March 15, 2022 - The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity (OE) Energy Storage Program has selected 14 communities from more than 60 applicants to receive technical assistance from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as part of the Energy Storage for Social Equity (ES4SE) Initiative. Launched in September 2021 and funded by the Energy Storage Program, ES4SE supports underserved communities as they leverage energy storage as a means of increasing resilience and long-term affordability.

“These 14 organizations have shown admirable motivation to address the inequities plaguing their local energy systems and bring prosperity and quality of life to their communities,” said Dr. Imre Gyuk, director of OE’s Energy Storage Research. “Community perspectives and voices should be widely acknowledged as we invest and plan our energy future.”

Nationally, more than 65% of low-income households face a high energy burden and more than 30% of all households have experienced some form of energy insecurity. ES4SE was created to provide a solution to unreliable and expensive energy, contribute to an equitable clean energy transition, and bring economic prosperity to underserved communities. 

Selected as part of the first phase, these communities will receive technical support to better assess their energy challenges, evaluate solutions, and find partners to support the community in meeting its energy goals. Identified urban, rural, and tribal communities will receive technical assistance, equity assessments, and workforce analysis. Technical assistance may include energy, economic, and spatial analysis.

The selected participants are: 

  • Native Renewable, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community and Western Energy Development, Trinidad, CA
  • Ayika Solutions Incorporated, Atlanta, GA
  • Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai, Kaunakakai, HI
  • Together New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
  • Honor the Earth, Callaway, MN
  • Coast Electric Power Association, Kiln, MS
  • Joule Community Power and Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY
  • Warm Springs Community Action Team, Warm Springs, OR
  • Rogue Climate, Coos Bay, OR
  • Coyote Steals Fire Energy Group, Pendleton, OR
  • Makah Tribe, Neah Bay, WA
  • Klickitat Valley Health, Goldendale, WA
  • Oneida Nation, Oneida, WI

The second phase will focus on energy storage project development and deployment, where up to five communities within this group will be selected to begin installing and commissioning their projects. Engineering support may include equipment sizing, identifying utility connections, identifying safety concerns, installation support, measurement, and validation to ensure project performance meets the original goals. 

The ES4SE initiative also supports the Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in energy storage.