- Economic Development
- Environmental Clean-up
- Health and Safety
- Other Infrastructure
Reserved for Energy
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, creating a historic $27 billion investment in communities across the country—from states to territories to Tribal lands, from the largest urban cities to the most remote rural towns. This bold investment will not only deploy clean energy and combat the climate crisis but also improve health outcomes, lower energy costs, and create high-quality jobs for Americans—all while strengthening our country’s economic competitiveness and ensuring energy security.
As part of this investment, EPA is launching three distinct but complementary grant competitions:
- a $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund competition to finance clean technology deployment nationally;
- a $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competition to finance clean technology deployment in low-income and disadvantaged communities while simultaneously building the capacity of community lenders that serve those communities; and
- a $7 billion Solar for All competition to spur adoption of clean distributed solar energy that lowers energy bills for millions of Americans in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
This Notice of Funding Opportunity provides details on the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competition. This competition will provide grants to 2–7 hub nonprofits that will provide funding and technical assistance to specific industry networks of public, quasi public, not-for-profit, and nonprofit community lenders, supporting the goal that every community in the country has access to the capital they need to deploy clean technology projects in their homes, small businesses, schools, and community institutions. These community lenders could include community development financial institutions (including Certified Native CDFIs), credit unions, green banks, housing finance agencies, minority depository institutions, and other types of lenders. As a result of this competition, hundreds of these community lenders will launch new or expand existing programs to provide low-income and disadvantaged communities much-needed capital to deploy emissions- and air pollution-reducing projects that reduce energy costs, improve health outcomes, create good jobs, and more—and they will have the financial and technical resources to sustain these programs for years to come. To multiply the impact of public funds, these hub nonprofits will provide funding and technical assistance that not only mobilizes private sector investment on projects directly supported by grant funds but also creates self-sustaining programs across hundreds of community lenders. To ensure that public funds are spent efficiently and for the maximum benefit of American communities, especially low-income and disadvantaged communities, these hub nonprofits will be subject to, among other measures, rigorous low-income and disadvantaged community engagement and accountability strategies; comprehensive equity policies and practices; robust labor and workforce plans; strong governance structures; stringent legal and compliance risk management and consumer protection plans; and cohesive programmatic, financial, and administrative reporting and transparency requirements—in addition to being subject to conducting significant diligence prior to providing funding and technical assistance to community lenders.
The Clean Communities Investment Accelerator will advance the three GGRF program objectives of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants; delivering benefits to American communities, particularly low-income and disadvantaged communities; and mobilizing financing and private capital.
- Program Objective 1: Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. Grantees will provide capital for community lenders to invest and re-invest in projects, activities, and technologies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that harm communities and contribute to climate change. Grantees—and the community lenders they support—will accelerate progress toward the climate goals of the United States, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 50 percent zero-emission vehicles share of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030, achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035, and achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
- Program Objective 2: Deliver benefits of greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects to American communities, particularly low-income and disadvantaged communities. Grantees will ensure that the projects that community lenders invest in directly benefit Americans by improving health outcomes, lowering energy costs, creating high-quality jobs, and more. 100% of funds awarded under this competition must be used for the purposes of providing financial and technical assistance in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
- Program Objective 3: Mobilize financing and private capital to stimulate additional deployment of greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects. Grantees will work with community lenders to mobilize financing and private capital for underinvested projects and underinvested communities, which will build the long-term capacity of community lenders to finance clean technology projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities. As a result, grantees will spur market transformation, supporting market wide accessibility of affordable financing for clean technology projects to multiply the impact of grant funds.