The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced recipients of funds from the Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER) program, an initiative that supports efforts across the country to make local energy systems more resilient in the face of extreme weather. The program focuses especially on the deployment of solar and solar-plus-storage. The most recent group of awardees included one SolSmart community and several program partners:
- Duluth, MN (SolSmart Gold community): The City of Duluth received funds to support their “Form Follows Function (F3): A Framework for Community-based Energy Resilience Planning in the Midwest” project. This project will develop “an innovative and replicable community-based energy resilience planning process … through deep engagement with diverse community stakeholders including utilities and government entities.”
- Virginia Department of Energy (SolSmart program partner): RACER funds will go to support the Virginia Department of Energy’s “Economically Disadvantaged Communities Energy Resiliency Study.” This initiative “will identify opportunities to use distributed energy resources like solar-plus-storage in ten different locations to maximize the benefits energy resiliency infrastructure for disaster response needs.”
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL; SolSmart program partner): NREL received funds to support their Solar-Assisted, Stakeholder-Engaged, Autonomous Restoration with Data Orchestration (Solar-HERO) initiative. This project “is developing an estimation tool that coordinates multiple datasets to enable real-time visibility of the grid in Ramsey, Minnesota.” NREL also received funding for Planning for Solar investment at the Convergence of Resilience and Equity (SCORE), which is “developing a neighborhood-scale quantification and valuation tool to determine the social benefits of renewable-based resilience investments in the southern Seattle, Washington area.”
Read more about these awardees and many others here.