Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund seeks proposals for $8.6 million in first round of funding for community projects

Press Release
Accepting proposals for community projects that address the climate crisis in a way that advances racial and social justice.


Today, the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) released its inaugural request for proposals (RFP) for $8.6 million of funding for green jobs, healthy homes, and community energy projects that focus on frontline communities. The City of Portland and the PCEF team welcome the community’s best ideas for addressing climate change and advancing racial and social justice.

This RFP is the product of many months of hard work by the PCEF Grant Committee, PCEF staff, BPS staff, the Mayor’s office and hundreds of community members who provided thoughtful input along the way. The fund is the result of a local 2018 ballot initiative led by thousands of community volunteers who wanted to reshape climate action, build capacity and support ingenuity in communities on the frontlines of climate change.

“PCEF was created by frontline communities who know climate justice is racial justice. We would not have this opportunity without the community’s dedication to turn this vision into reality,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “I’m proud of and thrilled by this unprecedented effort by the community and the City.”

In the midst of catastrophic wildfires, our community’s reckoning with racial injustice, the COVID pandemic, and it’s associated economic recession, PCEF and this RFP offer a beacon for hope and a new paradigm for how we can solve our greatest challenges,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “This program supports organizations that serve traditionally marginalized communities that have not historically been engaged in climate action.”

The PCEF program is requesting proposals for $8-9 million of grant funding from community organizations to:

  • Create green jobs in the clean energy sector and provide workforce training programs that offer a pathway to family-wage jobs for underserved Portlanders.

  • Fund improvements in the community through renewable energy and energy-efficiency investments in homes and other buildings.

  • Support regenerative agriculture and other green infrastructure projects that sequester carbon.

  • Spur innovative projects that produce climate and community benefits. 

Recognizing that our community’s needs are many and varied, we have designed an RFP process that strives to acknowledge the needs of applicants from small or larger community-based organizations. A guide to the process is available online, and a series of information sessions is scheduled to allow applicants to learn more and ask questions.

Informational webinars

Friday, September 25, 12-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 30, 12-1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 8, 12-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 14, 4-5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20, 12-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 28, 12-1:30 p.m.

Important dates

The RFP will be open for 60 days and close at 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 23.

Applications open — September 16
Questions about RFP due — 11:59 p.m., October 29
Applications due — 11:59 p.m., November 23**
Awards announced —  Late March 2021

**Date extended to provide flexibility for community members experiencing anxiety, stress, and emotional fatigue from the 2020 election.

Translation services available

The PCEF team is committed to making the grant application process accessible to all of Portland’s diverse communities. Information about the grants, including common questions and how to apply, are available on the PCEF website in Chinese, Chuukese, English, Nepali, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The application and supporting documents will be available in English, but organizations who are interested in applying can request translation of the application and any other materials not already translated. A full list of available content and languages is available on our website.  

Because of the time required to translate the content, we ask that requests be made by Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.  Requests submitted after this time will be honored but not allotted additional time to submit application.

To request translation or interpretation services and for more information about the program, contact 503-823-7713 or cleanenergyfund@portlandoregon.gov or visit portland.gov/bps/cleanenergy.  


Eden Dabbs

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability