Breakdown: Know your GGRF challenges – and opportunities

The GGRF program is driving three competitions that strategically target investment:

National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF)

Overview: The NCIF program provides funding to nonprofits to mobilize private capital to create clean financing instruments that fund tens of thousands of projects.

Prime recipients
: 2-3 national nonprofits to be awarded contracts in March 2024. Funding is expected to be available in July.

Investment amount: $14 billion
Priority project categories

Distributed energy generation and storage

Net-zero emissions buildings

Zero-emissions transportation

Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA)

Overview: The CCIA program funds selected industry-focused hub nonprofit recipients to develop a network of community lenders to provide access to capital.

Prime recipients: 2-7 national nonprofits to be awarded contracts in March 2024

Investment amount: $6 billion
Priority project categories

Distributed energy generation and storage

Net-zero emissions buildings

Zero-emissions transportation

Solar For All (SFA)

Overview: The Solar For All program provides funding to drive solar development in low-income and disadvantaged communities throughout the U.S.

Prime recipients: 60 states, tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits. Awards to be announced in March 2024 and issued in July 2024.

Investment amount: $7 billion
Priority project categories

Residential rooftop solar

Residential-serving community solar

Associated storage

Enabling upgrades

Grantees and challenges

While the Solar for All program provides direct funding to states, tribal nations and municipalities to initiate projects, recipients of NCIF and CCIA funding are expected to develop a network of subrecipients who will disburse funds to a pool of project recipients to initiate projects. As such, prime-recipients, sub-recipients, and project recipients face unique challenges.

  • Prime recipients

    Each prime recipient is potentially responsible for administering billions of dollars of federal funding. In so doing, they must not only fully comply with 2 CFR Part 200 – Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards, but also Build America, Buy America, prevailing wage, Justice 40, and other program-specific requirements. 

    Prime recipients must stand up processes and technology to support application selection and reporting, data management and security, and program governance and transparency. Given the headlines regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud, we expect a robust compliance and oversight effort to protect the nation’s investment. The prime recipient must make sure that their direct investment strategy, and the above-established procedures, are fully supported by sub-recipients and the project recipients.

  • Sub-recipients

    Sub-recipients might receive funding from multiple prime recipients, and if so would need to comply with the procedures established by each prime recipient. Further, as they collaborate with private capital to create financing leverage and fund projects, they must make sure that project recipients are following the established procedures for the appropriate prime funding source. 

    Sub-recipients must have robust project financing and management programs. They need to take steps to make certain that the portfolio of projects being funded delivers on the prime’s plans, potentially including climate and energy, equity and community, capitalization funding, and market transformation plans. They may be required to monitor project recipients, and they must report on the progress and impact of their portfolio of funded projects.

  • Project recipients

    Project recipients are the businesses, nonprofits, families, and individuals who are ultimately receiving GGRF funds via grants, loans, or other financing instruments. Recipients must be able to optimize their decarbonization, pollution reduction, or other intended benefits of the project. They must act according to best practices to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds under a potentially rigorous monitoring program.

Solutions throughout the GGRF program lifecycle

To put capital to work quickly, it’s important to have an experienced advisor who can support you from award notification through program closedown activities. CohnReznick helps prime- and sub-recipients reduce the complexity of the process and quickly stand up a robust grants management and compliance program and structure funding for clean infrastructure projects that reduce net carbon emissions and other air pollutants. We draw upon our industry expertise and our experience administering, auditing, and disbursing billions of dollars of federal funding to deliver proven results.
GGRF phases infographic

Our service areas

Program readiness: Operationalize awards by assessing the readiness of your human capital and finance and IT systems. We also evaluate outsourcing and joint venture opportunities.
Capital mobilization and management: Our team helps you raise funding from private capital providers and philanthropic sources. We assist with due diligence reviews, refining investment policies, testing internal procedures, optimizing financial products, strengthening portfolio and asset management practices, and benchmarking portfolio performance. 
Project funding and financing: Increase investment by enacting public-private partnerships and other alternative financing strategies. Build financing capacity, navigate capital markets, enhance financial models, improve underwriting packages and third-party reports, and leverage technical assistance on transactions with experienced clean energy professionals.
Program administration: Our team can provide day-to-day program administration to optimize your program outcomes, with focuses including financial management, data management and analytics, cybersecurity, program governance and risk management, 2CFR200 compliance, training, reporting, and more. 
Project management: Let us serve as a dedicated PMO to help plan project activities, monitor performance in a changing economic and regulatory environment, and deliver optimal outcomes on time and on budget.
Compliance monitoring and oversight: GGRF comes with extensive federal rules, regulations, and reporting requirements. We’ll help develop internal control frameworks, monitor adherence to prevailing wage and federal cross-cutting requirements, and mitigate potential loss of federal funding.
Sustainability strategy: Implement and optimize decarbonization strategies and transportation pollution reduction objectives. Our team of climate specialists can help you execute community outreach initiatives and track environmental, equity, and community impacts, to meet the objectives of the GGRF program.
Accounting and tax solutions: Navigate the IRA with the support of a dedicated and multidisciplinary team of clean energy specialists. Our professionals deliver tax planning, structuring, and compliance activities across applicable tax jurisdictions. Where appropriate, we also offer outsourced accounting and attestation services.

Why CohnReznick?

CohnReznick has deep roots in the community development industry, having been involved in the LIHTC, CDFI, NMTC, and OZ programs since their inception.

We count more than 1,000 clients across the affordable housing, nonprofit, CDFI, and clean energy industries, as well as numerous federal and state agencies. Our clients are the government agencies driving program funding, the capital intermediaries and community financing organizations providing financing, and the community-level clean energy and other contractors who will operationalize the GGRF. As such, we are uniquely positioned to support its strategic implementation.

We are excited and ready to roll up our sleeves to work toward a just climate future by helping our clients meet, and hopefully exceed, their green energy goals.

Meet the team

  • Anton Cohen

    CPA, Partner, Renewable Energy Industry and Project Finance and Consulting Practice Leader

  • Frank Banda

    CPA, CFE, PMP, Managing Partner – Government and Public Sector Advisory

  • Joel Cohn

    CPA, Partner, Project Finance & Consulting

  • Jenny Brusgul

    Sustainability Advisory Practice Leader

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