Thought Leadership

EPA Announces $7 Billion Grant Program for Non-Profit Solar Projects

Client Updates

I. Overview

The Inflation Reduction Act authorized the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) to create the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (the “GGRF”), a fund that will invest $27 billion in greenhouse gas reducing technologies and projects.The EPA is implementing the GGRF through three grant programs – the National Clean Investment Fund, the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator and the Solar for All Program. The National Clean Investment Fund and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator will provide grants to non-profit organizations that increase access to capital for clean energy projects and local community lenders in disadvantaged communities developing clean technology projects. The Solar for All program will award up to 60 grants in a total amount of $7 billion to states, territories, tribal governments, municipalities, and non-profit recipients to increase access to distributed solar for low-income and disadvantaged communities.

II. Program Benefits & Eligibility2

a. Program Benefits

A Solar for All grant can be used to expand existing or develop new programs that ensure low-income households have access to residential rooftop and residential-serving community solar energy. These programs can include financial and technical assistance that increases access to the benefits of distributed solar for low-income households, including workforce training programs that allow communities to participate in the energy transition. Solar for All programs can also be expanded to include associated storage and enabling upgrades.

The EPA anticipates awarding cooperative agreements that provide for substantial involvement between the EPA project officer and the selected applicant. The exact terms of such cooperative agreements will be negotiated as part of the award process, but are anticipated to include substantial federal involvement.

b. Eligibility & Estimated Awards

The EPA had divided the 60 grants it anticipates awarding into the following three categories:


Award Option #1: State and Territory Programs

Award Option #2: American Indian and Alaska Native Programs

Award Option #3: Multi-State Programs

Eligible Recipient Type

States, Territories, Tribal Governments, Municipalities and Non-Profits

Tribal Governments and Non-Profits

Tribal Governments, Municipalities and Non-Profits

Number of Awards

Up to 56

Up to 5

Up to 10

Scope of Program

Programs that serve a specific state or territory (or a portion thereof)

Programs that serve American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Programs that serve similar communities in multiple states


Each of a state, municipality and tribal government must meet the definition of such body set forth in Section 302 of the Clean Air Act.An eligible non-profit must meet the following criteria:

  • A non-profit organization;
  • Designed to provide capital, leverage private capital, and provide other forms of financial assistance for the rapid deployment of low- and zero-emission products, technologies, and services;
  • Does not take deposits other than deposits from repayments and other revenue received from financial assistance provided using grant funds under this program;
  • Funded by public or charitable contributions; and
  • Invests in or finances projects alone or in conjunction with other investors

III. Application Process

a. Notice of Intent

Any interested applicants will need to have an active and registration in order to apply (note that the process for these registrations can take a month or more).  Applicants will need to submit a Notice of Intent by the following deadlines: July 31, 2023 (for states, DC and Puerto Rico), August 14, 2023 (for Territories, Municipalities and Eligible Non-Profit Recipients) and August 28, 2023 (for Tribal Governments and Intertribal Consortia). The Notice of Intent will need to include the name of the applicant, the applicant’s eligibility and the number and type of applications the applicant intends to make. 

b. Application

Applicants will need to provide their full applications by September 26, 2023The EPA intends to notify Applicants of selection in March 2024 and grant awards July 2024.Applications will need to include certain forms and documents that are described on the website (including budget information, compliance review reports, a program narrative and a lobbying form).3

Applications will be evaluated using a points-based criteria (with 245 points possible). The points will be allocated as follows:

  • Program Strategy Narrative (175 Points) – The narrative articulates a plan to use the grant to advance the following GGRF program objectives:
    • Reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
    • Delivery of benefits of greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects to American communities, particularly low-income and disadvantaged communities.
    • Mobilization of financing and private capital to stimulate additional deployment of greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects.
  • Program Administration Narrative (50 Points) – The application will deploy and manage funds efficiently, responsibly, and transparently.
  • Programmatic Capabilities and Environmental Results Past Performance (20 Points) – The applicant’s ability to successfully complete and manage the proposed program plan considering their past performance.

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