The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship (CEIF) program funds recent graduates and energy professionals to support critical energy organizations to advance clean energy solutions that will help decarbonize the power system, electrify transportation and industry, and make the U.S. power system more resilient, equitable and inclusive.
The program recruits candidates from diverse backgrounds to spend up to two years at eligible host institutions, which include:
- Electric public utility commissions in the United States and U.S. territories
- Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities
- Puerto Rican essential energy organizations
- Tribal utilities
- Inter-Tribal councils and other Tribal organizations
- Grid operators
Innovator Fellows receive a stipend to support their participation in the CEIF program and an allowance for education and professional development opportunities.
The goal of the program is to increase access to clean energy career opportunities across the country and accelerate the national transition to resilient and affordable clean energy.
On October 12, 2023, DOE announced the critical energy institutions that will host a fellow for the next year, renewable for a second year.
This is the second round of CEIF, and is an expansion of the Solar Energy Innovator Program. Since 2017, DOE has placed fellows with 59 hosts across 36 states and territories to help them implement clean energy solutions.
2023 Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship Cohort
|Host Institution||Category||State||Project Focus|
|Trico Electric Cooperative, Inc.||Cooperative Utility||Arizona||Support design of a comprehensive program to integrate EVs, smart home devices, smart grid devices, and distributed energy resources into Trico’s system and practices|
|San Carlos Apache Tribe||Tribal Entity||Arizona||San Carlos Apache energy sovereignty, Tribal utility, and renewable energy projects|
|Blue Lake Rancheria||Tribal Entity||California||Advancing Blue Lake Rancheria's energy resiliency efforts through Tribal and community engagement|
|Longmont Power & Communications||Municipal Utility||Colorado||Data and systems integration for distributed energy resources and grid optimization|
|Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.||Cooperative Utility||Colorado||Optimizing supply and demand side resources to maximize the value of the cooperative energy ecosystem|
|Colorado Public Utilities Commission||Regulatory Commission||Colorado||Help the grid sparkle with distributed energy resources|
|Illinois Commerce Commission||Regulatory Commission||Illinois||Enhancing resource adequacy through grid modernization|
|Louisiana Public Service Commission||Regulatory Commission||Louisiana||Advancing an equitable and resilient clean energy future for Louisiana|
|Maryland Public Service Commission||Regulatory Commission||Maryland||Energy storage program development and deployment of other distributed energy resources|
Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
|Regulatory Commission||Massachusetts||Alternatives for integrating distributed generation in a modernizing grid|
|Great Lakes Energy||Cooperative Utility||Michigan||Electric vehicle adoption & infrastructure impact for Great Lakes Energy|
Lansing Board of Water & Light
|Municipal Utility||Michigan||Creating customer-focused energy programs|
|Michigan Public Service Commission PSC, Project 1||Regulatory Commission||Michigan||Incentivizing resilience through distributed energy resource expansion|
|Michigan Public Service Commission PSC, Project 2||Regulatory Commission||Michigan||Resiliency metrics, valuation, and application to undergrounding backlot electrical lines|
|Migizi EDC/Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan||Tribal Entity||Michigan||Recommendations on feasibility and optimization of innovative microgrid design|
|Minnesota Public Utilities Commission||Regulatory Commission||Minnesota||Advancing grid resiliency and interconnection requirements|
|Blackfeet Community College||Tribal Entity||Montana||Developing grid resilience metrics|
|New Jersey Board of Public Utilities||Regulatory Commission||New Jersey||Analyzing and aligning regional energy market reforms with New Jersey’s local distribution and clean energy goals|
|New Mexico Public Regulation Commission||Regulatory Commission||New Mexico||Developing policies and incentives to enable essential grid services on the distribution system|
|Public Utilities Commission of Ohio||Regulatory Commission||Ohio||Advancing equity, environmental and energy justice priorities through grid resilience program funding|
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
|Tribal Entity||Oregon||Maximizing the chances of Tribal success on the path towards energy sovereignty|
|Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, Project 1||Cooperative Utility||Puerto Rico||Microgrid of the Mountain|
|Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, Project 2||Cooperative Utility||Puerto Rico||Community energy resilience through photovoltaics|
|LUMA Energy||Utility||Puerto Rico||Quantification of the impact of grid-forming inverters on island grid stability|
|Public Service Commission of South Carolina||Regulatory Commission||South Carolina||Costs, benefits, and effective implementation of utility hosting capacity maps|
|Austin Energy||Municipal Utility||Texas||Community benefit measures, equity planning, and stakeholder engagement for grid resilience|
|Virgin Islands Public Services Commission||Regulatory Commission||U.S. Virgin Islands||Analyze and address existing advanced metering infrastructure systems and interoperability|
|District of Columbia Public Service Commission||Regulatory Commission||Washington, D.C.||Grid integration of distributed energy resources in the District of Columbia|
|Public Service Commission of Wisconsin||Regulatory Commission||Wisconsin||Analysis and modeling for Wisconsin’s roadmap to zero carbon|
2023 Project Topics
To assist 2023 Host Institution applicants with their project summaries, DOE offered the following topics of interest for consideration.
GROUP A: TOPICS OF INTEREST FOR PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSIONS (PUCS), ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES & MUNICIPAL UTILITIES, & GRID OPERATORS
- Distributed energy resource adoption and integration
- Electrification (e.g., buildings, vehicles and transportation, charging infrastructure)
- Grid planning and modernization
- Equity and energy justice
- Regulation (e.g., rate design, interconnection)
GROUP B: TOPICS OF INTEREST FOR PUCS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN ENABLING ESSENTIAL GRID SERVICES ON THE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
- Regulatory and economic structures that allow distributed technologies to provide essential grid services while ensuring asset owner/operators receive fair compensation for these services.
- Distributed energy technologies include but are not limited to inverter-based resources, microgrids, electric vehicle supply equipment, and distributed energy resources.
- Essential grid services include but are not limited to frequency regulation, voltage support, and operating reserves.
- In their project summary, host institutions should identify specific grid services or distribution-level operations for which economic or regulatory support is necessary.
- DOE’s Grid Deployment Office will support fellows and help facilitate the collaborative development of best practices.
GROUP C: TOPICS OF INTEREST FOR PUERTO RICAN ESSENTIAL ENERGY ORGANIZATIONS
- Grid resilience and energy planning
GROUP D: TOPICS OF INTEREST SPECIFIC TO GRID RESILIENCE AND/OR TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Grid resilience formula grant implementation (i.e., BIL Sec. 40101(d))
- Grid resilience investment prioritization and valuation
- Grid resilience metrics development
- Community engagement and equity in the context of grid resilience planning
- Development of tribal energy expertise and energy sector workforce
- Tribe energy resilience planning practices and decision-making
Learn more about the CEIF selection process.
CEIF is funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Grid Deployment Office and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).
Learn about other fellowship opportunities in EERE.