Energy Improvement Grants for Community Health Centers in Southeast U.S.

On February 27, 2024, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the United States Department of Energy announced funding of $366 million for 17 projects across 20 states and 30 tribal nations to improve access to reliable, affordable energy for areas located in or adjacent to disadvantaged communities that are disproportionally overburdened by pollution and historically underserved.

One project of importance to community health centers was the $57 million awarded to the CHARGE Partnership (a partnership between the mission-aligned National Association of Community Health Centers, Capital Link, Collective Energy, and Clean Energy Group). The CHARGE project aims to improve solar and storage microgrids for rural community health centers across eight states within the Southeast United States (specifically those designated as Region IV states by the Health Resources and Services Administration- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee). The initial implementation site of the project will be at Aaron Henry Community Health Center in Tunica, Mississippi. The aim will be to expand the project from the implementation site to as many as 175 health center sites in the target states in rural communities with less than 10,000 residents.

The CHARGE Project’s Goal

The project’s goal will be to provide solar, battery storage system and microgrid capabilities for sites awarded with funding. For selected sites, this will provide those centers with the ability to deliver vital medical care during power-outage emergencies to reduce the risk of hospitalizations of patients served by the centers. Further, the funding will ensure electricity for critical life-saving equipment such as ventilators and dialysis machines. The funding will also assist these centers financially. The financial benefits include limiting the potential financial losses associated with power outages, such as spoilage of valuable medications, and a reduction of current ongoing energy costs by providing clean-energy solutions to supplement the energy needs of centers.

For community health centers eligible for this grant funding, Withum has expertise with federal grant reporting and compliance and can assist with grant management and financial reporting issues.

Contact Us

For more information on this topic, please contact a member of Withum’s Healthcare Services Team.