Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project Community Technical Assistance

NREL partners with the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to help remote, island, and islanded communities transform their energy systems and increase resilience through strategic energy planning and solutions that address their specific challenges.

This effort employs a community-driven approach that leverages the experience and expertise of the ETIPP partner network: a broad coalition of local stakeholders, tribal leaders, regional organizations, national laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley, NREL, Pacific Northwest, and Sandia), and Department of Energy offices.

NREL leads the ETIPP application process to support the competitive selection of eligible communities. Selected communities will embark on a project scoping phase (approximately 1–2 months), followed by 12- to 18-month energy planning and analysis projects that:

  • Prioritize community energy challenges, values, goals, and opportunities
  • Identify and implement strategic, whole-systems solutions
  • Foster high-impact, replicable community energy transitions.

By participating in ETIPP, communities can expect to receive substantial in-kind support from the ETIPP national labs in the form of technical expertise on energy analysis, planning and implementation, and general ETIPP program guidance and education from the ETIPP regional partners. Selected communities will not receive direct funding from ETIPP.

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

How To Apply for Technical Assistance

In January 2022, NREL will solicit applications for the second year of ETIPP technical assistance for remote, island, and islanded communities in the United States.

Interested applicants are encouraged to complete the following steps before applying:

  1. Review the eligibility guidelines and application process below.

  2. Review examples of current ETIPP communities' technical assistance projects and examples of ETIPP's national lab technical assistance expertise. Note: These are examples and do not reflect all technical assistance options available through ETIPP. Additional technical assistance options will be provided to interested applicants.

  3. Discuss plans to apply for ETIPP technical assistance with relevant decision makers and community energy experts.

  4. Contact an ETIPP regional partner at the contact information below to discuss technical assistance needs, goals, and project feasibility.

Communities will be asked to fill out an application form, which will be made available on this webpage in January 2022.

Application Eligibility

Communities in the United States that meet the remote, island, or islanded definitions below and experience unique energy challenges such as frequent energy disruptions, threats to energy infrastructure from natural hazards, and/or high energy costs are encouraged to apply.

ETIPP defines remote, island, or islanded communities as:

  • Remote communities are isolated from population centers and as a result have limited access to centralized energy systems.
  • Island communities are isolated from the mainland by waterways.
  • Islanded communities are not grid-tied to large transmission-scale power systems and as a result experience frequent issues with power quality. These communities may or may not be categorized as "remote" or "island."

If you are unsure whether your community is eligible, reach out to an ETIPP regional partner for more information or contact ETIPP@nrel.gov.

Application Process

To request technical assistance through ETIPP, communities will apply via this webpage (application to be posted in January 2022). The full list of application criteria will be provided on this webpage in January for applicants to reference before applying.

Applicants will be asked to:

  • Demonstrate their need for technical assistance and resource limitations to energy analysis, planning, and implementation
  • Describe their proposed technical assistance objectives and how those objectives will address their energy challenges and increase their energy resilience
  • Commit to a project scoping phase (approximately 1–2 months) and a 12- to 18-month project that closely collaborates with ETIPP's partner network.

ETIPP encourages communities interested in applying to begin discussing project ideas with key community members and experts.

ETIPP's partner network will work alongside selected communities to explore a diverse range of energy resilience solutions to address the challenges and resilience goals outlined in community applications.

Examples of successful past applicants include:

  • Nags Head, North Carolina, where the Department of Planning and Development is working with ETIPP experts to prioritize critical facilities for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments to increase community resilience against severe weather and rising sea levels.

  • The Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, which is investigating the development of a hybrid fuel or electrified fishing fleet in Sitka, Alaska, to reduce reliance on diesel fuel and operations costs.

To stay informed about ETIPP activities and the upcoming application period, subscribe to receive email updates via the NREL State, Local, and Tribal Program newsletter

For additional examples of previously selected communities, review the list of ETIPP's technical assistance projects.

ETIPP recommends applicants reach out to a regional partner to answer specific questions related to regional or local community needs before submitting an ETIPP application. Regional partner contact information is below.

Contact

ETIPP Regional Partners

ETIPP's network of regional partner organizations is experienced in supporting community-based energy transitions. These regional partners are committed to supporting ETIPP applicants by providing detailed information about the program and application process.

Interested ETIPP applicants are encouraged to first contact a regional partner organization before applying.

How To Contact a Regional Partner

Interested ETIPP applicants may select any regional partner to contact, regardless of the applicant's proximity to a regional partner. An applicant's eligibility for ETIPP is not influenced by its proximity to a regional partner. All ETIPP regional partners are available to help interested applicants prepare for the application process.

By contacting an ETIPP regional partner, applicants are not expected to collaborate with the same regional partner if selected for ETIPP.

The following regional partner information is offered to assist interested applicants with selecting a regional partner that can provide information on ETIPP eligibility and application requirements. Interested applicants may also contact ETIPP@nrel.gov for help selecting a regional partner.

Alaska Region

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
Rob Jordan
rjordan@realaska.org
907-929-7770

Hawaii/Pacific Region

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

Northeast Region

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

Southeast Region

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

If you have questions about the ETIPP application process, please contact a regional partner or email ETIPP@nrel.gov.