The community of Cincinnati aims to accelerate its transition to renewable energy and electrification to achieve the newly established goals of carbon neutrality. With the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Cincinnati has the opportunity to address energy inequities and leverage federal funding to scale up clean energy efforts. The partnership between the City of Cincinnati and FUSE Executive Fellow Nikki Vandivort will focus on increasing accessibility to renewable energy and electrification infrastructure by maximizing the benefits of federal resources, developing policy mechanisms, and facilitating grant submissions.

Nikki will begin by analyzing the opportunities presented by the IRA and IIJA, conducting a listening tour with stakeholders, and gathering best practices from successful clean energy financing strategies implemented by other cities. She will collaborate with local and regional partners to develop and activate a comprehensive clean energy strategy, including policy tools, program improvements, and funding strategies. By the end of the Fellowship, Nikki will have completed a community-wide listening and learning tour, activated a multi-sector clean energy strategy, coordinated clean energy procurement processes, and established a sustainable fundraising vision with the involvement of all stakeholders.