Project identifier for Clean Energy to Communities.

The Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) program connects local governments, electric utilities, community-based groups, and others with experts from across the DOE national laboratory complex and their customized, cutting-edge analysis. Through unbiased technical support to communities across the country, C2C accelerates the deployment of clean energy systems that are reflective of local and regional priorities.

Meeting Communities Where They Are

Communities lie at the heart of C2C, and DOE recognizes that each community has different needs and interests. C2C fosters community-led innovation with tailored assistance across the renewable power, grid, mobility, and buildings sectors.

C2C provides three levels of engagement:

  • In-depth technical partnerships: Multi-year partnerships that provide cross-sector modeling, analysis, and validation, paired with direct funding to help 4-5* selected teams of local governments, electric utilities, and community-based organizations reach their goals and/or overcome specific challenges. 
  • Peer-learning cohorts: Small groups of local governments, electric utilities, or community-based organizations that meet regularly for approximately 6 months to learn from each other and lab experts in a collaborative environment to develop program proposals, action plans, strategies, and/or best practices on a pre-determined clean energy topic. Cohorts will include approximately 100* communities total.
  • Expert match: Short-term assistance (40-60 hours) with one or more technical experts to help address near-term clean energy questions or challenges for up to 200* communities.

Overview Video

Video Url
C2C helps communities reach their clean energy goals
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Success Stories

Workers stand in the snow.

Harsh winter conditions in Alaska affect energy reliance and cost.

Photo from Golden Valley Electric Association

Clean Energy Program Supports Alaska Utility Amid Coal Plant Retirement

The C2C in-depth technical partnership pilot helped an Alaska utility make a plan to keep the lights on ahead of a coal plant retirement:

Read the blog.
Watch the video.

Cohoes, NY Library

Retrofitting a historic library to be more energy efficient with help from C2C Expert Match is one way the city of Cohoes is following its motto: Honor the past, Explore the present, Inspire the future.

Photo from city of Cohoes

C2C Helps Working-Class Community with Floating Solar System and Historic Building Retrofits

The C2C expert match pilot helped Cohoes, NY investigate the first municipally owned and operated floating solar installation and retrofits to historic buildings:

Read the blog.
Watch the video.

Cutting Edge Tools and Analysis

C2C leverages expertise and capabilities from across DOE’s immense national laboratory complex. 

This includes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems platform, on which local leaders can see how a virtual model of their community interacts with actual and emulated clean energy infrastructure and devices, such as wind turbines, controllers, and electric charging stations—helping de-risk future investments. 

C2C is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is supported by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Learn more about C2C, including how to apply.

*Number of communities is subject to change depending on Congressional appropriations.