The Biden administration announced today the selection of $20 billion of awards to fund thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the U.S., with a particular focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities.

The buildout of clean energy capacity has been key focus areas for the Biden administration’s climate agenda, with the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) including allocations of nearly $500 billion to climate-focused investments in areas including carbon-free energy, manufacturing and clean technologies.

The new awards, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan, form part of the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), a $27 billion program funded through the IRA, aimed at mobilizing financing and private capital for greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects. The GGRF consists of a series of programs designed to finance clean technology deployment, while building the capacity of community lenders serving low-income communities to provide financing for clean energy projects.

Over 70% of the new awards will be directed to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Vice President Harris said:

“The grantees announced today will help ensure that families, small businesses, and community leaders have access to the capital they need to make climate and clean energy projects a reality in their neighborhoods.”

Projects supported through the new awards will include distributed clean power generation and storage, net-zero retrofits of homes and small businesses, and zero-emission transportation, with the selected applicants collectively committing to reducing or avoiding up to 40 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually over the next seven years.

According to the White House and the EPA, the awardees also plan to mobilize approximately 7 times the capital awarded, resulting in $150 billion of total investment facilitated through the new investment.

The awards include $14 billion to three non-profit applicants – the Climate United Fund, Coalition for Green Capital, and Power Forward Communities – through the GGRF’s National Clean Investment Fund, to establish national clean financing institutions that deliver accessible, affordable financing for clean technology projects, and $6 billion to five non-profits under the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, aimed at establishing hubs to provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working in low-income and disadvantaged communities to help deploy clean energy projects.

The remaining $7 billion under the GGRF is expected to be awarded later this spring through the EPA’s Solar for All program, aimed at deploying and expanding low-income solar programs to enable access to affordable solar energy.

Regan said:

“Today, we’re putting an unprecedented $20 billion to work in communities that for too long have been shut out of resources to lower costs and benefit from clean technology solutions. The selectees announced today will deliver transformational investments for American communities, businesses, and families and unleash tens of thousands of clean technology projects like putting solar on small businesses, electrifying affordable housing, providing EV loans for young families, and countless others.”