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Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project Community Technical Assistance

NREL provides technical assistance to island and remote communities through the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).

How To Apply for Technical Assistance

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Please review the application selection criteria and eligibility, selection timeline, and project background below.

Applications will be evaluated based on impact to the community, support from relevant decision makers and community leaders, likelihood that projects can be completed, and alignment to the ETIPP programmatic goal, which is to support energy resilience planning and execution in remote, islanded, and island communities with unreliable and expensive energy systems and supplies.

ETIPP plans to select 8–12 remote, islanded, and island communities from the national applicant pool to receive technical assistance. Assistance will be virtual to start, with the goal to begin in-person assistance as soon as practical, with the health and safety of communities being the highest priority. The most successful applications will demonstrate:

  • The community objectives to be achieved through energy resilience efforts at the completion of ETIPP technical assistance. These objectives will be identified by the community and can include the ability to withstand disruptive events, economic resilience, and the stability or diversification of fuel sources, among others.
  • The likelihood of implementing plans developed through technical assistance. This will be evaluated by the explanation of previous, ongoing, or future efforts to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the community; the existence of an energy resilience goal; and the availability or expectation of project financing.
  • The commitment from relevant decision makers to support the technical assistance objectives developed by the community. Supporting stakeholders can include community government and leadership, local utilities, and public utility commissions.

Areas of energy resilience planning assistance can include but are not limited to:

  • Interpretation and application of interconnection standards and processes
  • Renewable resource characterization to support understanding of, for example, the community’s potential solar energy generation capacity
  • Energy efficiency characterization to identify efficiency planning options for commercial, residential, or municipal/government buildings, including building code development, input, and support
  • Marine resource characterization to support understanding of the community’s wave, tidal stream, tidal range, ocean thermal, and ocean current energy resource availability and feasibility
  • Short-term energy analysis and planning to identify, for example, which generation sources make up the community’s energy portfolio and how the community’s energy profile and carbon-reduction impact will change when renewables or efficiency measures are added to the mix in the near term (1–5 years)
  • Long-term energy analysis and planning to identify, for example, which generation sources make up the community’s energy portfolio and how the community’s energy profile and carbon-reduction impact will change when renewables or efficiency measures are added to the mix in the long-term (5–15 years)
  • Planning and analysis for new technology demonstration projects
  • Interpretation and application of renewable energy standards
  • Expert support in navigating the complexities of renewable energy and/or energy efficiency project and program financing
  • Permitting guidance for renewable energy systems
  • Training and counsel on energy codes and standards
  • Training and capacity building for community members on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon-reduction activities
  • Tools and resources (templates, guides, etc.) to support the development of contracting requests and procurement for services for energy resilience execution (for example, contract assistance for community solar projects or pilot marine energy technology projects)
  • Planning for community renewable energy project development
  • Expert guidance to support integration of energy storage with other renewable technologies
  • Microgrid and hybrid systems analysis and planning
  • Disaster preparedness and recovery planning for energy systems, including extreme weather event planning and storm hardening
  • Resource analysis and decision support to help optimize community energy capacity while considering interactions among energy systems, water resources, and land and food resources as well as water and land availability and constraints and impacts on food production
  • Expert guidance to enhance integration of community electricity, transportation, and industrial energy use.

By participating in ETIPP, communities can expect to receive guidance, training, and support from the national lab technical experts who best fit the needs outlined by the community. Communities will not receive direct funding as part of the ETIPP effort but will receive substantial in-kind support and resources.

  • Application Release: Dec. 15, 2020
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021
  • Review Period: February–March, 2021
  • Date of Notification: March–April, 2021
  • Technical Assistance Scope of Work Development: April 2021
  • Period of Technical Assistance: 12–18 months from the start of technical assistance

Dates are subject to change.

Beginning in April 2021, the selected finalists will work with ETIPP leaders to provide more information and develop detailed statements of work for technical assistance. The ETIPP review team will finalize scope of work and initiate technical assistance, which is expected to be completed between April and September 2022.

To ramp up resilience in remote, islanded, and island communities, three U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy technology offices—including the Office of Strategic Programs, the Solar Energy Technologies Office, the Water Power Technologies Office—and DOE's Office of Electricity have joined forces with four DOE national laboratories to launch ETIPP. The initiative, which combines DOE’s deep energy sector experience with the specialized local expertise of community-based partner organizations, will build on the proven framework developed by Energy Transitions Initiative to advance community energy transitions. The ETIPP network will work alongside communities to identify and advance strategic, whole-system solutions in a way that prioritizes community values, needs, and goals.

Resilience in this context is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions through adaptable and holistic energy planning and technical solutions.

ETIPP's collaborative, community-driven approach will ensure remote, islanded, and island communities acquire the skills and tools to make decisions that are best for them and will accelerate the sharing of best practices and innovations across technologies and sectors among similarly situated jurisdictions or regions. ETIPP will be supported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The national labs will work alongside community-based partner organizations over a 12- to 18-month period to assist communities in developing community-driven work plans that support energy system planning and implementation and that prioritize community safety, sustainability, and self-sufficiency. The program aims to empower communities to identify and advance strategic, whole-system solutions customized to their needs. A more complete list is outlined in the “Selection Criteria and Eligibility” section below, but whole-system solutions planning and assistance through ETIPP can include, for example:

  • Fostering community understanding of the feasibility and application of new energy generation and energy storage technologies
  • Building local knowledge and capacity that support the physical design as well as operations and maintenance of energy systems
  • Supporting efforts to more closely integrate electricity, transportation, and industrial energy use.

Contact

If you have questions about the project or process, please contact ETIPP@nrel.gov.

For questions related to your region or completing the application specific to your community’s needs, please contact the community-based partner organization in your area:

Alaska Regional Partners

Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Institute of Social and Economic Research
Patty Eagan
pmeagan@alaska.edu
907-322-4793

Renewable Energy Alaska Project
Chris Rose
chris@realaska.org
907-929-7770

Hawaii Regional Partner

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
Mark Glick
mbglick@hawaii.edu
808-956-2339

Northeast Regional Partner

Island Institute
Emma Wendt
ewendt@islandinstitute.org
207-808-0691

Southeast Regional Partner

Coastal Studies Institute
George Bonner
ggbonner@ncsu.edu
252-475-5491