Building local community resilience hubs

 

The 2021 application deadline for the Resilience Hubs grant program is now closed.

 

Communities across California face growing threats from the projected changes in the state’s climate. These risks include extreme weather events such as coastal and inland flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and more powerful storms, as well as slow onset stresses like sea level rise and rising average temperatures.

 

Some California communities may lack a safe gathering place or access to critical services if impacted by a climate-driven extreme weather event or other local emergency or disruption. These events can have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, including environmental and social justice communities, who may have fewer resources to address disruptive events.

 

Through the Resilience Hubs grant program, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is requesting grant proposals to help communities build a network of local resilience hubs. These projects can provide a physical space or set of resources that supports community resilience—such as access to power, shelter, and information—to climate-driven extreme weather events, including wildfires, as well as future Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. Once developed, the hubs can also be accessed year-round to build and sustain community adaptive capacity in a trusted location.

 

Types of proposals

 

Suitable approaches for resilience hub proposals may include, but are not limited to, conducting a feasibility analysis to assess resilience hub needs through local engagement, planning and design of physical spaces or mobile resources that will provide community resilience benefit, or retrofits of existing buildings or structures to support community resilience.

 

Recognizing the varying needs and levels of project planning across communities, PG&E will issue a total of $400,000 in grant awards in 2021 at both the $25,000 and $100,000 level, depending on the applications we receive:

 

  • Feasibility Projects: Proposals for grants of $25,000 each, to fund an assessment of resilience hub needs and conceptual ideas for a resilience hub.
  • Design and Build Projects: Proposals for grants of $100,000 each, toward the design and/or creation of a resilience hub, either planning and design of new physical spaces or mobile resources or retrofits of existing buildings or structures to support community resilience.

 

Priority will be given to projects that address the needs of disadvantaged and/or vulnerable communities. These grants are intended to serve as seed funding to support resilience hub facility planning and design. Communities may need to pursue other sources of funding to cover the full cost of the hub.

 

This funding will be distributed through a competitive solicitation and bid process to eligible nonprofit or government organizations (including tribal governments) within PG&E’s service territory. Applicants must be prepared to provide documentation to demonstrate they meet PG&E’s criteria for eligibility.

 

Applicants should apply for either a Feasibility Project or a Design and Build Project based on the proposed activities and existing information regarding the need and feasibility of a resilience hub in your community. If you need to begin with assessing the need for or feasibility of your hub idea, you can apply for a Feasibility Project in this cycle and then apply for a Design and Build Project in a future cycle.

 


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What is a resilience hub?

 

A resilience hub provides a physical space or set of resources that support resilience in communities—including access to power, shelter, or information—during climate-driven major weather events and other extreme events, while helping to build and sustain year-round community adaptive capacity, especially for vulnerable communities.

 

Need Inspiration?

 

Look to resources and case studies such as, Resilience-Hub.org, NorCal Resilience Hubs Initiative, and CREW Climate Resilience Hubs or draw ideas from other similar resilience hubs programs in Boston, MA, Seattle, WA, and Maryland. Find some inspiration and just remember that each program has different goals and may have a specific definition for “hub”—make sure your proposal meets the criteria for this grant program.

Additional Grant Opportunities

 

You may also be interested in the Better Together Resilient Communities (BTRC) grant program, which is sponsored by The PG&E Corporation Foundation (Foundation), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, separate from PG&E and sponsored by PG&E’s shareholders.

 

The Foundation’s BTRC program is independent from PG&E’s Resilience Hubs grant program. You can apply for a Resilience Hub grant and a BTRC in the same grant cycle/year.

 

Learn more about the BTRC program.


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Additional PG&E Resilience Resources

 

PG&E offers a variety of other grant, rebate, and incentive programs that you may apply for to support resilience in your community. Below are some examples of additional PG&E resilience resources.

Community Resilience Guide: Helps communities understand their options to increase energy resiliency.

 

Community Microgrid Enablement Program: Helps communities plan and implement their own microgrid projects.

 

Self-Generation Incentive Program: Offers financial incentives for non-residential customers installing battery storage or generation equipment.

 

Savings by Design Program: Offers assistance to analyze your building's energy design to help it rise above the standard.

 

Custom Retrofits: Learn how you can install high-efficiency equipment and systems to help reduce your peak demand in kilowatts (kW) and annual energy use (kWh and therm) and receive cash incentive payments.

 

Back-Up Electric Generation: Learn how backup electric generators can operate as a stand-alone power source and some require interconnection to PG&E’s electric grid.

 

A variety of other PG&E programs may support aspects of your project idea.

 

  • Save Energy & Money: Programs, incentives and tools that can be used to reduce energy use to boost resilience
  • Building & Property Management: Information and services that can make resilience upgrades easier
  • Energy Alternatives: Information and support for expanding solar or other energy alternatives in your project
  • Back-Up Power: Information and rebate programs that support back-up power installations
  • Safety and Preparedness: Tips and information to improve help prepare for power outages