Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project: Coastal, Remote, and Island Community Technical Assistance

NREL coordinates technical assistance and cash awards for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to help U.S. coastal, remote, and island communities become more energy resilient.

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Application Timeline

ETIPP opens applications annually during the spring of each year. The timeline for the 2024 ETIPP application and selection process is:

  • Application release: April 10, 2024
  • Informational webinar: April 24, 2024
  • Application deadline: July 10, 2024
  • Application review period: July–August 2024
  • Community selection notification: Late summer 2024
  • Period of technical assistance: Up to 24 months (2 to 6 months for project scoping followed by 12 to 18 months for project implementation).

Note: Communities must consult with an ETIPP regional partner or regional lead before applying.


DOE's ETIPP works alongside coastal, remote, and island communities seeking to transform their energy systems and increase energy resilience. These communities have unique physical features that fundamentally shape what energy options are available. For many of these communities, access to resilient, affordable, sustainable, and clean energy resources is a priority. ETIPP helps communities to assess and advance the solutions that best meet their needs.

In addition to supporting communities in their energy system transformation, ETIPP is also committed to the Justice40 Initiative. This government-wide initiative has a goal of delivering 40% of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments in climate and energy to disadvantaged communities, and it tracks performance toward that goal. Applications that demonstrate their project will directly benefit a disadvantaged community are strongly encouraged.


ETIPP is open to communities and organizations in the United States and its territories. To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • The benefitting community must match at least one of these descriptions:
    • It is located on an island.
    • It is within 50 miles of a coastline (ocean or seacoast, or along the Great Lakes).
    • It is in Alaska and not serviced by the Railbelt grid utilities.
    • It is a federally recognized Tribe in an ETIPP-supported region.
  • The lead applicant is a local government (e.g., municipality, county, city, town), a Tribe or Tribal organization, a community-based organization (including nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations), a special purpose district (e.g., school district, water district, sewer district), an academic institution, a municipal utility, or an electric co-op.
  • A group competing as one team may be selected, provided that the online account holder of the submission is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Individuals competing as part of a team may participate if they are legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Private entities that are part of an application must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States.
  • Academic institutions that are part of an application must be based in the United States.

Applicants that are ineligible for ETIPP include:

  • Individuals
  • DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations, members of their immediate families (e.g., spouses, children, siblings, or parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related
  • Individuals who worked at DOE (federal employees or support service contractors) within 6 months prior to the submission deadline
  • Federal entities and federal employees
  • DOE national laboratory employees
  • Entities and individuals publicly banned from doing business with the U.S. government, such as entities and individuals debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participating in federal programs
  • Entities identified in Department of Homeland Security Binding Operational Directives as publicly banned from doing business with the U.S. government
  • Entities and individuals identified as restricted parties on one or more screening lists of Department of Commerce, State, or the Treasury
  • Individuals participating in a foreign government talent recruitment program* sponsored by a country of risk** and teams that include such individuals
  • Entities owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a government of a country of risk.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, reach out to an ETIPP regional partner for more information and/or contact

Acceda a la versión en español de este seminario web.

* Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Program is defined as an effort directly or indirectly organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government, or a foreign government instrumentality or entity, to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship or national origin, or whether having a full-time or part-time position). Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs operate with the intent to import or otherwise acquire from abroad, sometimes through illicit means, proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property to further the military modernization goals and/or economic goals of a foreign government. Many, but not all, programs aim to incentivize the targeted individual to relocate physically to the foreign state for the above purpose. Some programs allow for or encourage continued employment at United States research facilities or receipt of federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution, and some direct participants not to disclose their participation to U.S. entities. Compensation could take many forms including cash, research funding, complimentary foreign travel, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration, including in-kind compensation.

**DOE has designated the following countries as foreign countries of risk: Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China. This list is subject to change.

Types of community organizations eligible to apply include but are not limited to:

  • Local governments (e.g., municipalities, counties, cities, towns)
  • Tribes or Tribal organizations
  • Community-based nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations
  • Special purpose districts (e.g., school districts, water districts, sewer districts)
  • Municipal utilities and electric co-ops.

Prospective ETIPP communities must arrange for at least two external organizations to submit Stakeholder Support Forms to support their applications. Ideally, these supporters should play a role in decision-making for proposed ETIPP projects. Stakeholders may include community organizations, government leaders, local utilities, and others. Regional partner organizations can help communities identify stakeholders to support their projects.  

If you are unsure whether your community is eligible, reach out to an ETIPP regional partner for more information and/or contact

Types of Technical Assistance

ETIPP offers energy planning for communities and technical assistance for specific energy projects. Communities with an existing and current energy plan or specific project may engage in in-depth technical assistance. Communities without an energy plan will engage in an energy planning process with ETIPP prior to embarking on technical assistance for specific energy projects.

ETIPP 2023 Annual Report

Visit ETIPP's annual report to learn more about how the program empowers communities in their energy transitions.

Examples of technical assistance available through ETIPP include:

  • Assessing community energy needs to determine achievable goals for resilient energy transitions
  • Analyzing the feasibility and impacts of deploying energy technologies that can provide resilience and other community benefits, such as energy efficiency measures, hydropower, microgrids, solar, wind, geothermal, energy storage, tidal or wave energy, and transportation electrification
  • Developing strategic energy plans or incorporating energy considerations into existing plans
  • Producing guidance for energy transition policy and decision-making.

Interested applicants may also explore additional technical assistance options under ETIPP by contacting an ETIPP regional partner.

Selection Process and Criteria

A review committee of DOE staff and other energy experts will evaluate submitted applications.

The following details provide more guidance on what information applicants may include in their applications and how experts will evaluate and score submissions. Reviewers will evaluate submissions by assigning a single score for each of the scored submission section, based on their overall agreement or disagreement with a series of statements.

0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree/Does Not Address Disagree Slightly Disagree Slightly Agree Agree Strongly Agree/Fully Addressed

Each application will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

Suggested Content Competitor Provides

  • Describe energy resilience challenges, including frequency of energy disruptions or threats to energy infrastructure from natural hazards.
  • Clearly describe a project that could be undertaken within the program that is related to increased energy resilience.
  • Showcase engagement from the benefiting community. This engagement could be demonstrated through letters of support or commitment or inclusion as a part of the applicant team.
  • Explain the backgrounds of the team members, their interest and support of the project, and their role in decision-making or advocacy in the community.
  • Describe the impact this project would have within the community and how the project will help the community meet their energy resilience needs.
  • Explain how engagement with the relevant regional partner as a part of the application development process supported the community.

Each of the Following Statements Will Be Scored on a 0-5 Scale

  • Need: The applicant clearly describes the energy resilience challenges, including frequent energy disruptions or threats to energy infrastructure from natural hazards, and the relationship of those challenges to the coastal, remote, or island community that will benefit from the project.
  • Project: The applicant clearly describes an energy project that will support increased energy resilience for the benefiting community.
  • Community Engagement: The applicant clearly demonstrates engagement and interest from a variety of community members that will benefit from the project.
  • Commitment: The team engaged to participate on the project includes various community members that serve in decision-making or advocacy roles.
  • Replicability: The proposed project, if successfully completed, can inform progress on similar challenges in other coastal, remote, or island communities.
  • Support: The applicant has leveraged available support from the appropriate Regional Partner as a part of developing their application.

Based on the review process, DOE and NREL will make recommended selections of communities for ETIPP, and the program judge will make the final decisions. More information on the program judge can be found in the Additional Terms and Conditions section.

DOE intends to select up to 15 communities annually to receive technical assistance and a supplementary cash award of $50,000 per community. The final number of communities selected will depend on the applications received, availability of funds, and approval by DOE.

ETIPP will be governed by 15 U.S.C. §3719 and the requirements outlined on this website. This is not a procurement under the Federal Acquisitions Regulations and will not result in a grant or cooperative agreement under 2 CFR 200. The DOE and NREL team reserves the right to modify requirements if necessary and will publicly post any such notifications as well as notify registered participants.

Regional Partner Contacts

ETIPP's regional partners are experienced in supporting community-based energy transitions. They are committed to supporting ETIPP applicants by providing detailed information about the program and application process. Applicants are encouraged to consult with an ETIPP regional partner before applying. During consultation, regional partners will help applicants:

  1. Determine whether ETIPP is the right fit for their community based on eligibility criteria and community circumstances.
  2. Clarify their energy challenges and goals for ETIPP technical assistance.
  3. Identify potential stakeholder support organizations for their application.
  4. Discuss staffing and community engagement expectations for their ETIPP project.

ETIPP is expanding regional partner representation to include the Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, Hawaii/Pacific Territories, and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands, so interested communities should contact the regional partner that best represents their geographic location, or email to get connected to the appropriate organization. Communities may also contact an ETIPP regional partner to learn about other technical assistance or funding opportunities.

For areas without a designated regional partner, please contact to get connected to a regional lead for the program.

Renewable Energy Alaska Project
Haleigh Reed

Bertha Prince
907-929-7770 ext. 8

A regional partner is in the process of being selected for this area. Please contact to connect to a regional lead for the program.
A regional partner is in the process of being selected for this area. Please contact to connect to a regional lead for the program.
A regional partner is in the process of being selected for this area. Please contact to connect to a regional lead for the program.
A regional partner is in the process of being selected for this area. Please contact to connect to a regional lead for the program.
A regional partner is in the process of being selected for this area. Please contact to connect to a regional lead for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

ETIPP advances coastal, remote, and island communities toward their self-defined energy resilience goals. ETIPP provides technical assistance using a community-driven approach to identify and plan strategic clean energy and energy resilience solutions that address communities' specific challenges. This approach leverages the experience and expertise of local community leaders, residents, and organizations within the ETIPP partner network.
Energy resilience is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from energy disruptions.
There is no size limit for ETIPP communities. All teams will be evaluated on their engagement with a local community partner, but teams can include support from regional or state development organizations as well.
Nonprofits are eligible, as are special-purpose districts, such as a school district or an administrative district.
Eligible applicants can propose one project with multiple goals. If a community is selected for technical assistance, ETIPP's scoping process can help further define the scope of the project and identify which options would best address the community's challenges, goals, and priorities. It's for this reason that applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to an ETIPP regional partner to collaboratively prioritize and define the scope of the project they wish to propose.

ETIPP technical assistance is not available for:

  • Conducting energy efficiency audits
  • Buying or installing equipment (e.g., solar panels, wind turbines, wind measurement towers)
  • Writing grants
  • Providing advocacy support.
ETIPP does not provide advocacy support. However, an ETIPP regional partner can help communities understand energy transition needs and the potential impacts of various policies and technology pathways, which can inform energy transition policies and decision-making.

As of 2024, new communities accepted to ETIPP will receive financial assistance through ETIPP in support of their participation in the ETIPP project and time spent building community capacity. The purchase and deployment of energy infrastructure*, however, is not available through ETIPP. One representative from each community will also be reimbursed for travel costs to attend the ETIPP annual meeting, subject to the availability of travel.

*“The term infrastructure includes the structures, facilities, and equipment for roads, highways, and bridges; public transportation; dams, ports, harbors, and other maritime water systems, including drinking water and wastewater systems; electrical transmission facilities and systems; utilities; broadband infrastructure; and buildings and real property; and structures, facilities, and equipment that generate, transport, and distribute energy including electric vehicle charging.”

The total time commitment varies based on the type of technical assistance project. Communities should expect to commit time to participating in regular community meetings every month and time to support the technical assistance planning and analysis work. Following the application evaluation process, selected communities will embark on a project scoping phase (approximately 2 to 6 months) to discuss community priorities and finalize project proposals and deliverables with technical assistance providers. Selected communities and technical assistance providers will then execute the project informed by the scoping phase over a period of 12 to 18 months. Applicants should consider whether the proposed project is feasible within the time parameters of ETIPP technical assistance.
The competitiveness depends on the total number of communities that apply. When a community is not selected, ETIPP will notify the applicant and work with the regional partner and national labs to identify any resources or funding opportunities that can better address the specific challenges of the community.

Applicant Commitment

Selected communities must agree to participate in the following activities:

  • Participate in virtual meetings (30–90 minutes each) with ETIPP staff every 2–4 weeks during project scoping (fall and winter 2024) and throughout the remainder of the project (6–18 months after the scope is finalized).
  • Provide information and input requests by ETIPP staff in a timely manner.
  • Submit feedback about your experience in ETIPP every 6 months during project execution and 6–12 months after its conclusion.
  • Be available to other local communities to share your experience and lessons learned via webinar or conference call.
  • Coordinate with community members and other stakeholders needed to participate in ETIPP meetings.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions about ETIPP, please contact

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