Uncategorized, Weatherization

Solar PV Projects Part of $120 Million DOE Weatherization Funding Awards

This article from the Solar Home and Business Journal discusses the new weatherization grants that SCCAP and other organizations have been awarded: http://tinyurl.com/29d63lo

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that 120 organizations across the country will receive nearly $120 million under a Weatherization Assistance Program that will include some solar photovoltaic installations.

Even more common than solar PV will be installations of solar water-heating systems under the various programs receiving funds.  A wide range of other energy-efficiency and weatherization measures are included.

The investments, the department said in a news release, will enable successful weatherization agencies to expand their programs and will support new pilot projects to demonstrate innovative weatherization delivery and financial models, as well as new technologies. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu also announced that the program reached a new milestone in June — weatherizing more than 31,600 homes across the country.

“The weatherization program under the Recovery Act is successfully creating jobs in local communities, saving money for families, and reducing carbon pollution across the country,” said Mr. Chu. “The funding announced today builds on the department’s existing investments in energy efficiency to continue to expand and drive innovations in the weatherization program that will provide even greater energy and cost savings to low-income families.”

After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal run rate of approximately 25,000 homes a month. The program is creating thousands of jobs locally, the department said, putting carpenters, electricians and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems. According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010.

Under the program, about $90 million in Recovery Act funds will be awarded to more than 100 high-performing local weatherization providers in 27 states to complement and expand their existing weatherization programs. Each of the selected organizations has already met a milestone of weatherizing 30 percent of their total production goal and spending 30 percent of their Recovery Act funds. The new awards will allow these organizations to install renewable-energy systems and cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies in homes to help families save money on their energy bills. This includes installing technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels and shingles, solar water-heating systems, small-scale wind turbines, new insulation technologies, cool roofs, high-efficiency appliances, tankless hot water systems, high-efficiency combination boilers for hot water and heat, in-home energy monitors, and ductless heat pump systems.

An additional $30 million from the weatherization program’s annual budget will go to 16 recipients that will demonstrate other innovative approaches to weatherizing low-income single and multifamily homes. Projects will include new types of weatherization partnerships, financial models that allow for greater private sector leveraging, workforce training and volunteer engagement, and the demonstration of new energy-efficiency technologies such as in-home energy monitors.

Groups receiving funding for projects that specifically mention solar photovoltaic systems include the following:

Indiana: Five local weatherization agencies have been selected to receive over $1.3 million to implement a variety of technologies. Four of them mention solar PV or solar panels:

  • Community Action Program of Evansville and Vanderburgh County Inc., based in Evansville, will receive over $300,000 for the installation of tankless and solar hot-water systems, solar panels, and heat pumps.
  • Tri-CAP (Dubois Pike Warrick Economic Opportunity Committee Inc.), located in Jasper, will receive nearly $250,000 for LED lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaics, and new water heating, among other technologies.
  • Miami County YMCA, located in Peru, will receive over $220,000 for solar photovoltaic and solar hot-water systems.
  • South Central Community Action Program, Inc., based in Bloomington, will receive nearly $400,000 for tankless water heaters, heat pump systems, and passive solar panels.

Maryland: Two local weatherization agencies in Maryland have been selected to receive over $2.5 million. One of them, Garrett County Community Action Committee, based in Oakland, will receive over $1 million to install wind, solar or geothermal renewable-energy systems for low and very low-income residents.

Michigan: Two local weatherization agencies in Michigan have been selected to receive nearly $7 million. Muskegon-Oceana Community Action Partnership Inc., in Muskegon, and Oakland- Livingston Human Services Agency, located in Pontiac, will install residential wind turbines and photovoltaic systems and perform deep energy retrofits.

Montana: Three local weatherization agencies in Montana have been selected to receive over $900,000 to test a variety of technologies. Two include renewable electricity.

  • Rocky Mountain Development Council, based in Helena, will receive over $450,000 to conduct home energy-saving workshops and install in-home energy monitors, solar hot-water systems and perform integrated whole-home energy retrofits to include heat, cooling, insulation and renewable electric systems.
  • District XII’s Human Resource Development Council, in Butte, will receive over $350,000 for home energy-saving workshops, solar electric systems, deep energy retrofits, and to coordinate bulk purchasing networks.

Nevada: Four local weatherization agencies in Nevada will receive nearly $7 million to install in-home energy monitors, photovoltaic systems, solar water heaters, heat pumps, residential wind turbines, and perform deep efficiency retrofits. The agencies are:

  • HELP of Southern Nevada, based in Las Vegas;
  • Community Services Agency, located in Reno;
  • Rural Nevada Development Corp., based in Ely;
  • Nevada Rural Housing Authority, located in Carson City.

New Hampshire: Five local weatherization agencies in New Hampshire will receive over $2.5 million to implement a variety of technologies, including solar PV.

  • Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties Inc., located in Concord, will receive $500,000 for solar space heating and solar photovoltaics.
  • Southern New Hampshire Services Inc., based in Manchester, will receive $600,000 for solar space heating, solar photovoltaics, and high performance hot-water systems.
  • Southwestern Community Services Inc., located in Keene, will receive $500,000 for solar photovoltaics, high performance hot-water systems, Energy Star-qualified clothes washers, and qualified insulation upgrades.
  • Strafford County Community Action Committee Inc., based in Dover, will receive $565,000 for a foam injection system, solar photovoltaics, and high performance hot water systems.
  • Tri-County Community Action Program Inc., located in Berlin, will receive $400,000 for solar space heating, solar photovoltaics, and high performance hot water systems.

Ohio: People Working Cooperatively, based in Cincinnati, has been selected to receive $1.5 million to establish a comprehensive energy conservation program that will integrate delivery of weatherization and housing rehabilitation services through utility programs and an existing network of 5,000 volunteers. The project will provide weatherization services to approximately 675 low-income households in Indiana and the Duke Energy service area in Ohio, drawing on volunteer labor. Smart meters will be installed as well as a photovoltaic solar system on a multi-family building. The project will also develop a real-time evaluation system to improve the cost-effectiveness and delivery of weatherization services.

Oklahoma: Eight groups will receive $2.5 million to implement a variety of technologies, including one that will install solar PV systems. The Southwest Oklahoma Community Action Group, located in Altus, will receive nearly $500,000 to install hot-water systems, solar photovoltaics, residential wind systems, and cool roofs and to establish community-based social marketing.

Oregon: Eight local weatherization agencies have been selected to receive nearly $7 million for two projects, piloting the installation of solar photovoltaic systems and implementing a broader set of sustainable energy-efficiency alternatives. The following agencies will participate in the solar photovoltaic pilot:

  • Aging Community Coordinated Enterprise & Supportive Services, based in Medford;
  • Community Action Team, located in St. Helens;
  • Community Services Commission , based in Corvallis;
  • NeighborImpact, located in Redmond;
  • Oregon Coast Community Action Agency, based in Coos Bay;
  • Oregon Human Development Corp., located in Portland;
  • United Community Action Network, based in Roseburg;
  • Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP), located in McMinnville.

Virginia: Three local weatherization agencies in Virginia have been selected to receive $4.5 million to fund various technologies.

  • ElderHomes Inc., located in Richmond, will receive $2.5 million to install high-performance hot-water systems, efficient windows, high efficiency heat pumps, and solar photovoltaics.
  • People Inc. of Virginia, based in Abingdon, will receive $1 million to install solar hot-water systems, geothermal heating and cooling, and solar photovoltaics.
  • Total Action Against Poverty, located in Roanoke, will receive $1 million to install high-performance hot-water systems, geothermal heating and cooling, cool roofs, and solar photovoltaics.

Washington: Eleven local weatherization agencies in Washington have been selected to receive nearly $7 million to fund a variety of technologies. Three specifically mention solar PV.

  • King County Housing Authority, based in Tukwila, will install ductless mini-split heat pumps and solar photovoltaics.
  • Rural Resources Community Action, based in Colville, will install solar and tankless hot-water systems and solar photovoltaics.
  • The Opportunity Council, based in Bellingham, will install solar and heat pump hot-water systems, mini-split ductless heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, and deep energy retrofits.

2 thoughts on “Solar PV Projects Part of $120 Million DOE Weatherization Funding Awards”

  1. Patrick,

    We have hired more than half a dozen new employees in our Weatherization Department this year as a result of expanding our program and providing energy efficiency improvements to more homes with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. All of those jobs have been advertised in the Bloomington newspaper, The Herald-Times, as well as on this blog.

    In addition, the private contractors that we use to provide the improvements to the homes have been able to grow as a result of these funds.

    My understanding is that we will not be hiring any additional staff with the $400,000 in grant funding described above. Our existing staff will have to handle that work. Please keep your eye on this blog for any new job openings that we do have in the future.

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