Funding Notice: $25M Available to Improve Community Energy Resilience with Solar Posted on Apr 12, 2022

New funding opportunities are rolling out from the Biden Administration. Check out this one from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  



The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has announced the Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER) funding opportunity, which will award $25 million in funding for projects to enable communities to utilize solar and solar-plus-storage to prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events and to rapidly restore electricity if it goes down.  

Projects will foster engagement and ongoing communication among multiple stakeholders such as utilities, municipal planners, emergency responders, community groups, and others, especially in underserved communities located in areas vulnerable to extreme events causing frequent energy and power service disruptions. In addition, projects will increase the durability of photovoltaic (PV) systems so they can withstand extreme weather conditions and demonstrate technologies that enable rapid recovery after an extreme event.

These research activities will help increase the resilience of energy systems, which will help meet the Biden administration’s goals for achieving a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035. As extreme weather events become more common and place undue stress on our electricity infrastructure, solar and other distributed energy resources can help communities rapidly recover.

DOE expects to make between 13 and 17 awards under RACER, each ranging between $500,000 and $3 million. SETO seeks diverse teams of universities, federally funded research and development centers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, utilities, state agencies, local governments, and solar developers. Additionally, SETO encourages the participation of underserved communities and underrepresented groups.

To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a forum where interested parties can add themselves to a Teaming Partner List, which allows organizations that may wish to apply to the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), but not as the prime applicant, to express interest to potential partners.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a concept paper is due on May 27, 2022 at 5:00pm ET.

SETO will host an informational webinar on April 27, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the funding program 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.