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Consortium of 14 HBCUs selected by U.S. Department of Energy to expand Solar Energy Access

June 4, 2017

HBCU Branding Agency has been working on a PR campaign for the HBCU Clean Energy Consortium who was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in the DOE’s Solar in Your Community challenge. The Consortium is up for $1 million as part of the national competition to expand solar energy access for low to moderate income households and non-profit organizations. The DOE has made available up to $5 million for this project, which includes $2 million in seed funding and another $2 million available for technical assistance.

Over the next 18 months, the Consortium will collaborate in developing new and innovative financial and business models that would increase the community’s solar energy adoption, expand workforce development training for jobs in the solar field, improve energy affordability, and help these communities overcome the financial barriers to solar access. The team would develop and implement the program with a range of partners, including solar developers, utility companies, cities, financial institutions, and community groups.

The Consortium’s participation is part of a national energy challenge initiated by the DOE to challenge energy innovation across the country and to address the widening gap of the lack of solar access in under-served communities. The DOE estimates that although solar energy adoption has been rapidly growing over the past few years, about half of American households do not have access to a solar-ready roof. The Energy efficiency industry also added over 300,000 net new jobs in 2016, 14% of the nation’s job growth, and workforce training is needed to prepare Americans for these new careers.

The fourteen HBCUs that make up the Consortium include:

Texas Southern University
Prairie View A&M University
Southern University
University of the Virgin Islands
Florida Memorial University
Benedict College
North Carolina A&T University
Johnson C. Smith University
Claflin University
Tennessee State University
Morgan State University
Coppin State University
Norfolk State University
University of Maryland Eastern Shore


About the Solar in Your Community Challenge

The Solar in Your Community Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and administered by SUNY Polytechnic Institute, is a $5 million prize competition that aims to expand solar access to low and moderate income households; and state, local, and tribal governments; and non-profit organizations. SunShot aims to make solar energy a low cost electricity source for all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private partners. Learn more at

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