Duluth chosen for U.S. Department of Energy’s clean energy pilot program

clean energy program
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) - Duluth is one of just 22 communities across the country being recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for efforts to combat climate change.

Local organization Ecolibrium3 has been at the forefront of those efforts with its energy efficiency program.

“We’ve done things like the solar garden, which benefits low-income households,” said Ecolibrium3 CEO Jodi Slick. “And in this particular case, we are the grantee associated with the DOE’s LEAP program.”

Ecolibrium3 and the Lincoln Park community have been selected to pilot the Local Energy Action Program or Communities LEAP.

“For the city of Duluth, it’s awesome to think about getting a pathway to clean energy future for one of our neighborhoods,” said Mindy Granley, City of Duluth Sustainability Officer.

The program will work with local organizations to create an energy action plan with the goal of reducing air pollution, increasing energy resilience, lowering utility costs, and creating good-paying jobs.

“The lessons we learn in Lincoln Park, we can use in other neighborhoods across the city,” said Granley.

Although there is no actual funding provided as part of LEAP, the DOE will provide data to help local organizations determine high-priority projects and the technical assistance needed to make them happen.

“We’re all moving toward a clean energy future. That is happening,” said Slick. “What this means for this neighborhood and the city is roughly half a million dollars of really smart people helping us figure out the plan.”

Slick said she hopes the DOE’s assistance will lead to funding for future projects.

In Minnesota, Minneapolis and Hennepin County were also chosen for the program.

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