(LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS)  The Akransas Community Foundation has announced $2 million in sustainable energy grants, including funding for The Wind Coalition’s efforts to increase the availability of transmission capacity to serve wind and solar generation in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The Arkansas Community Foundation’s release:

Little Rock, Arkansas (November. 1, 2012) – Grants totaling $2 million recently were awarded through Arkansas Community Foundation’s Sustainable Energy Initiative to the Applied Sustainability Center (ASC) at the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, the Alliance for Affordable Energy (AAE) of Louisiana , the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation(AAEF), the Arkansas Public Policy Panel (APPP), the Wind Coalition of Texas, the Oklahoma Sustainability Network (OSN), the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association (ACAAA) and the Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition of Texas. The Sustainable Energy Initiative is funded by the John W. Turk plant legal settlement in southwest Arkansas.

“We are pleased to award these grants to support public policy initiatives designed to develop energy efficiency, renewable energy and otherwise sustainable energy resources in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana,” said Heather Larkin, Arkansas Community Foundation President and CEO.

A committee led by members the Board of Directors of Arkansas Community Foundation and including several citizens with diverse perspectives on environmental issues developed the Sustainable Energy initiative. Factors that were considered by a panel which awarded the grants included:

Potential to benefit sustainable energy policy.
Capacity of the organization to achieve the results outlined in the proposal.
Evidence of a plan for evaluating the project.
Potential for sustainability beyond the grant period.
Evidence of cooperation or collaboration with other organizations working in the same field.
Evidence of local financial support and the likelihood of future support for the project or program.
Innovation and creativity of the approach.
The SEED grant will work with electric cooperatives in Northeast Texas to set new efficiency and renewable energy goals and develop new programs to offer their members. The grant to ACAA will promote public policy initiatives in energy efficiency and renewable energy through collaboration, coordination, advocacy and education.

OSN’s grant will allow the organization to participate in utility proceedings with the goal of reducing long-term ratepayer costs, conserving water resources, avoiding the need for expensive new fossil-fueled power plants and producing new business investment in Oklahoma. The Wind Coalition grant will help increase transmission resources for renewable wind and solar power within Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The APPP grant will allow the Panel to build strategies to strengthen the base of advocates in the state while providing support for developing policies that encourage energy efficiency, renewable energy development and green jobs. The grant to AAEF will help establish an Advanced Energy Regulatory Research and Initiative Reserve Fund to support business advocacy for renewable energy and energy efficiency in sustainable energy resource proceedings before the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

The AAE grant will fund the pursuit of energy efficiency and renewable energy policy goals in Louisiana working with the New Orleans City Council and the Louisiana Public Service Commission. The grant to the ASC will fund a program designed to help Arkansas municipalities optimize energy efficiency and renewable energy policy implementation and deployment.

Arkansas Community Foundation makes grants to improve the quality of life in our state and collaborates with individuals, families and organizations to build local communities through philanthropy. ARCF ended fiscal year 2012 with more than $150 million in assets and has provided more than $98 million in grants since it began operation in 1976. Contributions to ARCF, its funds and any of its 27 local affiliate offices are fully tax deductible.

For more information about the Arkansas Community Foundation, visit www.arcf.org.

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