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Breaking Barriers: A Resilience Hub Serving the AUCC, Atlanta GA

Groundswell is developing a resilience hub to serve the Atlanta University Center in collaboration with Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse College of Medicine, and Clark-Atlanta University. In addition to the on-campus microgrid with solar and storage, Breaking Barriers project partners are supporting community residents in adjacent West Atlanta in their design of a second community resilience center.. 

The project, called “Breaking Barriers,” will meet the needs of both Atlanta’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), and the adjacent West Atlanta community. Georgia Power is working in concert with and support of the project team and its vision. The AUCC resilience hub design will integrate solar generation and energy storage within a campus-wide microgrid and will explore opportunities to provide resiliency services to residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

Breaking Barriers’ planning efforts are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This partnership was announced in April 2020, and it represents one of just eight teams chosen to join the program, known as the Solar Energy Innovation Network.

With the Innovation Network’s support, Breaking Barriers hopes to demonstrate a new model for solar implementation that other HBCU “community anchors” across the Southeast may replicate.

NREL is leading the Solar Energy Innovation Network with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. NREL pursues fundamental research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to transform the way we use energy.