Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) announced 67 winners, including TBL Fund, in the first phase of the $6.7 million Energizing Rural Communities Prize. This prize challenges individuals and organizations to develop partnership and financing strategies to support efforts in rural or remote communities to improve their energy systems and advance clean energy demonstration projects. Each of the 67 winners will receive $100,000, in-kind-mentorship services, and eligibility to compete in phase two of the prize to win an additional $200,000.
“These prizes are designed to accelerate community-driven energy improvement projects in rural or remote areas across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement reflects one of the many strategies this Administration is implementing to support energy projects that make energy systems more resilient, reliable, safe, and affordable for the nearly 50 million Americans living in rural or remote areas.”
This prize is part of DOE’s $1 billion Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) Program, managed by OCED. The funding is available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to demonstrate new ways to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. The ERA program reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring no communities are left behind in the historic transition to a clean energy future.
The Energizing Rural Communities Prize has two tracks: a partner track that is designed to create and strengthen the necessary networks for implementing energy projects; and a finance track to support new and innovative efforts to access capital or to develop community ownership models to finance energy projects.
The ERA Program also supports rural and remote American communities through technical assistance, grants, and cooperative agreements. Learn more about the ERA Program on the OCED website.