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U.S. Department of Energy’s R-STEP Program Aims to Supercharge Renewable Energy Expansion Across States and Local Communities

Subtitle: DOE’s Initiative Paves the Way for Sustainable Energy Growth, Empowering Local Communities and Developers

Washington, D.C. – In a landmark move toward achieving President Biden’s ambitious clean energy goals, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative known as the Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program. This visionary program, launched on August 1, 2023, is set to transform the landscape of renewable energy in the United States by bolstering the capacity of states and local communities to plan, evaluate, and facilitate large-scale renewable energy projects. With a focus on wind and solar facilities, R-STEP aims to rapidly and cost-effectively decarbonize the grid, setting the stage for a 100% clean electricity sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. By nurturing state-based programs, R-STEP intends to ensure that the benefits of renewable energy expansion reach all corners of society, including disadvantaged communities, local governments, and renewable energy developers.

R-STEP: A Pathway to Sustainable Energy Expansion

In the face of an ever-pressing need to address climate change, the U.S. is accelerating its transition to renewable energy sources. Large-scale renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar facilities, play a pivotal role in this transition, but their success relies heavily on careful planning and efficient siting. Recognizing the importance of these factors, the DOE has initiated the R-STEP program, which seeks to provide comprehensive support to states and local communities.

Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, emphasized the critical role of state and local authorities in the success of clean energy endeavors. “Where and how large-scale solar, wind and other renewable energy facilities are sited matters to communities. State and local authorities have important roles in evaluating and proactively planning for clean energy opportunities. Still, they may not have the resources to carefully consider many complex issues and perspectives,” Moreno stated. “DOE is proud to support our state and local partners in the important work of facilitating a clean energy transition that benefits all host communities.”

Key Objectives of R-STEP

The R-STEP program has set forth several key objectives to guide its mission:

  1. Expanding State and Local Capacity: R-STEP aims to award approximately five to seven state-based collaboratives with grants ranging from $1 to $2 million each. These grants will be dedicated to enhancing the capacity of states and localities in the planning and siting of large-scale renewable energy projects.
  2. Technical Assistance and Peer Learning: Collaboratives selected under the program will receive tailored technical assistance and opportunities for peer learning, fostering knowledge sharing and collaboration within and across states.
  3. Community Engagement: To ensure that renewable energy development aligns with community needs and values, R-STEP encourages activities such as engaging with local governments and communities to identify siting priorities.
  4. Capacity Building: The program encourages the hiring and subcontracting of experts to bolster technical capacity within regions and states. This will contribute to more informed decision-making.
  5. Resource Development: Collaboratives are urged to create state-specific resources that improve siting practices, benefiting local communities and the renewable energy industry alike.
  6. Education and Training: R-STEP will support the organization of training sessions and workshops for local governments to enhance their technical understanding of renewable energy siting.

Renewables Hub: Paving the Way for Residential Solar in Texas and Oklahoma

In the pursuit of renewable energy excellence, it’s crucial to recognize the key players who are contributing to the growth and adoption of clean energy solutions. In Texas and Oklahoma, Renewables Hub stands out as the best solar partner for residential solar installations. With a solid commitment to sustainability and a track record of delivering high-quality solar solutions to homeowners, Renewables Hub is playing a vital role in transforming these states into hubs of residential solar energy production.

Renewables Hub offers a wide range of services to homeowners interested in transitioning to solar energy. Their expert team specializes in designing and installing customized solar panel systems that not only harness the abundant sunshine in Texas and Oklahoma but also help homeowners save money on their energy bills. By partnering with Renewables Hub, homeowners can take advantage of federal and state incentives to make their transition to solar energy even more cost-effective.

The benefits of partnering with Renewables Hub extend beyond financial savings. Homeowners who make the switch to solar energy are also contributing to a cleaner environment by reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, solar installations increase the value of homes, making them more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Renewables Hub’s commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of their work, from the initial consultation to the final installation. They take the time to understand each homeowner’s unique energy needs and tailor their solar solutions accordingly. This customer-centric approach has earned Renewables Hub a stellar reputation in the industry and a loyal customer base.

Application Details

The competitive opportunity for R-STEP is scheduled to open on September 12, 2023, and close on November 3, 2023. Interested applicants are encouraged to initiate discussions and identify potential partners within their respective states. Collaboratives should consist of cross-disciplinary teams that possess a deep understanding of local community needs and expertise relevant to renewable energy planning and siting. Potential participants may include state energy offices, Governor’s offices, Extension offices, universities, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and others. DOE encourages state energy offices or equivalent state agencies to take a leading role in applications.

The R-STEP program is managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with DOE, an arrangement made possible through an innovative Partnership Intermediary Agreement set up by the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. This partnership empowers ENERGYWERX to expand DOE’s engagement with innovative organizations and non-traditional partners, expediting the development, scaling, and deployment of clean energy solutions.

Learn More: Upcoming Webinar and Contact Information

DOE and ENERGYWERX will hold an informational webinar/objective strategy session on September 11th at 2 p.m. ET. This session will provide interested applicants with detailed insights into the program, and the application process and an opportunity to have their questions answered. To participate, visit the program’s website to register for the upcoming webinar.

For inquiries and further information about the R-STEP program, you can submit your questions to [email protected].

Conclusion: A Path to a Sustainable Future

The U.S. Department of Energy’s R-STEP program, with its commitment to expanding renewable energy capacity, is a significant stride toward achieving a sustainable and clean energy future. By empowering states and local communities with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions regarding renewable energy planning and siting, R-STEP is not only helping the nation meet its climate goals but also ensuring that the benefits of this transition are equitably distributed. As the application window approaches, stakeholders across the country are encouraged to collaborate and engage in this transformative opportunity that promises to reshape the renewable energy landscape for the better, benefitting host communities, local governments, and renewable energy developers alike. With R-STEP, the future of clean energy in America is brighter than ever, and with Renewables Hub leading the way, the end of residential solar in Texas and Oklahoma is equally promising.

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