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Carbondale Receives DOE Communities LEAP Award for Clean Energy and Economic Development

Courtesy: City of Carbondale

The City of Carbondale has been selected to participate in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Communities Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP). In collaboration with the Illinois Social Equity, Equality and Environmental Justice 40 Consortium (ISEE-EJ40) and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), Carbondale will join 30 other communities to receive technical assistance focused on clean energy initiatives and economic development.

The DOE has allocated $18 million to support these 30 historically disadvantaged communities. This initiative aims to empower communities to transition from fossil fuel dependencies to sustainable energy practices. Key areas of focus include clean energy planning and development, energy-efficient buildings, beneficial electrification, clean transportation, and community resilience microgrids.

This award builds on the success of a similar grant given to Jackson County in 2021, highlighting Southern Illinois' growing leadership in clean energy. The Carbondale coalition comprises over twenty-five stakeholders, including grassroots organizations, public agencies, and utilities, all working together towards a common goal.

"We are living in a moment of unprecedented potential that will require systems-thinking, strategic partnership, and a willingness to be seen trying," said Lauren Becker, Planner & Sustainability Coordinator. "If you are an innovator, communicator, teacher, artist, you are needed and you are needed now. We are entering an age of collaboration like we've never seen before."

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