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are providing up to $500 million in grant funding to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Deadline: until funds are expended. Learn more and apply here.
  • USDA RD recently announced that it is seeking applications to implement projects supported by regional economic and community development planning to help the people of rural America build back better. Read the news release.
  • USDA RD Rural Business Development Grants provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses; rural public entities are eligible to apply. Deadline: February 28, 2022. Learn more here.
  • USDA RD’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Products Manufacturing Assistance Program is providing loan guarantees to assist with the implementation of the following new technologies: advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and biobased products. Deadline: April 1, 2022. Learn more and apply here.
  • USDA RD developed a resource guide for rural communities to develop their recreation economy. View the guide here.
  • USDA RD released a new resource guide to help rural community leaders start and expand employment opportunities and access resources to train, recruit and create a sustainable rural workforce. View and download the guide here.
  • USDA RD Water & Waste Disposal Grants can help reduce health risks caused by a lack of access to clean, affordable water and waste disposal on Tribes and Colonias. Deadline: Rolling. Apply here.
  • USDA RD Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program supports Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) with training, technical assistance, loans, and grants. Apply here.
  • USDA RD is providing grant funding for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. Deadline: March 31, 2022. View here.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Other
  • NEW: USDA Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program aims to establish an Extension presence and support Extension outreach on Federally Recognized Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions of Federally-Recognized Tribes. Deadline: February 25, 2022. Apply here.
  • NEW: USDA Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education Grant provides funding for nutrition education activities through the annual appropriations bill. Deadline: March 1, 2022. Learn more here.
  • NEW: USDA Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program offers guaranteed loans for qualified lenders to finance food systems projects. Learn more here.
  • NEW: USDA‘s new Biofuel Producer Program contains $800 million to support biofuel producers and infrastructure. Read the news release here.
  • NEW: USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (LFPA) builds non-competitive cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments and awards money for purchasing food from historically underserved farmers and ranchers. Deadline: April 5, 2022. Learn more here.
  • NEW: USDA Farm and Food Worker Relief Grant Program provides grants to State agencies, Tribal entities, and nonprofit organizations for supporting farmworkers and meatpacking workers. Deadline: February 8, 2022. Apply here.
  • NEW: USDA Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) program provides USDA Foods to income-eligible households living on Indian reservations, and to American Indian households residing in approved areas near reservations or in Oklahoma. Many households use the FDPIR program as an alternate to SNAP, which may be not be accessible. Learn more here.
  • NEW: USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program are supporting support the planning, development, and implementation of farm to school programs. Deadline: January 10, 2022. Apply here.
  • NEW: USDA is accepting applications for two scholars programs that aim to increase the number of minorities studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and the related disciplines – the 1890 National Scholars Program (Deadline: January 31, 2022) and 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities Program (Deadline: February 15, 2022).
  • NEW: USDA will be providing $7.5 million in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) grant awards to 29 states and territories in FY2022. Learn more about the grant program here.
  • USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Programs are providing zero-interest loans and grants to help local businesses create and retain jobs. Deadline: March 31, 2022 and June 30, 2022. Find more details here.
  • ACF and USDA joint resource guide to strengthen and expand child care facilities in rural communities. Read it here.
  • USDA recently released a new economic research report: Impact of USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Rural and Urban Economies in the Aftermath of the Great Recession. Read the report.
  • USDA released a new Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience that outlines USDA’s plans to mitigate climate change and reduce climate impacts. Read it here.
  • USDA Announces Additional Aid for the Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative. Read the announcement here.
  • Official USDA website explaining ARP and funding that USDA will implement. Breaks it into four large sections: nutrition assistance, supporting farmers and strengthening food supply, ensuring equity for farmers of color, and strengthening infrastructure, housing and health care in rural America. American Rescue Plan
  • USDA Article Rural Poverty Has Distinct Regional and Racial Patterns. Read the article here.
  • USDA ERS recently updated their research on rural poverty and well-being. View the research here.
US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
US Treasury
White House
Resources from Non-Federal Organizations

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Tools for Rural Communities

NEW: White House Build Back Better Rural Fact Sheet: How the Build Back Better Framework Helps Rural Communities.

NEW: IRS has created a series of helpful videos that explain how the Child Tax Credit works and what steps people should take to receive advance CTC payments. Learn about the Child Tax Credit.

USDA Office of National Drug Control Policy Federal Resources for Rural Communities to Help Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse. Community Toolbox document gathers dozens of federal resources in one place. See the Toolbox.

USDA ERS state fact sheets and county-level data sets were recently updated with the decennial census population data for 2020. View state fact sheets. View county data.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help renters and landlords pay rent, cover utilities, and make up for a loss in rental income. Find your local program and housing assistance here.

White House Fact Sheet on what steps the Biden administration is taking through the ARP to improve the health of rural communities. Read it here.

US Senate has released a title by title summary of ARP spending, based on the Act passed by the Senate on March 3. Title by Title Summary.

USDA Fact sheet on ARP. FACT SHEET: United States Department of Agriculture Provisions in H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan

US Treasury Breakdown of ARP Assistance to Families FACT SHEET: The American Rescue Plan Will Deliver Immediate Economic Relief to Families | US Department of the Treasury

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News and Analysis on Federal Policy

For each resource, if there is rural-specific information, we note it in red.

AGRICULTURE

AGree’s Climate, Food, and Ag Dialogue (CFAD) has released policy recommendations through which the USDA can encourage adoption of agricultural conservation practices and promote resiliency. CFAD’s Policy Recommendations

Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) provides an analysis of ARP looking specifically at Food Systems. Food Assistance in American Rescue Plan Act Will Reduce Hardship, Provide Economic Stimulus

AG Web Editorial: Agricultural and Rural Provisions of the American Rescue Plan of 2021

BROADBAND

Brookings analysis on what the Senate did and did not do in their $1 trillion Infrastructure Bill’s to expand broadband access. The Senate infrastructure bill’s four interconnected broadband components

American Library Association brief on broadband opportunities within the ARP. Includes rural specific information. Broadband Funding Opportunities in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Robert Bocher

BUDGET

Daily Yonder analysis of Biden’s budget proposal for rural and its relation to previous legislation (ARP). Biden’s First Budget Proposal Recognizes Some Rural Needs

CHILDREN

CLASP brief provides state agencies with recommendations for how they can use ARP child care relief funds to best meet the needs of immigrant families and providers. Supporting Immigrant Providers and Families
Through Child Care Relief Funds

Fact-sheet on using ARP dollars for child care centers. How States Can Improve Child Care Facilities & Physical Spaces Using Federal Relief Dollars

Daily Yonder What the American Rescue Plan Means for Child Poverty in Rural America

COMMUNITY

Broadband USA’s Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program has released multiple webinars and resources explaining their grant opportunities. Watch the webinars here.

Partners for Rural Transformation policy brief shows how Congress’s system to disburse federal housing & community development funds is unfair: Equity in Federal Housing and Community Development Funding: A Proposal for a National Floor

LISC Federal Policy + Community Development: Experts Look at Ways to Fuel a Transformative Recovery

National Community Action Partnership: A fact-sheet produced by NCAP on benefits from ARP. New American Rescue Plan Benefits for Families

EDUCATION

Inside Higher Education: Editorial on funding for colleges as part of the American Rescue plan.

The Education Trust provides analysis of ARP’s impact on education issues specifically looking at issues of equity. Not rural specific in program analysis. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – What’s in It for Equity

Brookings report on ARP specifically looking at education. No specific rural breakout. Building back better: The promise of the American Rescue Plan for education

EQUITY

PolicyLink 10 Priorities for Advancing Racial Equity Through the American Rescue Plan: A Guide for City and County Policymakers

Brookings report focusing on issues of structural racism and how the ARP may address them.  Connects to rural areas by funding program analysis. Will the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan address structural inequality?

Civil Eats Editorial Op-ed: $4 Billion in Debt Relief Is a Start, but the Fight is Not Over for Black Farmers

GENERAL

Nonprofit Quarterly article by Andrew Crosson: Countering Rural Disinvestment: Appalachia’s Ecosystem-Based Approach

The Center for Sustainable Infrastructure and CleanTech Alliance spoke with supply chain innovators about tackling not only pollution from their direct operations but from the bigger, broader challenge of their global supply chains. Watch the recording here: Cleaning the Chain Workshop.

World Resources Institute Report on the Economic Benefits of the New Climate Economy in Rural America. Read it here.

Western Governor’s Association Chair and Idaho Governor Brad Little launched WGA’s Working Lands, Working Communities Initiative. Watch the Launch Webinar.

California Coalition for Rural Housing has put together a Practitioner’s Guidebook on Affordable Housing and Natural Disasters.

National Community Action Partnership breakdown of new ARP benefits for families. New American Rescue Plan Benefits for Families.

National League of Cities has published great resources explaining the key details of the ARP. About ARPA. |  Top FAQs regarding ARPA. | Local allocations by Metro City.

US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs testimony by Lisa Mensah on how CDFIs can collaborate with the federal government to fund public infrastructure and rural and tribal housing. Testimony of Lisa Mensah

Brookings report discusses the importance of creating a national rural strategy and intentionally designing federal legislative actions to meet the unique needs of rural communities. Will Biden deliver for rural America? The promise of the American Rescue Plan

National Council of Nonprofits analysis of ARP and its impact on nonprofit organizations and they people nonprofits serve. More of a General Resource. The American Rescue Plan Act | National Council of Nonprofits

KTTC Secretary of Agriculture breaks down the American Rescue Plan for rural communities

Vermont Biz: Matt Dunne: What does the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 mean for rural America?

Daily Yonder Editorial Commentary: Biden’s American Rescue Plan Keeps Promise to Rural America

GEOGRAPHY

National League of Cities has created an extensive, searchable summary of provisions relevant to municipalities and local leaders in this historic legislation. American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Summary of Provisions. They have also created a searchable list of estimated appropriations by municipality. Estimated Local Allocations.

National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) breakdown of ARP funding for state and local governments.  Breaks out funding by issue area but not by rural separately. American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ncsl.org)

Brookings report focusing on how local leaders should use their ARP funding utilizing the goals of stability, immediate impact, inclusivity, future prosperity, how ARP can complement efforts already underway and how to organize through Regional Recovery Councils. How should local leaders use their American Rescue Plan funding?

Center for American Progress provides summaries of ARP and specific state breakdowns for: New Hampshire, Nevada, Maine, Georgia, Arizona, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Also provides analysis around issue areas and for state and local governments. American Rescue Plan

NACO American Rescue Plan Helps America’s Rural Counties

HEALTH

Rural Assembly has put together a collection of COVID-19 vaccine resources for rural communities. Find the resources here.

American Hospital Association (AHA) analysis of the ARP. Includes specific information on rural hospitals and health care related to COVID pandemic. Summary of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Provisions Affecting Hospitals and Health Systems | AHA

National Law Review provides analysis on healthcare provisions in ARP, including for rural America. Healthcare Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

NATIVE NATIONS

Indian Country Today breakdown of the different funding streams that Indian Country could access through the ARP. Tribal leaders, experts talk American Rescue Plan’s impact

Indian Country Today website has a breakdown of ARP programs for Tribal and Native Nations perspectives. Chair Grijalva hails passage of American Recovery Plan

TAXES

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) analysis of EITC and Child Tax Credit for rural America. Rescue Plan’s Expansions of Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit Will Benefit Rural Residents.

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Registration Now Open for Energy Department’s National Science Bowl

Author: US DOE Staff             Published: 1/11/22          SETO

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

High school and middle school teams nationwide can now sign up to compete in one of the nation’s most prestigious and largest academic science competitions

Washington, D.C. – Registration has now opened for the 32nd National Science Bowl (NSB), hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Thousands of students compete in the contest annually as it has grown into one of the largest, academic math and science competitions in the country.

Teams of students – four or five students and a teacher who serves as a coach – can sign up to participate in the NSB by registering with the coordinator for their regional competition. Details can be found on the NSB registration page. The competition is divided into two categories: high school and middle school. Regional competitions typically last one or two days and take place throughout the country between January and March.

During the competitions, students participate in a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math. To help prepare, teams can use sample questions from the NSB website.

The winning team from each qualifying regional competition will be eligible to compete in the National Finals held in Washington, D.C., from April 28 to May 2, 2022, with all expenses paid. The national event consists of several days of science activities and sightseeing, along with the competitions. Depending upon guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Maryland, and the District of Columbia, the National Finals may be changed to a virtual event.

“The National Science Bowl® is a great opportunity for young people across America to come together through science, and I’m honored to announce the start of this year’s competition,” said U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk. “Good luck to our competing students – our future scientists, innovators, and leaders of our nation.”

The top two high school teams nationwide win educational adventure trips. The top middle and high school teams also win funds for their schools’ science departments.

The top 16 high school and middle school teams in the National Finals also will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.

Approximately 325,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl® in its 31-year history. Each year, more than 14,000 students compete in the NSB.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl® and sponsors the NSB finals competition. More information is available on the NSB website: https://science.osti.gov/wdts/nsb.

US DOE SolSmart Funding Program

Author: US DOE  Staff            Published: 1/11/22        SETO

SolSmart Funding Program graphic

Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) established a national recognition and technical assistance program, SolSmart, for local governments—driving greater solar deployment and making it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access affordable and renewable solar energy to meet their electricity needs. The program also provides technical assistance and shares best practices with communities seeking national recognition for cutting red tape and improving local solar market conditions.

On April 27, 2016 the SPARC awardees announced the SolSmart designation and technical assistance program. Communities now have the opportunity to receive one of three designations and will be nationally recognized for their participation. No-cost technical assistance is also available for communities striving to achieve SolSmart designation. Communities can apply for SolSmart designation and apply to host a SolSmart Advisor.

On May 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office announced the SolSmart Program Management funding program, which will award $8 million–10 million to one entity that will manage and expand DOE’s SolSmart program. At that time, more than 400 communities in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have received SolSmart designations for streamlining processes that make it faster and easier to deploy solar energy, attract investment, and lower energy costs for families and businesses. On September 28, 2021, Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm announced a goal of 460 SolSmart-designated communities by March 2022.

Objectives

The SolSmart designation, coupled with robust and agile technical assistance, will spur communities across the country to earn recognition for achievements that distinguish them from their peers as they become more solar-friendly, and in doing so, ignite local solar markets while establishing consistency in solar practices across the country. SolSmart supports the goals of the Solar Energy Technologies Office to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to go solar.

Approach

This program will establish prominent national leadership recognition and technical assistance programs for local governments. SPARC has two topic areas: the designation program administrator (topic A), which will establish, name, and maintain the program, and the technical assistance provider (topic B), which will provide technical assistance to help communities achieve ambitious goals that eliminate market barriers and reduce soft costs. Local governments that qualify for recognition will receive a prominent designation and join a peer network of leading communities across the country.

2016 Awardees

THE INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

Location: Washington, D.C.
DOE Award Amount: $3 million
Awardee Cost Share: $180,000
Project Summary: This project will create a national program to prominently recognize local governments across the country for their efforts to build stronger local solar markets. With guidance from a panel of industry experts, the project team will craft a fresh and accessible designation program signaling that participating communities are prepared to build local workforces and economies through solar market growth. To spur innovation and friendly competition among communities, the team will provide annual awards for achievements in various categories. The awards and other competitions will celebrate communities and other stakeholders that break new ground and make remarkable progress.

THE SOLAR FOUNDATION

Location: Washington, D.C.
DOE Award Amount: $10 million
Awardee Cost Share: $270,000
Project Summary: This project will provide technical assistance support to communities pursuing the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) designation. The team will enable at least 300 communities across the U.S. to qualify for the SolSmart designation via a three-pronged approach to delivering technical assistance: one on one technical assistance delivery to communities from a team of experienced national experts; the use of SPARC Corps Fellows to help select communities identify and reduce soft cost barriers; and peer mentorship and learning.

Solar energy is the fastest growing and most affordable source of new electricity in America. Over 3 million installations have been built across the country—with 1 million being built in the last two years. As the cost of solar energy systems dropped significantly, more Americans and businesses have taken advantage of clean energy.

Going Solar

Learn how you can start the process of getting a solar energy system on your roof or through a community solar system. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out what’s best for you. Have you gone solar? Tell us your solar story.

HOMEOWNER RESOURCES

COMMUNITY SOLAR RESOURCES

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