At the close of the two-month application period on November 23, the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) received 140 applications from more than 110 Oregon nonprofit organizations in response to the fund’s first request for proposals. The inaugural grant offering is for a total of $8.6 million. Beginning next year, $40 to $60 million will be available annually.
The number of applications shows a strong response to the fund’s call for projects that advance both climate action and racial justice for Portlanders. Applicants proposed a range of community projects related to clean energy, regenerative agriculture, and workforce development. The requests ranged from $10,000 to $1 million, averaged $250,000, and totaled more than $30 million.
Examples of proposed projects include job skills training in weatherization, career coaching and mentorship in the clean energy and urban forestry fields, solar installation and energy efficiency retrofits in affordable housing units, and programs that support under-represented groups in developing climate solutions.