Biden-Harris Administration Launches $675 Million Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program to Expand Domestic Critical Materials Supply Chains

Author: US DOE Staff       Published: August 9, 2022     EERE NEWS

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the development and implementation of a $675 million Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration, and Commercialization Program. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will address vulnerabilities in the domestic critical materials supply chain, which are both an economic disadvantage and an impediment to the clean energy transition. Critical materials, which include rare-earth elements, lithium, nickel, and cobalt, are required for manufacturing many clean energy technologies, including batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. The program will advance domestic sourcing and production, strengthening America’s position as a global manufacturing leader.

“We can follow through on President Biden’s clean energy commitments and make our nation more secure by increasing our ability to source, process, and manufacture critical materials right here at home,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supporting DOE’s effort to invest in the building blocks of clean energy technologies, which will revitalize America’s manufacturing leadership and bring along the benefits of good paying jobs.”

Global demand for critical materials is expected to increase by 400-600% over the next several decades. For certain materials, such as lithium and graphite used in electric-vehicle batteries, demand is expected to increase by as much as 4,000%. DOE’s comprehensive strategy calls for increased domestic raw-materials production and manufacturing capacity, which would reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, secure America’s clean energy supply chain, and introduce more jobs associated with the clean energy transition.

Established through the Energy Act of 2020 and expanded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE’s Critical Materials Program will develop materials, components and technologies, promote efficient production and use, circular economy approaches, and ensure a long-term, diverse, secure, and sustainable supply of critical materials. The Critical Materials Research Program will expand on DOE’s decade-long history of investment in critical materials supply chains, which includes fundamental research on materials science, separation science, and geoscience; public-private partnerships, such as the Critical Materials Institute; and efforts to validate and commercialize new technologies through demonstration projects.

The Critical Materials Research Program RFI solicits feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, state and local coalitions, labor unions, tribes, community-based organizations, and others, on the structure of these programs, timing and distribution of funds, and selection criteria. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 9th, 2022 and can be submitted to CriticalMaterialsProgramRFI@ee.doe.gov.

The Roadmap to Equity: Implementing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities at DOE

Author: US DOE Staff       April 12.2022        SETO

Energy.gov

On his first day in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” In doing so, the President called for a total transformation of the government into an entity that centers the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and underserved communities.

At the Department of Energy (DOE), this meant embarking on a range of efforts focused on identifying barriers for underserved communities to access DOE programs, benefits, services, or procurement opportunities, all areas that further the Biden Administration’s whole-of-Government approach to advance equity.

Across the complex we engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of the whole of our activities, including deep assessments in Procurement, Financial Assistance, Research and Development (R&D), Demonstration and Deployment, and Stakeholder Engagement. These five subject areas were led by senior leaders from across the Department and supported by over 150 personnel.

Finally, after over 10 months’ worth of planning, the Department submitted its first-ever plan to advance equity and diversity at the agency to the White House.

DOE Equity Action Plan

DOE’s new Equity Action Plan puts a spotlight on equity and justice which are at the heart of the agency’s mission. From households that experience the brunt of energy burdens and battle energy insecurity to universities using Department funding to accelerate the deployment and adoption of cleaner, more affordable power, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to deliver on this promise.

Within this new roadmap are five strategic equity goals which are the foundation for helping us create a more inclusive, diverse environment. These pillars, which will be carried out over the next several years, include:

  1. Addressing gaps in data collection to facilitate data-informed decision-making
    The first action is foundational because it will allow the Department to know where it stands regarding who participates in its business opportunities. With this information, we will be able to effectively strategize to ensure all communities benefits from the Department’s resources. From then on, each successive goal aims to increase participation by underserved communities.
  2. Increasing opportunities for new applicants to DOE funding opportunities
    Our second goal aims to improve how the DOE communicates about its opportunities and alleviate resource constraints (e.g., financial, IT, human resources, etc.) through a range of activities, including the creation of a central portal for DOE acquisition opportunities and streamlining and/or relaxing subcontracting requirements.
  3. Increasing participation in DOE R&D and financial assistance programs
    The third goal seeks to increase diversity in financial assistance from the agency. This goal includes the full spectrum of R&D activities, including basic and applied research, for women; Small Disadvantaged Businesses; Minority Serving Institutions, persons with disabilities; Black, Latino, Indigenous, and Native American persons; Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; and the LGBTQIA+ community.
  4. Expanding strategic Tribal and stakeholder engagement across DOE programs
    Goal four stands alone because we understand that stakeholder engagement is critical to building trust with diverse stakeholders and Tribal entities. We aim to build this trust by bringing in experts in stakeholder engagement that can create a unified, DOE-wide tribal and stakeholder engagement plan.
  1. Improving access and equity in DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
    Finally, DOE will take actions to improve the accessibility of WAP by lowering deferral rates and improving the efficiency of the energy auditing process so that dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons can receive the benefits of WAP.

Embedding Equity into DOE

While our Equity Action Plan is a big leap forward in bringing the President’s executive order to life, this is just one way we’re advancing equity within the Department. Within the past year since this legislation was signed, we’ve provided $12 million to 13 Native American and Alaska Native communities for projects that will reduce energy costs and increase energy security and resiliency, piloted a program requiring all financial assistance applicants to submit a plan demonstrating how federally funded financial assistance projects will incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion elements to promote the representation and participation of different groups in the R&D space, and designed the Communities Local Energy Action Program pilot,  specifically open to low-income, energy-burdened communities to help develop community-driven plans to more effectively leverage public and private sector resources to reduce local air pollution, increase energy resilience, lower utility costs and energy burdens, and create good-paying jobs.   Transforming our energy system into any equitable one starts with us – and it starts with ensuring our own practices and policies support America’s diverse energy prosperity.

Bottom line: we can no longer think of equity, justice, and fairness as only ideals. Instead, they must be guiding principles we are held accountable for every day that turn into meaningful actions. Through these commitments at the Department – and across the entire federal government – we can begin the work to undo the injustices faced by our country’s BIPOC citizens and underserved communities.

Click here to read our Equity Action Plan in full.

Click here to learn more about the Administration’s Equity Agenda.

Click here to learn more about government-wide equity efforts. 

N.C. A&T LANDS $23.7M GOOD JOBS CHALLENGE GRANT FOR CLEAN ENERGY WORKFORCE TRAINING

Author:  Jackie Torok          Published: 8/3/2022          NC A&T Research and Economic Development

Chancellor Martin with Greensboro Mayor Nancy VaughnChancellor Martin with Greensboro Mayor Nancy VaughnN.C. A&T Commerce

Chancellor Martin with Greensboro Mayor Nancy VaughnEAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 3, 2022) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a $23.7 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on Wednesday to create STEPs4GROWTH, a clean energy workforce training program.

North Carolina A&T’s portion of the overall $500 million Good Jobs Challenge, which is funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, is the largest among the 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country and is single-largest award the university has received for research.

“Through this important project, North Carolina A&T will play a leading role in preparing well-trained workers to fill the many skilled jobs in America’s rapidly growing clean energy sector,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “The prescient work of A&T engineering faculty and principal investigators on this grant, Balakrishna Gokaraju and Greg Monty, has culminated in a novel program for delivering education credentials through stackable certificates.

“Their training program will contribute significantly to preparing the highly skilled clean energy workforce of the future.”

STEPs4GROWTH will create quality, demand-driven training for the region’s growing clean energy sector. With a focus on equity, the program will use mobile training units in 16 economically distressed North Carolina counties to remove barriers to access and deliver training where workers are. STEPS4GROWTH will serve as a national training model that will create a diverse talent pipeline to support the economy.

“This is the first-ever Commerce Department initiative where we are totally focused on job training,” said Raimondo. “That’s what this is about – real jobs, family-sustaining jobs that everybody can get.”

Joining Raimondo on the A&T campus for the historic announcement were Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo, Congresswoman Alma Adams ‘68, Gov. Roy Cooper, N.C. Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders, N.C. Department of Revenue Secretary Ronald Penny, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth Biser, state Sen. Gladys Robinson and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn.

Business leaders from Duke Energy, Siemens Energy, Piedmont Services Group, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association were also on hand.

Untitled photo

“We are on the cutting edge of the clean energy economy,” said Cooper, noting North Carolina’s ranking by CNBC and Business Facilities magazine as the top state in the country to do business. “This transformative grant will invest in our state’s diverse workforce as we continue to create high-paying clean energy jobs and bolster North Carolina A&T’s reputation as a national leader in preparing students for the economy of the future.”

A part of the project, more than 40 employers – including Strata Clean Energy, Enviva, Siemens, Duke and Blue Ridge Power – have committed to hiring 3,000 STEPs4GROWTH trainees over four years, then 1,500 trainees every year afterward.

“I’m happy to pick up the baton here because, as y’all already know, our national champion Aggies know how to run a relay,” joked Adams, referring to A&T’s national championship 4×400 men’s relay team. “As the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, I know the power of partnerships with our historically Black colleges and universities. Few institutions are so critical, so central to their communities and their alumni, so HBCUS are a perfect place to build lasting relationships to unlock opportunity.”

The 32 awardee projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with stakeholders such as labor unions, community colleges and industry, these projects will solve for local talent needs, increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development. Through a holistic, integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunities and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a broad range of underserved communities and connecting workers with the training, skills, and support services needed to successfully secure a good job.

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Castillo. “Led by North Carolina A&T, the nation’s largest historically Black college and university, this program is bringing together education and clean energy employers to create an effective, inclusive workforce training program.”

“We are on a mission to make sure that every American – regardless of where they live or the color of their skin, how old they are, whether they are in recovery, formerly incarcerated – has a chance to get a real job,” said Raimondo. “You guys are working together as a team. When we sit down to say, ‘Where do we want to invest the money?’ we keep coming back here [to North Carolina] because we trust your stewardship. So let’s make this great.”

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

ALL NEWS

Solar Snapshot: New Investments in Grid Decarbonization, Community Solar, and Workforce Equity

Author: US DOE         Published:  8/4/2022          SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

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What’s Inside: Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), shares recent announcementsupcoming eventsproducts and publicationsand more.

If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can subscribe here.

Reach out to us at solar@ee.doe.gov with any inquiries or suggestions.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 26 seconds

Funding Opportunities and Prizes

New Funding to Support Grid Decarbonization

SETO, in conjunction with the Wind Energy Technologies Office, announced $26 million in funding for projects that demonstrate the reliable operation of a decarbonized electrical grid. The Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding opportunity will support the development of controls and methods for resources like solar and wind to provide the same grid services as traditional generation. Register for an informational webinar on Aug. 17 and submit a mandatory concept paper by Sep. 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

grid services

New Funding to Advance Workforce Equity

DOE announced $10 million in funding for the development of multi-stakeholder solar workforce programs. The Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding opportunity seeks projects that identify common challenges and opportunities to facilitate the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while supporting an inclusive workforce. Register for an informational webinar on Aug. 4 and submit a mandatory letter of intent by Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. ET.

workforce foa

Submit Your Letter of Intent for Photovoltaics Funding

Hurry! Mandatory letters of intent are due Aug. 5 at 5 p.m. ET for the Photovoltaics (PV) Research and Development funding opportunity. Academic institutions, for- and not-for-profit businesses, and state and local governments are all eligible to apply. SETO is interested in projects that reduce costs and supply chain vulnerabilities, further develop durable and recyclable solar technologies, and advance perovskite PV technologies toward commercialization.

Deadline Approaching for Funding to Study Solar and Agriculture

Applicants who submitted concept papers have until Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. ET to submit full applications for the Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale funding opportunity. SETO is interested in projects that examine how agrivoltaics can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry.


Summer Solar Savings Spotlight 🌟

This summer, DOE is highlighting its work to expand access to solar power so more families can save on their electricity bills. Learn more about the recent Summer Solar Savings announcements.

summer solar savings

New Award Program for Equitable Community Solar

The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar (The Sunny Awards) will recognize community solar projects and programs that increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities. Up to $100,000 in prizes and several special recognition awards will be shared with prize winners. Register for an informational webinar on Aug. 18 and apply by Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. ET.

The Sunnys

New Community Solar Subscription Platform

DOE and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are developing a digital platform that will connect low-income households to money-saving community solar projects. Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, D.C. will provide feedback, coordination, and data to test the operability, security, and performance of the platform during the pilot phase.

Request for Information (RFI) on the Community Solar Subscription Platform

DOE is seeking feedback on the structure of the community solar subscription platform from community-based organizations, community solar subscription managers and developers, state and local governments, researchers, and others. Responses are due Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. ET.

New Community Solar Utility Allowance Guidance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced new guidance that expands access to community solar programs among families living in HUD-assisted rental housing. Learn how states can request guidance and the implications for the equitable expansion of community solar.


Some Light 🌞 Reading

New Initiative to Expand Thin-Film PV Production

Earlier this week, DOE launched the Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Accelerator Consortium, a $20 million initiative designed to spur innovations in and boost manufacturing of CdTe solar cells. This research group seeks to make CdTe solar cells less expensive and more efficient while developing new markets for solar cell products, bolstering the domestic supply chain, and enhancing U.S. competitiveness.

CdTe

New Program to Expand Access to the National Labs

The Vouchers to Enable Laboratory and Organizational Collaboration for Innovation and Technology Improvements (VELOCITI) program connects solar entrepreneurs to research expertise and facilities at the national labs. VELOCITI provides vouchers for lab access to help with the development of innovative solar technologies.

Reminder: Vehicle-Integrated PV RFI

DOE seeks public input on challenges and opportunities for vehicles with integrated or attached PV systems. Submit your response by Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. ET.


Upcoming Events

Webinar: Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships Funding Opportunity

August 4 | 2 p.m. ETSETO will host an informational webinar to discuss the new funding opportunity and the areas of focus.

Webinar: Advancing an Equitable Solar Workforce

August 16 | 1 p.m. ETSETO will host a webinar with presentations on workforce challenges and opportunities, efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the solar sector, and potential ways for solar employers and labor unions to work together to ensure quality jobs and a stable workforce.

Webinar: Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration Funding Opportunity

August 17 | 1 p.m. ETSETO will host an informational webinar to discuss the new funding opportunity and the areas of focus.

Webinar: The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar

August 18 | 3 p.m. ETThe National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) will host an informational webinar to discuss the new prize program and how to participate.

Workshop on Solar Energy: Heliostats, Metrology Challenges, and Heliostat Consortium Funding Opportunities

August 24 | 3:30 p.m. ETThe Heliostat Consortium for Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power is hosting a workshop at the SPIE conference to bring together heliostat metrology experts and discuss challenges and funding opportunities.

Webinar: Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition

August 25 | 12 p.m. ETSETO will host an informational webinar to go over details about the Class of 2022-2023, including competition goals, participation options, rules, timeline, participation benefits, and more.

Webinar: Community Solar Resources for Multifamily Affordable Housing Providers

August 25 | 2 p.m. ETThe National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will host a webinar to introduce the resources developed to support Multifamily Affordable Housing providers in their efforts to accelerate deployment of community solar.


Products and Publications


In Case You Missed It

SolarAPP+ Industry Roundtable for Local Authorities and Installers

Watch the recording of a roundtable to learn from solar industry leaders and government officials about how SolarAPP+, a platform designed to improve the solar permitting process, can save communities time and money.

Webinar: Low-Income Community Solar Subscription Platform RFI

Watch the recording of this webinar to learn about the new Community Solar Subscription Platform and its goals to increase access to community solar that lowers energy bills, support customer acquisition, and accelerate low-income community solar development.

Webinar: Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity

A recording of this webinar about the new $27 million funding opportunity for projects that advance innovative product ideas, increase U.S. solar manufacturing, and expand private investment, especially in CdTe PV, will be posted soon.

32 Regional Partnerships Receive Once-In-A-Generation Funding from the American Rescue Plan to Develop Training Programs that Support Local Economies and Place an Additional 50,000 Workers in Quality Jobs

Author: EDA Staff  Published: 8/4/2022    EDA

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Media Contact:Office of Public Affairs, publicaffairs@doc.gov

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Winners of American Rescue Plan $500 Million Good Jobs Challenge to Expand Employment Opportunities

32 Regional Partnerships Receive Once-In-A-Generation Funding from the American Rescue Plan to Develop Training Programs that Support Local Economies and Place an Additional 50,000 Workers in Quality Jobs

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced grant awards to 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The Good Jobs Challenge is administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and will enable communities across the country to invest in innovative approaches to workforce development that will secure job opportunities for more than 50,000 Americans.

The 32 winning projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with labor unions, community colleges, industry, and other stakeholders, these projects will solve for local talent needs and increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development. This funding will advance a broad range of sectors—including agriculture and food production, energy and resilience, healthcare, manufacturing and information technology—jumpstarting the design, development, implementation, and expansion of training programs that are tailored specifically to each community.

“A trained workforce is essential to ensuring that the United States can compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department is able to make once-in-a-generation investments in industry-driven, and locally-led workforce systems that will create high-quality jobs and accelerate regional economic growth, especially for underserved communities.”

These projects will expand access to the workforce and increase labor participation through a focus on job quality and equity. The projects will serve and support a broad range of individuals from underserved populations across the country in urban and rural areas, including members of Latino, African American, Indigenous, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as women, the formerly incarcerated, and those recovering from substance abuse disorders. By providing access to high-quality jobs that include good pay, benefits and career mobility for Americans who need it most and simultaneously serving vital industries, these grants will support flourishing regional economies that in turn benefit the nation’s growth, competitiveness and resilience. Many of these investments also advance the goals of the President’s Talent Pipeline Challenge to create equitable workforce development opportunities for infrastructure jobs.

“Workforce development is a critical pillar to supporting innovative and competitive economic development, and the Good Jobs Challenge is working hand-in-hand with diverse partners and local leaders to strengthen local economic recovery and resiliency,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Good Jobs Challenge prioritizes employer leadership and hiring commitments, which we know are critical to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to reach their full potential and secure good jobs, leading to a stronger regional and national economy.”

“By integrating industry in every step of the talent development process, these awardees are focused on supporting underserved communities in diverse areas across the country, helping to remove systemic barriers for workers and connecting employers with the trained workforce they need to grow and sustain competitive local economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building more resilient, shockproof local economies. EDA is currently evaluating all applications and will announce grantees for the full suite of programs by September 30, 2022.

For more information, please visit our fact sheet. (PDF)

The project leads for each awardee are listed below. (Project summaries are available via hyperlinks.)

Alaska Primary Care Association (Alaska)Grant: $9.7 millionIndustry focus: Healthcare

Charleston Chamber Foundation (South Carolina)Grant: $8.4 million Industry focus: Healthcare

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (Illinois)Grant: $18.5 million Industry focus: Healthcare; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Information Technology

City of Birmingham (Alabama)Grant: $10.8 million Industry focus: Healthcare

City of New York Human Resources Administration (New York)Grant: $18.6 millionIndustry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Building and Construction

City of Springfield (Missouri)Grant: $17.5 millionIndustry focus: Healthcare; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Education

Dallas College (Texas)Grant: $8.8 millionIndustry focus: Bio-medical

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston (Massachusetts)Grant: $23 million Industry focus: Healthcare; Energy and Resilience; Childcare

Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees (Florida)Grant: $22.9 million Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Education

Foundation for California Community Colleges (California)Grant: $21.5 million Industry focus: Forestry and Fire Safety

Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (California)Grant: $23 million Industry focus: Professional and Financial Services; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Manufacturing; Building and Construction

Hampton Roads Workforce Council (Virginia & North Carolina)Grant: $11 million Industry focus: Water and Blue Economy; Energy and Resilience

Illinois Central College (Illinois)Grant: $14.6 million Industry focus: Information Technology

Lakota Funds (South Dakota) Grant: $5 millionIndustry focus: Building and Construction

Maryland Department of Labor (Maryland) Grant: $22.9 million Industry focus: Energy and Resilience

Miami Dade College (Florida) Grant: $10 million Industry focus: Information Technology

Mid-South Center for Occupational Innovation (Arkansas, Mississippi, & Tennessee)Grant: $21.5 million Industry focus: Building and Construction; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

Nevadaworks (Nevada) Grant: $14.9 million Industry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina)Grant: $23.7 million Industry focus: Energy and Resilience

North Central New Mexico Economic Development District (New Mexico)Grant: $6.4 million Industry focus: Healthcare; Building and Construction

Office of Workforce Strategy (Connecticut)Grant: $23.9 million Industry focus: Manufacturing; Healthcare; Information Technology; Bio-medical

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association Educational and Industrial Development Institute (Ohio)Grant: $23.5 million  Industry focus: Manufacturing

Persevere (Tennessee) Grant: $15.4 millionIndustry focus: Information Technology

Philadelphia Works, Inc. (Pennsylvania)Grant: $22.8 million Industry focus: Healthcare; Building and Construction; Energy and Resilience

Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board (Oregon) Grant: $3.4 million Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

The Chamber Foundation(Minnesota & North Dakota)Grant: $9.6 millionIndustry focus: Agriculture and Food Production; Information Technology; Manufacturing

UnidosUS (Puerto Rico & Colorado)Grant: $11.4 millionIndustry focus: Aerospace & Defense; Building and Construction; Professional and Financial Services

United Way of Central Iowa (Iowa)Grant:  $1.8 millionIndustry focus: Healthcare

University of Hawaii (Hawaii)Grant: $16.4 millionIndustry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Energy and Resilience; Film, Arts, & Media

Washington Student Achievement Council (Washington)Grant: $23.5 million  Industry focus: Healthcare; Information Technology; Professional and Financial Services; Energy and Resilience; Manufacturing; Building and Construction    

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital (Texas)Grant:  $12.1 millionIndustry focus: Building and Construction; Information Technology; Healthcare

WTIA Workforce Institute (Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington)Grant: $23.5 million Industry focus: Information Technology

Funding Notice: $26M for Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration

Author: US DOE  Staff      Published: 8/2/2022     SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Grid Services FOA

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) announced the Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding opportunity, which will award $26 million in funding for projects that demonstrate the reliable operation of a power system that has at up to 100% of its power contribution coming from solar, wind, and battery storage resources. Read the press release about this funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

Grid services, which largely involves maintaining the voltage and frequency stability, are critical to maintain reliability. Because new wind and solar generation are interfaced with the grid through power electronic inverters, they have different characteristics and dynamics than traditional sources of generation that currently supply these services. Demonstrating that a grid fully powered by inverter-based resources is as reliable or more reliable at providing these services is a key barrier to the clean energy transition.

Projects in this funding opportunity will support the development of controls and methods for inverter-based resources like solar and wind to provide the same grid services as traditional generation. These technologies will be validated through long-duration demonstrations at existing large-scale wind and solar generation facilities connected to bulk power system to show their capability of providing grid services at scale. Other projects will develop technologies to ensure system reliability and conduct large-scale studies of transmission protection systems to determine how they respond when sourced primarily by inverter-based resources.

DOE expects to make between 6 and 9 awards under this funding opportunity, each ranging from $2 million to $6 million. To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO and WETO are providing a Teaming Partner List where interested parties who would like to apply to the FOA may express interest to potential partners. Utilities, laboratories, equipment manufacturers, software vendors, engineering firms, and universities (including community colleges) are encouraged to apply.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory concept paper is due on Sept. 1, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET.

SETO and WETO will host an informational webinar on August 17 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the funding opportunity and the areas of focus. Register for the webinar.

Learn more about this funding opportunity and other open funding opportunities within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

DOE Launches Cadmium Telluride Research Group to Grow America’s Solar Industry

Author: US DOE Staff       Published: 8/1/2022      SETO 

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Administer Consortium to Rapidly Reduce Cost and Speed Deployment of American-Made Solar Technologies, Securing the Nation with Cleaner Energy and Good Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium—a $20 million initiative designed to make cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells less expensive, more efficient and develop new markets for solar cell products. CdTe solar cells were first developed in the United States and are the second-most common photovoltaic technology in the world after silicon. Without strengthened domestic manufacturing capacity, the U.S. will continue to rely on clean energy imports, exposing the nation to supply chain vulnerabilities while simultaneously losing out on the enormous job opportunities associated with the energy transition. The Consortium’s efforts to spur technological advancements will increase America’s competitiveness, bolster domestic innovation, and support clean electricity deployment supporting President Biden’s goal of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050.

“As solar continues its reign as one of the cheapest forms of energy powering our homes and businesses, we are committed to a solar future that is built by American workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE is proud to partner with leading solar researchers and companies to chart the future of CdTe technology, which presents an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers to help ensure our nation’s security while providing family-sustaining jobs.”

“To move America forward, we need an all-of-the-above strategy that propels our energy independence, lowers costs, and creates good-paying jobs. Northern Ohio has already revolutionized the field of solar technology,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). Now, through this remarkable partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Toledo, and First Solar – our region will become a hub of next-generation energy innovation that is built right here at home by Ohio’s workers.”

“Our world requires scientific innovation to address the inefficient ways we find, produce and consume energy,” said University of Toledo President DrGregory Postel. “The University of Toledo is proud to help power the future by leading this consortium that leverages our expertise in solar energy research and commercialization and strengthens our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and other leaders in this important and growing field.”

The new Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium will work on continued cost and efficiency improvements that will make CdTe cheaper and more efficient, and more competitive on the global market. To achieve these goals, the team has a broad research plan that includes CdTe doping strategies, characterizing and exploring new CdTe contacting materials, and work to enable a bifacial CdTe module that absorbs light from the front and back of the module. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will administer the consortium, whose leaders were chosen through a competitive solicitation NREL released last year. The consortium will be led by the University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar Inc., and Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc.

NREL will serve as a resource, support, and technical analysis center as the consortium develops a technology roadmap, conducts research to meet targets set within the roadmap, and regularly assesses the domestic CdTe supply chain for challenges and opportunities. The consortium aims to expand domestic CdTe photovoltaic material and module production, support the domestic CdTe supply chain, and enhance U.S. competitiveness.

DOE’s Continued Investment in CdTe Technology

DOE, through NREL and a longstanding partnership with First Solar, has been a leader in CdTe research. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports innovative research focused on overcoming the current technological and commercial barriers for CdTe cells. SETO has awarded funding for research, development, and demonstration of methods to improve reliability and lower the cost of CdTe technology.

DOE’s Solar Photovoltaics Supply Chain Review Report identified CdTe as an opportunity for expanding domestic production of solar panels, up to the limit that CdTe material availability allows, with little risk of being overtaken by low-cost foreign competition.

The FY22 Solar Manufacturing Incubator funding opportunity, announced last month, will support projects that ready new technologies and manufacturing processes for commercialization and demonstrate solutions that can boost domestic manufacturing of thin-film photovoltaics made from CdTe.

Learn more about the CdTe Accelerator Consortium.

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FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Six New Actions to Lower Electricity Bills for Working Families

Author: White House Staff      Published: 7/27/2022                  WHBR

Boosted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Actions to Connect More States and Families to Affordable, Reliable Solar Projects and Create Clean Energy Jobs

President Biden is laser focused on lowering energy costs for working families while creating good-paying jobs and tackling the climate crisis. As extreme heat continues to affect tens of millions of Americans, hitting low-income families harder than others, President Biden is implementing new programs to help maintain a consistent and affordable energy supply to cool their homes.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing six new actions to lower home electricity costs for hard-hit American families by increasing access to affordable and more reliable clean energy and create clean energy jobs:

LOWERING ELECTRICITY COSTS

  1. Connecting Families to Low-Cost Solar Power: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is issuing new guidance that – for the first time – will help enable families in HUD-assisted rental housing to subscribe to local community solar where available. With this guidance, HUD setting the stage for 4.5 million families to reap the benefits of community solar which, on average, can save families 10% per year on their electric bills. In some programs, such as the Washington, DC Solar for All program, savings to households from subscribing to local community solar can reach up to 50% per year.

This national guidance builds on recent state-specific guidance that HUD has provided to Illinois, Washington, DC and New York, that determined community-net-metering (CNM) credits would be excluded from household income and utility allowance calculations and therefore not increase housing costs for residents in properties participating in HUD Multifamily, Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance programs.

  • Connecting States to Low-Cost Solar Power: The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are announcing that Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, D.C. have signed up to pilot the Community Solar Subscription Platform which is designed to connect community solar electric bill savings projects to households participating in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). DOE estimates that families in the pilot states and Washington, DC will see over $1 billion annually in combined electric bill savings.
  • Empowering Rural Housing Authorities to Save Families Money: Building on guidance from last year, HUD will launch a new initiative to help small rural housing authorities make money-saving energy efficiency upgrades and retain the savings from those projects to reinvest in improvements to rural HUD supported rental housing.

CREATING CLEAN ENERGY JOBS

  • DOE is announcing the Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar, a new awards program to recognize communities that are implementing best-in class community solar programs and projects that lower costs and increase access for families.
  • Bringing New Federal Resources to Communities: HUD announced that HUD regional offices will convene stakeholders in their regions over the next 90 days to highlight federal funding sources– including funding streams from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and HUD programs such as the HOME Investment Partnerships program and the Community Development Block Grant – that can be used to support public facilities and increase affordable housing supply that improves energy efficiency.

These announcements are bolstered by funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which will create good-paying jobs in one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy – clean energy. And they build on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs focused on lowering utility costs and reducing energy use such as LIHEAP and the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Low-income households spend a disproportionate amount of their earnings on energy costs – according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool, the average low-income household spends almost 9% of their income on energy. That adds up to tens of millions of Americans who are forced to make hard decisions between keeping the lights on or staying cool, and making other essential purchases like food and medicine.

Today’s announcements further the President’s Justice40 Initiative which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, or overburdened by pollution.

Funding Notice: $10 Million for Solar Workforce Development

Author: US DOE Staff      Published: 7/29/2022       SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office 

Photo with two people working on a solar panel with the text "Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships"

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding opportunity, which will award $10 million for the development of collaborative workforce programs that will facilitate the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while supporting an inclusive workforce with opportunities for union membership. This opportunity is funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will enable more members of disadvantaged communities and energy justice populations to pursue careers in the solar energy industry.

While the solar industry is already more diverse than national averages, DOE is working to ensure that the solar workforce of the future is equitable, inclusive, and benefits all Americans, particularly disadvantaged communities. DOE expects that the industry will need to grow from 300,000 workers today to between 500,000 and 1,500,000 workers by 2035 to achieve decarbonization goals. These jobs should be accessible to workers from all backgrounds, provide competitive wages and benefits, and offer opportunities for union membership.

Projects selected for this funding program will be demand-driven and worker-centric, leverage existing infrastructure and resources, be sustainable and replicable, and prioritize energy justice issues.

Areas of interest include:

  • Apprenticeship readiness (pre-apprenticeship) or apprenticeship partnerships
  • Community-led training partnerships
  • Clean energy sector partnerships

This funding program supports the government-wide approach to addressing the climate crisis and maximize the benefits of the clean energy transition by empowering workers and advancing environmental justice.

SETO expects to make about 8 to 16 awards under the Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding program, each ranging between $250,000 and $1.5 million. SETO seeks applications from diverse teams of training providers, labor unions, non-profit community-based organizations, solar developers, educational institutions (including minority-serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities), tribal entities, and local governments.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a brief, mandatory letter of intent is due on September 13, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

SETO will host an informational webinar on August 4, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the funding program and the areas of focus. Register for the webinar.

Learn more about SETO’s workforce development programs and open funding opportunities within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar

Author:  White House Staff       Published:  7/27/2022            WHBR

Boosted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Actions to Connect More States and Families to Affordable, Reliable Solar Projects and Create Clean Energy Jobs

President Biden is laser focused on lowering energy costs for working families while creating good-paying jobs and tackling the climate crisis. As extreme heat continues to affect tens of millions of Americans, hitting low-income families harder than others, President Biden is implementing new programs to help maintain a consistent and affordable energy supply to cool their homes.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing six new actions to lower home electricity costs for hard-hit American families by increasing access to affordable and more reliable clean energy and create clean energy jobs:

LOWERING ELECTRICITY COSTS

  1. Connecting Families to Low-Cost Solar Power: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is issuing new guidance that – for the first time – will help enable families in HUD-assisted rental housing to subscribe to local community solar where available. With this guidance, HUD setting the stage for 4.5 million families to reap the benefits of community solar which, on average, can save families 10% per year on their electric bills. In some programs, such as the Washington, DC Solar for All program, savings to households from subscribing to local community solar can reach up to 50% per year.

This national guidance builds on recent state-specific guidance that HUD has provided to Illinois, Washington, DC and New York, that determined community-net-metering (CNM) credits would be excluded from household income and utility allowance calculations and therefore not increase housing costs for residents in properties participating in HUD Multifamily, Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance programs.

  • Connecting States to Low-Cost Solar Power: The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are announcing that Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, D.C. have signed up to pilot the Community Solar Subscription Platform which is designed to connect community solar electric bill savings projects to households participating in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). DOE estimates that families in the pilot states and Washington, DC will see over $1 billion annually in combined electric bill savings.
  • Empowering Rural Housing Authorities to Save Families Money: Building on guidance from last year, HUD will launch a new initiative to help small rural housing authorities make money-saving energy efficiency upgrades and retain the savings from those projects to reinvest in improvements to rural HUD supported rental housing.

CREATING CLEAN ENERGY JOBS

  • DOE is announcing the Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar, a new awards program to recognize communities that are implementing best-in class community solar programs and projects that lower costs and increase access for families.
  • Bringing New Federal Resources to Communities: HUD announced that HUD regional offices will convene stakeholders in their regions over the next 90 days to highlight federal funding sources– including funding streams from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and HUD programs such as the HOME Investment Partnerships program and the Community Development Block Grant – that can be used to support public facilities and increase affordable housing supply that improves energy efficiency.

These announcements are bolstered by funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which will create good-paying jobs in one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy – clean energy. And they build on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs focused on lowering utility costs and reducing energy use such as LIHEAP and the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Low-income households spend a disproportionate amount of their earnings on energy costs – according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool, the average low-income household spends almost 9% of their income on energy. That adds up to tens of millions of Americans who are forced to make hard decisions between keeping the lights on or staying cool, and making other essential purchases like food and medicine.

Today’s announcements further the President’s Justice40 Initiative which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, or overburdened by pollution.

Bowser Announces DC Government Job Fair: On the Spot Hiring August 11-12

Author: Washington Informer Staff    Published: 7/26/2022           WIN

Bowser Announces DC Government Job Fair: On the Spot Hiring August 11-12

With almost 1,000 job vacancies needing to be filled, the DC Department of Human Services will host a hiring event on August 11 and 12.

Congressional Committee to Hold Hearing with Gun Manufacturers Amid Rising Gun Violence

 

 

Senate Poised to Confirm Marines’ First Black Four-Star General

 

 

 

 

ONGOING COVERAGE

                       

                Our House DC: One Year Later

Our House D.C. opened dialogue and provided critical resources to readers that assisted homeowners, their communities, and local government agencies in practical solutions to a myriad of housing concerns.

Read more   /   Sign Up for Our House D.C. Newsletter

 

 

A Retiree’s Guide to Choosing Part-Time Work

Although retirement is a goal for most people, it doesn’t come without challenges. Once you’ve left the workplace, you might feel more socially isolated and disconnected from mental stimulation. You may also notice that you’re not as physically active since sitting at home is your only “required” activity!Read

 

 

Click the link below and visit Wibridge.com to read the newest issue.Read more

 

FACT SHEET: Department of Energy Releases New Notice of Sale as Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall

Ahor: Karien Jean- Pierre and Brain Desse    Published: 7/26/2022     Briefing Room

HBCU – Equity in Transportation Research & Funding Opportunities – YouTube

Author: Dawn C. Tucker-Thomas     Published: 7/25/2022        OST

All,

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Dr. Robert Hampshire and the Departmental Civil Rights Director Irene Marion, we would like to thank you for participating in the “Equity in Transportation Research and Funding Opportunities” webinar held Thursday, June 23rd. This webinar was part of a larger strategic initiative and series of events from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Interagency Working Group Event with the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges & Universities to delve into varying parts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, we are committed to building a better, more equitable transportation system.

Please click on the link, HBCU – Equity in Transportation Research & Funding Opportunities – YouTube, to view the webinar for those who requested it. To access the presentation slides, click Equity in Transportation Research and Funding Opportunities | US Department of Transportation.

We hope this information was very informative and appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to participate.

Sincerely,

Dawn

Dawn C. Tucker-Thomas

University Grants Manager/Senior Transportation Specialist

University Transportation Centers Program

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, E33-464

Washington, D.C. 20590

dawn.tucker-thomas@dot@gov

202.366.7253 (work)|202.579.3388 (cell)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House IGA Weekly Newsletter – 7/24

Author: Staff White House Intergovernmental Affairs     7/24/202         IGA

This week, President Biden reiterated that climate change is a clear and present danger to the United States. Since Congress is not acting on this emergency, the President will. In the coming weeks, President Biden will announce additional executive actions to combat this emergency.

On Wednesday, President Biden announced his latest set of executive actions to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, by creating good-paying jobs in clean energy and lowering costs for families. His actions will protect communities from climate impacts already here, including extreme heat conditions impacting more than 100 million Americans this week, and expand offshore wind opportunities and jobs in the United States.

The President made this announcement at a former coal-fired power plant in Brayton Point, Massachusetts that hosted a cable manufacturing facility to support the flourishing offshore wind industry – representing how the President’s leadership is accelerating the nation’s transition away from the pollution, environmental injustice, and volatile price swings of the past toward the good-paying jobs and energy security of the future.

President Biden’s new executive actions will:

  • Protect Communities from Extreme Heat and Dangerous Climate Impacts: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced $2.3 billion in funding for its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for Fiscal Year 2022— the largest BRIC investment in history, boosted by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will help communities increase resilience to heat waves, drought, wildfires, flood, hurricanes, and other hazards by preparing before disaster strikes. BRIC is among hundreds of federal programs that the Biden-Harris Administration is transforming to support the Justice40 Initiative and prioritize delivering benefits to disadvantaged communities.
  • Lower Cooling Costs for Communities Suffering from Extreme Heat: Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance that for the first time expands how the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can promote the delivery of efficient air conditioning equipment, community cooling centers, and more. In April, the Biden-Harris Administration released $385 million through LIHEAP to help families with their household energy costs, including summer cooling—part of a record $8 billion that the Administration has provided, boosted by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Expand Offshore Wind Opportunities and Jobs: The Department of the Interior is proposing the first Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, a historic step toward expanding offshore wind opportunities to another region of the United States. These areas cover 700,000 acres and have the potential to power over three million homes. President Biden is also directing the Secretary of the Interior to advance wind energy development in the waters off the mid- and southern Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast —alleviating uncertainty cast by the prior Administration. These actions follow the President’s launch of a new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership that brought together Governors to deliver more clean, affordable energy and new jobs.

Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, power goes down, homes are destroyed by wildfires, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 20 extreme weather and climate related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of more than $145 billion. People of color and underserved communities are disproportionately vulnerable to the climate crisis and are more likely to experience the negative health and environmental effects of climate-related and extreme weather events. Further, the country’s critical infrastructure is at risk from climate and extreme weather.

Read the full Fact Sheet Here

President Biden’s Safer America Plan
The week, the President released his Safer America Plan, which builds on his Comprehensive Gun Crime Strategy and the progress he’s already made to reduce gun violence and save lives.The President believes we can and must do more to reduce crime and save lives. In his remarks last week to celebrate the enactment of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, he said we must seize the momentum to do more. And that is exactly what he is doing today.The Safer America Plan outlines – for the first time – how the President will spend $37 billion in funds included in his FY 2023 budget to make our communities safer. The plan:
  • Funds the police and promotes effective prosecution of crime affecting families. The plan will provide communities with the resources they need to hire and train 100,000 addition police officers for effective, accountable community policing. It will help law enforcement set up task forces to share intelligence, take shooters off the streets, and bring down the gun violence rate. It also cracks down on fentanyl trafficking and organized retail theft.
  • Invests in crime prevention and a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system. The plan includes a new $15 billion grant program called Accelerating Justice System Reform that will provide cities and states with the resources they need to stand up new responses to persons in mental health crisis or those with substance use disorders and to expand access to job training, education, housing, and other supportive services that prevent crime and advance equity. The Plan also invests $5 billion to support evidence-based community violence intervention programs shown to reduce violence by up to 60%. And, the plan proposes to end the crack-powder disparity, making the fix retroactive.
  • Takes additional steps to keep dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands. The President is once again calling on Congress to take additional actions, including requiring background checks for all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing the dating violence restraining order loophole, and banning the manufacture, sale, or possession of unserialized “ghost guns.”
President Biden knows what works to make our communities safer: investing in community policing and crime prevention. We need to fund police who walk the beat, know the neighborhood, are accountable to those they are sworn to serve, and build community trust and safety. We need to invest in mental health and substance use treatment services, crisis responders, and social workers to reduce the burden on police officers and prevent violent crime. We need to expand community violence interventions – led by trusted messengers breaking the cycle of violence and trauma. We need to enforce our commonsense gun laws, require background checks for all gun sales in order to keep firearms out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – weapons of war that have no place in our communities.Please see the full Fact Sheet Here
Gas Prices Are Decreasing And American Families Are Feeling Relief
President Biden’s top priority is tackling inflation and reducing prices, and his plan is working. Even as Putin’s war continues to pressure global energy supply, American families are currently living through one of the fastest declines in gas prices in over a decade. While the rise in gas prices last month due to Putin’s Price Hike was met by wall-to-wall media coverage, the fall in gas prices has not earned the same reception.Gas prices have declined by an average of 60 cents per gallon over the past 38 days. That’s five straight weeks of declines. Gasoline prices have declined every single day for the past 34 days. The drop is one of the fastest declines in gas prices in over a decade. In fact, just this Sunday, we witnessed the largest single-day decline in national gas prices since 2008.According to an industry analyst, the most common price at gas stations across the country is now $3.99, with around 35,000 gas stations across over 36 states now offering gas at $3.99 per gallon or less.  Over the coming days, as more gas stations lower their prices in response to lower input costs, we can expect to see average prices fall below $4 per gallon in several states.The result is real breathing room for American families who are now spending less on filling their cars. At current prices, the average American driver will spend about $30/month less on gasoline than they would have if prices had stayed at their June peak. And, since gasoline prices affect the prices of other goods and services through transportation costs – including food, both households that drive and households that don’t directly benefit from lower gasoline prices.
If oil prices stay at or below current levels, gas prices will decline further. That’s because while oil prices have decreased by about 20 percent since their June peak, prices at the pump have only fallen about 10 percent over the same period. And while wholesale gas prices are down by about a dollar per gallon from their June highs, retail gas prices have come down by only 50 cents. At the same time, refiners’ profit margins per gallon of gas are averaging about 90 cents over last week – roughly double what’s typical for this time of year. Retailers’ profit margins per gallon of gas averaged around $1.30 over last week – more than 50 cents above what’s typical for this time of year. Gas prices have room to fall significantly more, and President Biden is demanding that oil and gas companies quickly bring down the price at the pump when the price of oil drops.
Vice President Harris Marks Important Milestone in Efforts to Cut Costs for American Families
This week in North Carolina, Vice President Harris announced that, thanks to the Administration’s “all of government” enrollment drive, 1 million new households have signed up to save on home broadband through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Administration’s efforts increased the rate of ACP enrollments by about 35%.The ACP and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $65 billion to expand internet for all. This is part of the Administration’s efforts to cut costs for American families and to ensure that every American has access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet. To build on this milestone and early success of the Affordable Connectivity Program, the Vice President called on the nation’s governors to join the Administration’s enrollment drive, sending them letters describing key steps they can take to boost enrollment in their states. For example,  the State of North Carolina committed to email 5 million households to let them know they can lower their internet bill by visiting GetInternet.gov to check eligibility and sign up.Please see the full Fact Sheet hereVisit and share GetInternet.gov.
First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Embark on a Multi-State Summer Learning Tour
Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Monkeypox Outbreak Response
For years, the United States has invested in research on monkeypox and in tools to effectively respond to the disease. Monkeypox is a virus that is generally spread through close or intimate contact, with symptoms that include a rash and fever. It is much less transmissible than fast-spreading respiratory diseases like COVID-19, and this outbreak has not caused any deaths in the United States.  The virus, however, is spreading in the United States and globally, and requires a comprehensive response from federal, state, local, and international governments and communities. Since the first United States case was confirmed on May 18, President Biden has taken critical actions to make vaccines, testing, and treatments available to those who need them as part of its whole-of-government monkeypox outbreak response.

This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a critical part of its monkeypox outbreak response. The vaccine strategy will help immediately address the spread of the virus by providing vaccines across the country to individuals at high risk. This phase of the strategy aims to rapidly deploy vaccines in the most affected communities and mitigate the spread of the disease.Please see the full Fact Sheet here

Vice President Harris’s Meeting with North Carolina State Legislators on Reproductive Rights
This week, Vice President Kamala Harris convened more than 20 North Carolina state legislators and more than 25 New Jersey State Legislators, local leaders, and advocates who are fighting on the frontlines to protect reproductive rights.  The Vice President convened state legislators from across the country on July 8, 2022 at the White House; on July 14, 2022 in Orlando, Florida; on July 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and on July 18, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and on July 20, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. During the meetings, legislators, advocates, and providers in attendance discussed the importance of building a broad coalition to protect reproductive rights. State legislators in North Carolina described how Republican leaders in North Carolina are pushing for extreme laws that would take away the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies. The Vice President thanked North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for using every tool to protect access to reproductive health care, including a recent state executive order issued to protect patients seeking care from harassment and intimidation, and his veto of extreme legislative attacks on reproductive rights.Please see the full press release here
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a change to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Millions of non-profit and government employees have federal student loans and may now be eligible for loan forgiveness or additional credit through the temporary changes, known as the Limited PSLF Waiver. Under normal PSLF rules, borrowers must make 120 payments on a Direct Loan while on a qualifying repayment plan and employed by a qualifying public service employer. Now, for a limited period of time, federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. Borrowers can apply for the waiver at www.studentaid.gov/pslfwaiver. The waiver will run through October 31, 2022. This means some borrowers will need to consolidate and/or submit a PSLF form – the single application used for a review of employment certification, payment counts, and processing of forgiveness – on or before October 31, 2022, to have previously ineligible payments counted. After October 31, 2022, normal PSLF rules will apply. We encourage you to take action to help elevate the PSLF program amongst government employees.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Actions to Strengthen Infant Formula Access
Since Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary infant formula recall to address health and safety concerns at its Sturgis, Michigan manufacturing plant, the Biden-Harris Administration has been working around the clock to ensure that safe and nutritious infant formula is available to every family that needs it. In light of the recent crisis and new authority provided through the bipartisan Access to Baby Formula Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a series of additional steps it will take to strengthen resiliency in WIC, which covers the cost of infant formula for families with limited means. These actions will ensure that the families who rely on the WIC program have safe and reliable infant formula options even in an emergency. Currently 1.2 million infants receive WIC formula benefits, and more than half of infant formula is purchased by WIC participants.Please see the full Fact Sheet here
Visit from First Lady Olena Zelenska of Ukraine
White House Summit on the Future of COVID-19 Vaccines
You are invited to join the White House Summit on the Future of COVID-19 Vaccines via livestream on Tuesday, July 26th from 11:00 AM – 3:15 PM ET. RSVP here to attend. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the critical importance of vaccines in saving lives and protecting the economy. Our vaccines continue to protect Americans against serious illness. At the same time, a new generation of vaccines has the potential to better prevent infections and be more broadly effective against future variants. This summit will outline a path towards these innovative, next-generation COVID-19 vaccines, featuring leaders who are on the cutting-edge of discoveries. The event agenda will be shared closer to the event. The full RSVP link is below – please share with colleagues and members of your community. All are welcome. RSVP link:  https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_8Lx74G-PSYOwmdwfcnQ7AQ
The Innovation Station ROAD TRIP
The State Department’s Intergovernmental Affairs team, in partnership with the Office of Global Women’s Issues, is starting a new virtual event series called The Innovation Station ROAD TRIP. This new series is occurring in collaboration with various U.S. cities, and events will facilitate discussions between woman innovators, local governments, and other community leaders. The first event is occurring on July 26th at 11AM EST (details and registration info below), the City of Chicago will serve as a co-host.
  • The Innovation Station ROAD TRIP: Chicago
  • July 26, 2022, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET
  • Themes: Investing in women-owned businesses; facilitating climate innovation
  • Register HERE
Weekly IGA Call
Tune in weekly for Administration updates Thursdays at 4 PM ET.
When: Every Thursday at 4 PM ETRegister here:https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_2fN1C5oHQ0Wuz06br1PbVw
See you next week!
Office of Intergovernmental Affairs · 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW · Washington, DC 20500-0005 · USA · 202-456-1111

Sustainable DC News Letter

Author: DC DOEE Staff      Published: 7/21/2022       DOEE

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July 2022

july1

Photo Credit: US Department of Energy

You may have heard the term “net-zero energy” (NZE) building, but what does it mean? Let’s take the metaphor of a bathtub. Imagine a huge bathtub being filled up to the brim with water. If the drain is plugged, it will overflow. However, if the drain is unplugged and water is drained as quickly as it is filling the tub, it never overflows. This is the same in the case of an NZE building. It can balance its needs by producing energy at a rate comparable to its consumption.

The concept may seem ambitious and slightly avant-garde, but NZE buildings are soon to be the status quo. If we are to avert the climate crisis, they need to be. By producing as much energy as we consume, we will be able to reduce fuel use and its associated greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, and reach the District’s carbon neutral by 2050 goal. Buildings and their energy usage account for roughly 70% of the District’s emissions. Single-family homes account for a significant portion of residential building emissions as they require more energy compared to multifamily buildings for specific functions (e.g., space and water heating, refrigeration).

Luckily, the Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), in partnership with the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), has been working on the District’s first volunteer Net-Zero Energy Program. It is designed to help residents navigate the process and achieve the goal of net-zero, and it’s already had success. An example is a retrofit of a 1928 masonry home in Brightwood that turned the building into a fully net-zero home without breaking the homeowner’s bank. It is one of the first single-family home retrofits to meet the standards of the NZE Program. They were able to do this by electrifying the building, constructing an airtight building envelope, and incorporating an energy recovery ventilation system.

All in all, a net-zero energy building is achievable and the Net-Zero Energy Program, DCRA, and DCSEU are here to help. If you have any questions about the program, please contact ashley.delgado@dc.gov and info@dcseu.com. Let’s all do our part to reach global net-zero by 2050!

announcemnts

2022 District Sustainability Award Winners Announced

On July 7, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) announced this year’s District Sustainability Award winners. These awards not only give us an opportunity to recognize the sustainable leaders in our city, but they help remind us of the creative, passionate people in our neighborhoods and communities that make the District so special. The awards highlight the individuals and organizations giving back in so many ways and putting in the work every single day.

The District Sustainability Award winners are:

To watch a short film highlighting the winners, visit this webpage.

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Plastic Free July Campaign Launched

On July 1, DOEE launched the District’s Plastic Free July campaign. Summer parties are in full swing, which often come with the purchase and disposal of single-use disposable plastics such as utensils, plates, serving ware and more. To encourage residents to adopt more sustainable practices, the Plastic Free July social media campaign includes a variety of useful tips and facts on how to make your next party or picnic a zero waste event. The campaign will also include updates and community impacts of the District’s Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009, otherwise known as the “bag law.” Keep an eye out for these tips and facts on the DOEE social media pages such as TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Mayor Bowser Unveils DC Upward Mobility Action Plan

On June 29, Mayor Bowser launched the DC Upward Mobility Action Plan, a new framework for resident mobility that visualizes how DC residents could take advantage of District housing, financial well-being, and workforce programs to reach their personal and financial goals. The Mobility Action Plan (MAP), led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Office of Planning (OP), is the result of an interagency effort to better align District programs, policies, and investments to boost residents’ upward economic mobility. Residents and community partners are encouraged to provide feedback on the MAP to DMPED and the OP team via the survey on this webpage.

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Ditch the Disposables Grant Program Grantees Announced

DOEE is happy to announce the first group of grantees for the Ditch the Disposables grant program. DOEE’s Ditch the Disposables program, part of Zero Waste DC, aims to reduce the use of disposable foodware throughout the District by providing grants to support transitions to reusable foodware at restaurants and food-serving entities. This can include establishing dishwashing capacity and implementing the use of reusable containers, either in-house or through a third-party entity. Some grantees include:

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  • American University for 5,000 reusable to-go containers for student use at the dining hall, eliminating 2,571 lbs of waste per semester.
  • Army Distaff Foundation for reusable containers to be used by 170 residents at an independent living care facility, which will prevent 8,760 lbs/year of waste.
  • Lin Catering for a transition to reusable catering supplies, dishware, and an energy efficient dishwasher that will result in 1,000 lb/year in waste reduction.

To find out more about the grant and grantees, visit this webpage.

DC Flood Awareness Week Draws a Crowd

During last month’s DC Flood Awareness Week, DOEE, the Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency partnered with the Anacostia Parks and Community Collaborative to host the Flood-Ready Youth Workshop at Anacostia High School. During the event, students explored a post-flood virtual reality scenario, toured DC’s Mobile Command Bus, located familiar properties near the floodplain, and practiced their engineering skills with a watershed simulator. This was one of the many programs held from June 21 to June 24 to raise awareness and build community capacity for flooding.

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GRANTS & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Request for Applicants for the Chesapeake Bay Program Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Coordination Grant

DOEE seeks eligible entities to field a person(s) who will facilitate and coordinate the implementation of key elements of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Implementation Plan. The DOEE-CBP partnership seeks to advance a vision of clean water, abundant life, conserved lands, public access to water, a vibrant cultural heritage, and a diversity of engaged citizens and stakeholders. The deadline to apply is July 22 at 11:59 p.m.For more information and to apply, visit this webpage.

Request for Applicants for the Enhancing Green Infrastructure Community Benefits Grants

DOEE seeks eligible entities to increase the benefits that District Stormwater Retention Credit – generating green infrastructure provides to property owners, nearby residents, and other stakeholders, with a focus on historically marginalized communities and communities that face historical or current environmental injustices. These grants will fund projects that implement a participatory planning and design process to identify community-identified green infrastructure benefits, in addition to stormwater runoff reduction, and develop best practices for future engagement with communities towards identifying their desired green infrastructure benefits. The deadline to apply is August 5 at 11:59 p.m. For more information and to apply, visit this webpage.

The 2022-23 DC Futures Program

The DC Futures Program aims to help District college students complete their first associate or bachelor’s degree. The program offers last-dollar scholarships (tuition, fees, and cost of attendance) at three local universities in addition to college coaching, as well as personal and financial support services for all participants. One of the eligible majors is a B.A. in Urban Sustainability from the University of the District of Columbia. The application for the 2022-23 school year closes on August 19. Interested individuals are invited to review the student information and submit a DC Futures Program Application.

Request for Proposals for The Environmental Justice Data Fund

The Environmental Justice Data Fund aims to help frontline communities that have been historically underserved and disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustice. The Fund will enable frontline communities in the United States to use data to unlock resources, increase their access to Justice40 benefits and federal infrastructure funding, and advocate for new policies that empower communities to address past environmental harm and pave the way to a more sustainable, climate-resilient future. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will close on September 16. For more information and to apply, visit this webpage.

JOBS

Department of Energy and Environment – Environmental Protection Specialist

This position is in the Green Infrastructure Incentives and Assessment Branch of the Regulatory Review Division within the Natural Resources Administration. The incumbent’s primary responsibilities will be developing, managing, and refining online business processes rooted in software used for applications for permitting programs, green infrastructure incentives, and stormwater retention credit certification. The incumbent will work with other permitting and incentive program staff to identify documentation and program applications submitted through DOEE’s Surface and Groundwater System. The deadline to apply is July 29. For more information, visit this webpage and search for the role using this Job ID: 17865.

Love and Carrots – Landscape Designer

Love and Carrots is seeking an experienced and dynamic landscape designer to join their design team on a full-time basis for the 2022 season. Their design needs range from small row homes and pollinator gardens to property master plans. Duties will include Design, Sales and Customer Service as well as Project Management and Estimating and Billing. For more information and to register, visit this webpage.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Share Your Thoughts with the DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Taskforce

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force earlier this year, which will advise on priority projects to be funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Task Force will be responsible for making recommendations on how to maximize this once-in-a-generation funding opportunity to bolster DC’s competitiveness and resiliency in the region, nationally and globally. The Task Force wants to hear from residents across the District who want to have their say in how they prioritize funding projects. Visit this webpage to share your thoughts.

Help Re-Map the DC Urban Agriculture Map

Sustainable DC 2.0, the District’s sustainability plan, sets an ambitious target of increasing District land under cultivation by 20 acres by the year 2032. To help us track the District’s progress against this target, we are introducing our new resource: the DC Urban Agriculture Map. This map will track the amount of land under cultivation as an urban farm, school garden, or community garden, and as they change over time. By clicking on a site you can access more information about each one, and submit edits if info is incorrect. This is a crowd-sourced map and needs your help! Is your urban farm, school garden, or community garden not represented on this map? Visit this webpage and use the “New Area” button to submit a site.

Apply to Join the Green Building Advisory Council as a Private Sector Representative

The Green Building Advisory Council (GBAC) is a volunteer commission that makes recommendations on green building policies and monitors the District’s compliance with green building requirements. Made up of representatives from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the GBAC continues to support the District as a leader in green building innovation. To view agendas for upcoming meetings and minutes from past meetings, visit the GBAC webpage. The next GBAC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and is open to the public. The meeting agenda, including a link to join the virtual meeting, will be posted to the GBAC webpage at least 48 hours before the meeting. The GBAC is seeking applicants who live or work in the District to fill one vacancy for a private sector representative. For more information or to apply, visit the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments website.

Join the DC Zoning Commission Racial Equity Tool Roundtable

The Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia is working on its first-ever racial equity tool and wants to hear from DC residents. The Commission will be hosting a roundtable on September 22 at 4 p.m. The Commission asks that community members who would like to testify please register at least 24 hours in advance. For instructions on how to testify, visit this webpage. For more information, visit this webpage and search for the case number: 22-RT1.

EVENTS

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens’ Lotus and Water Lily Festival

To celebrate the return of an in-person festival, the 2022 Lotus and Water Lily Festival has been split into four weekends each with a specific focus and events. In addition to a larger festival, the park will extend hours until 8 p.m. each Saturday. On Wednesdays, the park will feature kid’s programs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. such as art activities, a drumming class and other hands-on nature activities. The festival will culminate with a weekend of community celebrations during the weekend of July 30 to July 31. For more information, visit this webpage.

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Ward 7 Open Streets Event on Benning Road

Open Streets in Your Neighborhood is coming to Ward 7’s Benning Road NE this July 30, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ! The event will close 0.75 miles of Benning Road NE to cars and open it to people to ride, bike, walk, socialize, and participate in fun programming. Come see highlights of the Benning neighborhood – from local eateries to the lush green canopies of nearby Fort Mahan Park. Benning Road has access to a multi-use trail that takes you around the entire park – a perfect opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the neighborhood. For more information, visit this webpage.

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Upcoming Fix-It DC Event

Let’s celebrate repair! Come and learn to disassemble and troubleshoot all your broken objects at the next Fix-It DC event. Fix-It DC is a program which includes all-ages community events where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.

Attend the upcoming Fix-It events at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Labs on:

  • Wednesday, August 17, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 17, 2:30–5:30 p.m.

If you would like to learn more about Fix-It DC program, visit the Fix-It DC website.

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eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.

The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles, and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

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  • Saturday, July 23, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 5601 Connecticut Ave NW (Ward 3, near Chevy Chase Community Center)
  • Saturday, July 23, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1801 Hamlin St NE (Ward 5, Near Woodridge Library)
  • Saturday, July 30, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 416 Cedar St NW (Ward 4, Near Takoma Park Neighborhood Library)
  • Saturday, July 30, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 5701 Georgia Ave NW (Ward 4, near Emery Heights Community Center)

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.

BANNER

Lead Free DC by 2030: Read about DC Water’s initiative to replace all lead water pipes throughout the District, prioritizing vulnerable populations and historically underserved communities.

The Voices of the Urban Waterways Project: Hear the voices of the Urban Waterways project, an initiative through the Anacostia Community Museum, as they discuss the far-reaching impacts of polluted waterways.

Order Issued to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics on Public Lands: Read about Secretary Haaland’s order to phase out single-use plastics in lands managed by the Department of the Interior, and ultimately protect public lands and waterways.

LET’S GET CONNECTED!

SUSTAINABLE DC:

DOEE:

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COMMERCE NEWS: U.S. Department of Commerce Newsroom Update

Author: publicaffairs@doc.gov      Published: 7/19/2022      USDC

US Departments of Labor, Commerce announce 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint to promote Registered Apprenticeships

(July 19, 2022) At today’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint, an effort to support numerous industries’ use of Registered Apprenticeships to develop and train a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce.

Read now ⇒

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Raimondo Co-Host Supply Chain Ministerial

(July 15, 2022) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will co-host a Supply Chain Ministerial Forum July 19-20, 2022, as part of ongoing work with key partner nations on supply chains.  Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago will welcome participants and deliver opening remarks on July 19.

Read now ⇒

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo Appoints New Members of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa

(July 14, 2022) Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has appointed 24 members to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) to serve a two-year term. The PAC-DBIA was established in 2014 to provide recommendations and analysis to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on strengthening commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.

Read now ⇒

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo Celebrates American Innovation at the 61st President’s “E” and “E Star” Award Ceremony

(July 13, 2022) U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo hosted the 61st President’s “E” and “E Star” Awards ceremony at the Herbert C. Hoover Building, where she presented 19 U.S. companies and organizations with the President’s “E” or “E Star” Award. The “E” and “E Star” awards are the highest recognition a U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Of the 19 recipients, 14 are small and-medium-sized businesses and 5 are manufacturers. This year’s recipients come from 15 different states.

All 50 States, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia Join Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative

(July 13, 2022) The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that all states and territories have confirmed their participation in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative announced in May. The Administration engaged in a comprehensive outreach and technical assistance campaign to ensure no state or territory was left behind.

Read now ⇒

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on New Rule Protecting Americans’ Pensions

(July 6, 2022) – U.S. Secretary of Secretary Gina M. Raimondo released the following statement applauding the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBCG) announcement of a final rule to better protect the pensions of millions of Americans.

“Building a better America means investing in our infrastructure, our industry, and most importantly, our people. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is making a crucial investment in the American people by helping fulfill the promises made to millions of union workers and retirees for their decades of hard work and dedication. As a member of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s Board of Directors, I’m proud of PBCG’s ongoing work to protect Americans’ pensions. Thanks to this new rule, millions of Americans can sleep easier knowing that their hard-earned retirements and families’ financial well-being are better secured.”

Read now ⇒

AEE WEEKLY: Policy Update

Author: Author AEE Staff      Published: 7/21/2022      AEE

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New Texas Electric Grid Pilot Project Will Demonstrate Benefits of Virtual Power Plants

Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) issued a statement praising the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCTX) for giving initial approval to a pilot project of an aggregated distributed energy resource called a Virtual Power Plant. “Texas is in a power crunch, and state regulators are wisely looking into ways to make better use of the extra energy being produced by Texas homes and businesses that is currently sitting on the sidelines,” said TAEBA’s Ignacio Guajardo. “There’s enough extra energy being produced that, when combined, is equivalent to a power plant. It makes sense for ERCOT to tap into that extra energy for the electric grid in times of need.” Continue reading the press release. >

Illinoisans Want More Electric Trucks, Less Smog and Air Pollution, New Poll Finds

Roughly 7 in 10 Illinoisans say smog and air pollution are negatively impacting their quality of life, and want state officials to do more to decrease the gas and diesel vehicle emissions causing much of the problem, according to a new statewide survey conducted by YouGov in partnership AEE. “Transportation emissions are the largest source of pollution, particularly from trucks and buses, and parts of Illinois are suffering from unsafe levels of ozone, particularly during the summer,” said AEE’s Ryan Gallentine. “Illinoisans say they want their state leaders to take action by electrifying the state’s trucks, buses and delivery vans more quickly.” Continue reading the press release. >

AEE Calls on Congress To Work Through Differences, Use Clean Energy to Reduce Inflation

AEE issued a statement about Senate budget reconciliation negotiations. “Americans are facing historic levels of inflation, driven in large part by global fossil fuel prices,” said AEE President Heather O’Neill. “The tax credits in this package would deliver much needed relief, helping to cut energy prices and reduce U.S. dependence on price-volatile fossil fuels, by spurring the domestic manufacturing and deployment of clean, affordable, and reliable advanced energy technologies.” Continue reading the press statement. >

Arizona Win Shows How Red and Blue States Can Greenlight Electric School Buses

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This summer, both sides of the aisle came together to pass smart legislation that gives schools and students access to cleaner transportation. The Arizona bill also shows one way to open up opportunities for electric school buses in states of every political stripe. Continue reading on the blog. >

Pattern Energy Takes on 3,000 MW Capacity Transmission Project in New Mexico, Arizona

Pattern Energy has acquired the SunZia Transmission project, a 550-mile bi-directional 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona. The transmission line will deliver up to 3,000 MW of clean, renewable energy from wind farms Pattern is developing. “SunZia Transmission will create a clean power superhighway for millions of Americans by opening access to huge, largely untapped wind energy resources in New Mexico,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. Continue reading in UtilityDive. >

Webinars

Getting Charged Up for EVs: State Plans for NEVI Implementation

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The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act establishes a $5 billion grant program, the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program (NEVI), which provides funding to states for deploying EV charging infrastructure over the next five years. In this webinar, hear from state transportation planners and charging network providers on what NEVI could mean for building out an EV charging network across America. Register for the webinar. >

Credit Where Credit is Due: Accrediting Reliability Value in Wholesale Markets

WEBINAR_Credit Where Credit is Due

While there has been considerable attention devoted to determining the reliability value of wind, solar, and energy storage, the methods used to evaluate the resource adequacy, or capacity value, of conventional thermal generating resources have not been formally reexamined or updated in decades. This webinar will examine how existing capacity accreditation methodologies fail to capture some reliability risks faced by traditional resources and explore new methodologies to establish a level playing field for diverse supply resources in centralized capacity markets. Register for the webinar. >

Solar Energy Technologies Office: Funding Opportunities and Prizes

Author: US DOE SETO Staff     Published; 7/21/2022    SETO

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New Funding to Accelerate Commercialization of Solar Technologies

DOE announced $27 million in funding to advance innovative product ideas that can increase U.S. manufacturing and expand private investment, especially in cadmium telluride photovoltaics (PV). The Solar Manufacturing Incubator funding opportunity seeks innovative research, development, and demonstration projects that advance next-generation technologies and enable continued cost reductions. Diverse entrepreneurs, small businesses, and larger for-profit entities can register for the Solar Manufacturing Incubator webinar on Aug. 3 and submit a mandatory letter of intent by Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. ET.

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New Funding for PV Recycling and Perovskites

The Photovoltaics Research and Development funding opportunity will award $29 million, $10 million of which will come from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for projects that make PV more recyclable, reduce manufacturing costs, and advance the manufacturing of PV cells from perovskites. Academic institutions, for- and not-for-profit businesses, and state and local governments are all eligible to apply. DOE encourages applications and teams from minority-serving institutions, minority-owned businesses, tribal entities, community colleges, or entities located in underserved communities. Mandatory letters of intent are due by Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. ET.

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Last Call for the Perovskite Startup Prize

Hurry! There is still time to apply for the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize to accelerate the development and manufacturing of perovskite solar cells. Competitors who advance to the next stage of the prize will receive $200,000. Assemble your team and apply by Jul. 28.

Reminder: Apply for Funding to Study Locally Based Energy

Full applications are due Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. ET for the Energyshed: Exploring Place‐Based Generation funding opportunity. Utilities, local governments, and community-based organizations can develop tools to help communities understand the implications of consuming clean energy that they generate locally.

Deadline Approaching for Funding to Study Agriculture and Solar

Applicants who submitted concept papers have until Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. ET to submit full applications for the Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale funding opportunity. SETO is interested in projects that partner with farmers who are pursuing climate-smart and sustainable agriculture to examine how the co-location of agriculture and solar energy can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry.

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Request for Information on Vehicle Photovoltaics

DOE seeks public input on challenges and opportunities for vehicles with integrated or attached PV systems. Responses are due Aug. 22 by 5 p.m. ET.

Moment in the Sun: Solar Landscape

Solar Landscape, a leading solar developer in New Jersey, invested in community engagement to bring community solar to more households in New Jersey. Now the company has one of the largest clean energy portfolios focused on low- and moderate-income households.

Small Solar Businesses Awarded Funding

SETO awarded seven small solar companies $8 million through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program. The companies will now work to research and demonstrate their innovative projects in concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), power electronics, and solar-powered water technologies

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Submit CSP Papers to Solar Energy

Researchers! Submit your papers for an upcoming special issue of Solar Energy: “Particle-based Solar Energy Capture and Storage for Concentrated Solar Power.” Relevant topics include particle-based solar receiver development, system integration of CSP, and more.

SETO is Hiring

SETO is looking to hire a physical scientist or engineer to join the Systems Integration team as a technology manager. Technology managers in systems integration lead projects focused on integrating resilient and cost-effective solar energy into the nation’s electricity grid. Learn more about the position and apply by Jul. 29.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: SolarAPP+ Industry Roundtable for Local Authorities and Installers

July 21 | 1 p.m. ET
Join a roundtable of solar industry leaders and government officials to learn how SolarAPP+ can save your community time and money by streamlining solar permitting.

Webinar: Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity

August 3 | 3 p.m. ET
SETO will host an informational webinar to discuss the new funding opportunity and the areas of focus.

Canna Business Resources

Author: New Frontier Data Staff    7/21/2022         NFD