Climate Impact Capital Portfolio Company Wins Phase 1 of Department of Energy Prize totally $10M to accelerate community microgrids

Climate Impact Capital spun out Climate Impact Capital Energy Holdings, LLC (CIC Energy) in 2021 to address significant gaps in U.S. energy workforce and critical infrastructure development. CIC Energy serves two segments by addressing the I. demand for energy (e.g. cost-effective electricity, equitable energy, demand response programs, backup power) and lack of supply of human resources with technical and trade skills.

CIC Energy will deploy Phase 1 winnings and fuel Team Impact with funding and technical support provided by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Community Power Accelerator (CPA) Prize. With almost 200 teams, judges at SETO and NREL were challenged to pick the Top 25 amongst a critical mass of competitors. The $10 million prize competition is a three-phase process to increase the number of equitable community solar projects by providing funding and resources for developers and co-developers throughout the project lifecycle. By the end of the prize, competitors will be ready to engage with the Community Power Accelerator online platform, which provides a place for competitors to showcase their credit-ready projects to verified project developers, investors, and philanthropic organizations.

CIC Energy is excited to cultivate community solar designed to support equitable energy jobs and accelerate critical infrastructure workforce development. Through CPA’s online portal and CIC Energy’s Learning and Earning in Energy Platform (LEEP), prosumers are enabled with democratized, decentralized and digital disruptors to monetize savings, enhance human behavior and offer credit-ready solar to stabilize power grids and add resilience to communities—with a priority placed on projects that benefit underserved communities—and connect them with mission-aligned investors and philanthropic organizations to get funding in Port Arthur, Central and East TX in 2023.

Community Solar Benefits

In Phase 2, CIC Energy will further develop community grids, equitable and distributed energy models, and deploy a series of up to 1MW DC projects within communities, offering a range of meaningful impacts in Port Arthur, Northwest Houston, Central and East Texas. Community solar offers direct benefits to the community by reducing energy costs, expanding renewable energy consumption, and providing solar industry workforce development opportunities. Project Renew has prioritized disadvantaged communities since launching its first Solar Apprenticeship Program at Del Valle Opportunity Center in Fall 2021. Team Impact will catalyze change in households, creating home energy systems for community solar subscribers, bolstering community grid resilience, facilitating community ownership of project assets, and supporting equitable workforce development by providing high-wage opportunities that reduce income disparities across demographic groups.

Team Impact

CIC Energy, along with the Houston Advanced Resource Center (HARC), Community In-Power and Development Association, Inc. (CIDA), Mills Agriculture & Renewable Energy, LLC (MARE), and the Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC), make up Team Impact. Our Impact aims to modernize community grids and increase solar workforce capacity within historically underserved communities by developing a community solar portfolio in Port Arthur, Texas.

Community Solar Builds Alliances, Creates Greener and More Resilient Grids in Port Arthur

Team Impact’s community solar projects in Port Arthur will target schools, churches, and small businesses within disadvantaged residential communities, delivering power grid resilience during energy emergencies and showcasing the cost benefits of distributed energy systems. The end goal is the expansion of community solar benefits to household subscribers. Local community members will have ownership of these projects, democratizing energy production in the city.

Increasing Energy Security and Mission Critical Communications

Community solar electricity rates will be lower than rates available via existing power distribution grids, which reduces the financial burden of electricity usage and increases energy security by improving grid resilience. Residents previously forced to ration energy usage due to economic hardship (e.g. by not using their air conditioners or setting thermostats to dangerously high temperatures) will be able to reduce energy rationing with more affordable electricity rates provided by community solar projects. Such benefits will improve the quality of life for residents of disadvantaged communities in Port Arthur.

Gearing up for Phase 2

Winning Phase 1 of the Community Power Accelerator Prize is an exciting opportunity for CIC Energy to bring alternative energy to Texas residents facing high energy burdens and frequent power outages. In decreasing energy costs and enhancing grid resilience in the community, CIC Energy will deliver energy equity and create more lucrative employment opportunities for this underserved community. As we begin Phase 2 of the prize, we look forward to realizing our plan and are committed to providing clean energy access to the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Port Arthur, Texas.

Accelerating Equitable Energy Through Federal Funding and Team Impact

The American-Made Solar Prize is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. CIC Energy applauds the efforts of our government to prioritize energy equality.

CIC Energy: An Impact Driven Change Agent to fuel Renewable Microgrid Deployment, Disruptive Grid Service Models and Activate a Critical Infrastructure Workforce

Climate Impact Capital Energy Holdings, LLC (CIC Energy) develops and manages alternative energy and power generation for commercial, municipal, and government solar power and energy storage facilities.

As an integrated service provider, we identify the most effective set of asset solutions for our clients considering cost and resiliency goals.  In addition to deploying solar and storage, our services and solutions include electric vehicle charging, building energy management services, and grid services.

CIC Energy also manages the development and implementation of an integrated training, certification, and continued education platform to provide Registered Apprentices for our government/corporate partners and enable our planned integrated solar, storage, EV, and microgrid projects.  Stay tuned for details regarding our Learning and Earning in Energy Platform (LEEP).