The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced USD 15.5 million in funding to support solar energy deployment in underserved communitties and build a skilled solar workforce.
Through two programs, SolSmart and the Solar Energy Innovation Network, the DOE will emphasize assistance for underserved communities through:
- USD 5.5 million in technical assistance through the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN), a collaborative program that connects different actors to technical experts at DOE’s National Laboratories to develop innovative solutions to regional challenges associated with solar energy adoption;
- USD 10 million in funding for a SolSmart administrator for the next five years, who will update and manage the program to encourage more equitable solar deployment and the adoption of emerging technologies, such as solar + storage.
On 24 May 2022, DOE announced two awardees to manage the expansion of SolSmart. SolSmart has helped hundreds of local governments make it easier and more affordable to go solar and aims to help another 500 communities over the next five years. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) will share the USD 10 million awards to update and expand SolSmart over the next five years.