Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project Community Technical Assistance

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partners with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to help remote and island communities transform their energy systems and increase energy resilience.

ETIPP defines "energy resilience" as the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from energy disruptions.

ETIPP employs a community-driven approach to identify and plan resilient clean energy solutions that address a community's specific challenges. This approach combines the experience and expertise of local community leaders, residents, and organizations with the ETIPP partner network. The ETIPP partner network connects selected communities with regional nonprofit or academic organizations ("regional partners"), energy experts at DOE research institutions (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NREL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories), and DOE clean energy technology offices to navigate options for addressing local energy resilience challenges.

By participating in ETIPP, communities receive substantial support from ETIPP experts in the form of technical assistance in energy analysis and planning (learn more in the Technical Assistance section below). Each community is also supported by an ETIPP regional partner that can assist with identifying a community's needs and options and developing their goals.

Following the application evaluation process, selected communities will embark on a project scoping phase (lasting approximately 2 to 6 months) to discuss community priorities and finalize project details with technical assistance providers and regional partners. Selected communities and technical assistance providers will then execute the scoped project over a period of 12 to 18 months.

Please be aware that ETIPP is not a grant program and does not provide direct funding to selected communities. The purchase and deployment of energy infrastructure is also not available through ETIPP, though the program will support the community in identifying funding and finance options to realize their plan.

For additional background information on ETIPP, visit DOE's ETIPP website or contact an ETIPP regional partner from the Contact section below.

ETIPP in Action

Person with camera in a boat on a river

Dillingham, Alaska

Home to the largest salmon river run worldwide, the Nuyakuk River is a significant natural and economic resource for Dillingham residents and five nearby Alaska Native villages. ETIPP produced an economic model and decision support tool to help the Nushagak Electric and Telephone Company assess the potential impacts of river hydropower on local fisheries and tribal, residential, and commercial diesel fuel consumption. Read Dillingham’s ETIPP storyPhoto from Rob Jordan, Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

Harbor with boats, homes and mountains

Sitka, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska, is powered by seasonal lake hydropower and a diesel microgrid operated by a community-owned electric utility. Energy demands in Sitka are driven by high heating requirements, intensive hospital activities, and the seasonal fishing industry. ETIPP has developed a model for the Sitka grid, assessing energy potential from solar, wind and ocean sources, and evaluating green energy export options to help Sitka reduce its carbon footprint and optimize its microgrid. Learn how ETIPP has helped SitkaPhoto from Grant Turner, City and Borough of Sitka.

Community gathering outside with tents and chairs

Island Institute

The Island Institute is an ETIPP regional partner that works with national lab experts and local community members to find economically viable clean energy options. The Institute has recently collaborated with the City of Eastport and the Town of Islesboro to address their local energy goals through ETIPP. Learn how the Island Institute is impacting MainePhoto from Emma Wendt, Island Institute.

How To Apply for Technical Assistance

The ETIPP 2023 application period is closed. Sign-up for NREL's State, Local, and Tribal newsletter to receive alerts about the next ETIPP application period. You may also contact an ETIPP regional partner to learn about other technical assistance or funding opportunities.

Contact your Regional Partner

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 required 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.

Interested communities should contact the regional partner below that best represents their geographic location. Please reach out to with any questions about regional partner contacts.

Alaska Region

Renewable Energy Alaska Project
Rob Jordan

Gulf Coast Region (Pilot)

Remote or island communities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas may apply to ETIPP as part of its pilot program in the Gulf Coast region. Please contact to get connected to a regional partner.

Hawaii/Pacific Region

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
Rick Rocheleau

Northeast Region

Island Institute
Emily Roscoe

Pacific Northwest Region

Spark Northwest
Mia Devine

Southeast Region

Coastal Studies Institute
George Bonner

Application and Selection Process

Selected communities will embark on a project that could include, but is not limited to, the types of technical assistance activities below.

  • Assess community energy needs to determine achievable goals for resilient energy transitions.
  • Analyze 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.
  • Develop strategic energy plans or incorporate energy considerations into existing plans.
  • Produce guidance for energy transition policy and decision making.

Applicants can review examples of current ETIPP community technical assistance projects and examples of ETIPP's national lab expertise to develop ideas for their own projects. Note: These are examples and do not reflect all technical assistance options available through ETIPP.

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

The 2023 ETIPP application process will follow the timeline below.

  • Application Release: February 21, 2023
  • Informational Webinar: April 11, 2023
  • Application Deadline: May 19, 2023
  • Application Review Period: May – June 2023
  • Selected Community Notification: Summer 2023
  • Period of Technical Assistance: Up to 24 months (at least 2 to 6 months for project scoping followed by 12 to 18 months for project implementation)
Selection Process

A review committee of DOE staff and other energy experts will evaluate submitted applications. Applications that meet the eligibility criteria (learn more in the Application Eligibility section) will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

  • Need – the clarity of the applicant's energy resilience challenges and the relationship between those challenges and the applicant's remote or island circumstances.
  • Proposed project – the clarity of the applicant's proposed project goals and the connection between those goals and increased energy resilience for the applicant's community.
  • Commitment – demonstration that the applicant has support for the proposed project from a diverse community members that serve in decision-making or advocacy roles.
  • Other selection factors – Communities will be selected to maximize project replicability for other remote and island communities, geographic and technological diversity, as well as representation of novel or innovative concepts and projects in the ETIPP cohort.

Based on the recommendations from the review process, DOE and NREL will make final selections of communities for ETIPP.

DOE intends to select eight to 12 communities to receive technical assistance. The final number of communities selected will depend on the applications received, availability of funds, and approval by DOE.

You are encouraged to apply to ETIPP if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a community or organization (learn more in the Organization section below) in the United States.
  • Your community is in a remote location or is on an island (see Remote or Island section below).
  • You experience energy resilience challenges (for example, frequent energy disruptions or threats to energy infrastructure from natural hazards).

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

  • Local governments (e.g., municipalities, counties, cities, towns)
  • 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.
Remote or Island

ETIPP defines remote or island communities as follows:

  • Remote communities are isolated from a reliable electrical grid by geographical impediments or are isolated from large population centers and as a result have limited access to centralized energy systems.
  • Island communities are isolated from the mainland by waterways.

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

1. What is the goal of ETIPP?

ETIPP advances 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 a community's specific challenges. This approach leverages the experience and expertise of local community leaders, residents, and organizations with the ETIPP partner network.

2. How is energy resilience defined under ETIPP?

Energy resilience is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from energy disruptions.

3. Can a community be too small or too large to apply?

There is not a size limit. Larger teams like regional organizations, counties, or states that are interested in applying are strongly encouraged to work with a local community partner when applying.

4. Does the application need to come from a civic department, or can a nonprofit be the applicant for the community?

Nonprofits are eligible, as are special-purpose districts, such as a school district or an administrative district.

5. Will ETIPP only consider specific projects, or can an applicant propose multiple project goals and initiatives as an integrated approach to the technical assistance project?

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 required to reach out to an ETIPP regional partner to collaboratively prioritize and define the scope of the project they wish to propose.

6. What projects are not eligible under ETIPP?

ETIPP technical assistance is not available for the following:

  • Conducting energy efficiency audits
  • Buying or installing equipment (e.g., solar panels, wind turbines, wind measurement towers)
  • Writing grants
  • Providing advocacy support.

7. Does ETIPP provide advocacy support to communities?

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 provide guidance for energy transition policies and decision-making.

8. Does my community receive funding from ETIPP?

Communities will not receive direct financial assistance through ETIPP. The purchase and deployment of energy infrastructure is also not available through ETIPP. One representative point of contact for each community will be reimbursed travel costs to the ETIPP annual meeting, subject to the availability of travel.

9. If selected, how much time will communities commit to participating in the technical assistance? How long does technical assistance last?

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 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 the technical assistance plan.

10. How competitive is the selection process?

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.


If you have questions about any of the information above, including technical assistance, the application, or selection process, please contact a regional partner or email