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Local Foundation Selected for DOE Local Energy Action Program (LEAP)

Oil City, Pennsylvania – The Pellere Foundation is proud to announce its selection into the second cohort of the federal Local Energy Action Program (LEAP). This marks a significant opportunity for Oil City, a designated LEAP Eligible Community.

A LEAP Eligible Community, as defined by the Department of Energy (DOE), is one that faces high energy burdens, with at least 30% of its population classified as low income. Oil City also meets the classifications of being an Energy Community and a Disadvantaged Community, making it a prime candidate for support through the LEAP program.

The foundation’s application, titled “Solving for Storage: Developing Efficient Storage Options for the Rural Microgrid Equation,” garnered attention for its innovative approach to addressing energy resilience challenges in rural areas. By focusing on the critical need for efficient battery storage solutions, the foundation and its partners aim to overcome obstacles hindering the development of semi-islanded microgrids and support the electrification of the regional transportation system.

“We are extremely honored to be selected for participation in LEAP Cohort 2,” said Selina Pedi-Smith, Chair of the Pellere Foundation, which exists to facilitate equitable impact and meaningful opportunities for communities throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. “This opportunity allows us to address a key knowledge gap in energy resilience with technical assistance directly from National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) scientists. With the resources gained from our coalition’s participation in LEAP, we aim to explore battery storage, develop a regional supply chain for energy-industry components, and pilot a semi-islanded microgrid with battery backup.”

The foundation believes that a successful pilot program in Oil City could provide a roadmap for other communities across the Commonwealth, with the support provided by LEAP playing a crucial role in advancing energy resilience in Venango County and revitalizing Northwestern Pennsylvania.

“We are grateful to the Department of Energy for this opportunity,” added Rachel Brosnahan, Community Engagement Coordinator for Pellere. “And we are excited about what this partnership will do to contribute to a stable, resilient energy future for generations to come.”

For more information about the Pellere Foundation and its participation in LEAP, please contact Rachel Brosnahan at

About Pellere Foundation: The Pellere Foundation is a multi-stakeholder team bridging institutional and organizational lines to provide impactful, equitable opportunities in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and quality of life.

About Local Energy Action Program (LEAP): LEAP aims to facilitate sustained community-wide economic and environmental benefits primarily through DOE’s clean energy deployment work. This opportunity is specifically open to low-income, energy-burdened communities that are also disadvantaged and/or are experiencing direct economic impacts from a shift away from historical reliance on fossil fuels. Under Communities LEAP, DOE matches selected communities with technical assistance providers who assist them with bringing their clean energy planning and economic development vision to life.

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