Renewables & Resilience Incentive Program for Human Service Providers

Closing date December 31, 2024, 12:00 AM

 

Human Service Providers can request funding to install: 

  • Solar panels
  • Battery storage
  • Vehicle-to-building electric vehicle charging  

Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR)’s Renewables and Resilience Program can fund up to 100% of the costs associated with installing solar panels, battery storage and EV charging. This program supports Denver’s goal of a 100% carbon-free electric grid by 2030. 
 
Human Service Providers can:  

  1. Reduce utility costs: Lower operating costs allow more funding for critical support services.
  2. Reduce fossil fuel consumption: A solar system that covers 100% of electricity costs would avoid 1,185 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Protect public health: Burning less fossil fuel improves both indoor and outdoor air quality Increase resiliency: Solar, battery storage, and vehicle-to-building EV charging can provide backup power to buildings during power outages, avoiding higher utility costs during heavy demand. 

Program Background

The Path to 100% Renewable Energy in Denver 
Denver is working towards a 100% renewable energy future by 2030. The city is working with Xcel Energy, the first investor-owned utility to announce a voluntary target, to reach that goal.  

  • 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 
  • 80% renewable electricity on their electric grid by 2030 

However, there is still a gap that Denver must close between Xcel Energy’s carbon reduction trajectory  and the city’s goal of 100% renewable energy. Denver has significant untapped potential that can help close this gap, a key component of the city’s 100% Renewable Electricity Action Plan

The deployment, integration, and management of solar, battery storage, and vehicle-to-building (V2B) electric vehicle (EV) charging, is essential to support a 100% carbon-free electric grid. However, these upgrades can be cost-prohibitive for non-profit Human Service Providers and low- and moderate-income residents in Denver. CASR’s goal is to reduce the electricity-associated greenhouse gas emissions from each Human Service Provider funded by this program by at least 20%.  

Investing in Solar, Battery Storage, and EV Charging for Human Service Providers 

CASR intends to meet this goal by offering a financial incentive to human service providers. The incentive can fund up to 100% of the costs associated with installation. This program will also accelerate market adoption, leading to greater emissions reductions more quickly. The technologies included and the levels of incentives offered will be updated as market conditions change. 

CASR has determined that the incentive program aligns with the Legislative Declaration establishing the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency (Sec. 2-404 D.R.M.C.) as well as the Permitted Uses of Revenue in the Climate Protection Fund (Sec. 2-405 of the D.R.M.C.). 

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for consideration: 

  1. The proposed projects must serve a building owned and occupied by the applying Human Service Provider. Eligible installations must include consideration of the following components:
    • Renewable power generation (e.g. solar photovoltaics)
    • Resiliency (e.g. battery storage and/or V2B EV charging)
  2. The applicant must be a Human Service Provider, defined as a non-profit entity that offers critical services, examples of which may include but are not limited to:
    • Advocacy organizations (e.g., Community Advocacy, Social Service Advocacy, or similar)
    • Affordable housing providers
    • After-school providers
    • Childcare centers
    • Community centers
    • Community financial institutions (e.g., credit unions, non-profit lenders)
    • Disability service providers
    • Domestic Violence Centers
    • Emergency service organizations
    • Family support organizations
    • Food pantries
    • Homeless shelters
    • Hospitals, health care facilities, and clinics
    • Housing service providers Immigration service providers
    • Job training and workforce development services
    • Law/legal centers (non-profit/pro-bono services to income-qualified communities)
    • Libraries
    • Mental and behavioral health facilities
    • Places of worship
    • Rehabilitation providers
    • Senior centers
    • Transitional or supportive housing (including for teens and LGBTQ)
    • Women’s or children’s shelters 
  3. The applicant must have a demonstrable connection to and input from the local community. 
  4. The building must be an Xcel Energy customer located within the City and County of Denver. 

Submit an Application

Applications are completed in two steps: 

Step 1: Confirmation of Applicant Eligibility
Step 2: Installation Project Scope and Quote 

Step 1 applications may be submitted on a rolling basis. Step 1 applicants will be notified if they are invited to submit a Step 2 application and will receive a direct link to the submission form. 

Step 1 Application Required Document Uploads: 

  • Proof of building ownership
  • Proof of non-profit status
  • Recent Xcel Energy bill for the building
  • At least two letters of support from partner community-based organizations or members served by the applicant 

If a Step 1 application is approved to move to Step 2, the applicant can choose any of the following Step 2 application deadlines to submit to: 

  • March 7
  • June 7
  • September 7
  • December 7 

Step 2 Application Required Document Uploads: 

  1. Project quote (must contain 1) equipment costs; 2) labor costs; 3) estimate from Xcel Energy and/or qualified contractor as applicable to provide additional electric service)
  2. Supporting documentation related to the solar photovoltaic system
  3. Diversity and Inclusiveness in city Solicitations Request Form
  4. W-9
  5. Current Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State  

All required forms and supporting documentation must be included at the time the application is submitted. Please review the Sample Agreement with the city’s standard language and insurance requirements and the Full Program Description before submitting your application.  

Evaluation of Applications

Applications will be evaluated according to the criteria described below, with the weights allocated to each criterion. 

  1. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Assessment (40 points) – There must be a demonstrated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by comparing the historical, or expected, electricity use of the building vs the estimated annual solar production of the proposed system. CASR will prepare the assessment using data submitted by the applicant. 
  2. Cost Effectiveness (30 points) – Installation should represent a cost-effective opportunity to install electric upgrades when paired with Climate Protection Fund support. The applicant must demonstrate an ability to leverage additional funding sources to minimize the required support from the Climate Protection Fund.  
  3. Resiliency Benefits (15 points) – Installation should capture resiliency benefits such as the ability to provide backup power and continue operations during a grid outage, etc. Additional benefits may include but are not limited to reduction in urban heat island effects through the use of solar carports. 
  4. Community Impact (10 points) – There must be a demonstrated connection to and input from the local community the Human Service Provider serves. Additional benefits may include but are not limited to projects located in a NEST neighborhood.   
  5. Teaming Plan and Workforce Standards (5 points) – Applicants must describe their team and qualifications, as well as any woman- and minority-owned businesses that are part of their team. Applicants should also demonstrate with measurable goals, as applicable, how they utilize high road labor standards such as providing on-the-job training opportunities, wrap-around services, and a workforce from certification or apprenticeship programs; provide benefits such as health care, retirement, and wage standards; use best value/responsible contracting; and have regional targeted and local hire requirements.  

The city may request an interview as part of the evaluation process. Any such interviews will take place after CASR has conducted an initial review of submitted applications.  

The city reserves the right to negotiate the total contract amount and award all, some, or none of the requested award. The city is not liable for any costs or expenses arising out of preparation of this application and selected applicants may not include any of these costs or expenses as part of their fee, rate, or charge for performing work under the contract.  

CASR encourages applicants to utilize small-, minority-, and woman-owned businesses on their project team and, where independent contractors are needed, consider utilizing individuals who identify as people of color, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, and people whose household income is below the area median.  

Award Notification

CASR will make award determinations by the end of each quarter. CASR reserves the right to not award any applications during a quarterly award period.  

Selected applicants will receive an award notice via email and should be prepared to collaborate with the city to establish a formal written agreement using the form of the Sample Agreement linked in the Submit an Application section. The agreement will not be effective or binding on the city until it has been fully executed by all required signatories of the City and County of Denver. Note that contracts more than $500,000 require City Council approval and will take longer to process. Contracts will contain reporting and milestone requirements that must be satisfied before the city will reimburse project costs. 

Maximum award expenditure for 2022 incentives is $3 million.