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Community Benefits Resource Inventory

Community benefits are increasingly becoming principal aspects of conversations around clean energy in the United States. With the federal government and several non-governmental entities publishing information and guidance on types of community benefits and project agreements, a wide berth of resources is available online. These reports, guides, and toolkits provide valuable tools for developers, communities, advocacy organizations, and local municipalities. CATF has compiled a select list of resources on community benefits that can help bring clarity and context to this nuanced conversation.

Jump down to glossary

Publishing OrganizationResource TitleDescription of ResourceDate PublishedPrimary Type of Agreement CoveredClean Energy Technologies CoveredOther Energy and Non-Energy Infrastructure Covered
Non-Government
Clean Air Task ForceIt takes a community: Hydrogen hubs and Community Benefits Plans explainedThe blog post summarizes the use of CBPs by regional clean hydrogen hubs across the US, the core aspects and federal guidelines of CBPs, and the challenges of implementation.Nov 2023CBPsNo
Clean Air Task ForceCommunity Benefits Programs & Clean EnergyThe factsheet breaks down characteristics and structures of community benefit programs, provides examples, and discusses their importance in the clean energy transition.Sept 2023CBAsNo
Clean Air Task Force & BW Research PartnershipUnderstanding Community Benefits Plans at the Department of Energy and Their Potential for ImpactThe report focuses on the Department of Energy’s CBP requirements for grant recipients. The report covers the development of CBPs and similar agreements, including their progress under the Biden-Harris Administration, provides findings from interviewing individuals from the Department of Energy and conducting community surveys, and makes recommendations for the federal government.Nov 2023CBPsYes
Clean Air Task Force & BW Research PartnershipCommunity Benefits: A Survey of Perspectives from Three CommunitiesThe report analyzes and compares survey results on community sentiment on CBAs from three communities: the Ironbound Community, The Navajo Nation, and the St. James Parish & St. John the Baptist Parish.Nov 2023CBAsYes
Data for ProgressCommunity and Labor Benefits in Climate Infrastructure: Lessons for Equitable, Community-Centered Direct Air Capture Hub DevelopmentThe report synthesizes results from a national poll Data for Progress conducted on how voters view CBAs and PLAs and their preferences for CBA programs and negotiation processes. The report also breaks down survey responses by political affiliation.Jan 2023CBAs, PLAsNo
World Resource InstituteUS Clean Energy Projects Need Public Buy-in. Community Benefits Agreements Can Help.The explainer discusses the importance of community benefits, summarizes four different kinds of agreements, and presents a list of what successful project agreements look like. The guide incorporates survey results from Data for Progress.Aug 2023CBAsNo
Academic
Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, University of California BerkeleyOffshore Wind & Community Benefits Agreements in CaliforniaThe report considers the current status of California’s offshore wind industry and how to apply CBAs to the industry. The paper covers the legal framework for CBAs in Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Final Sale Notice and includes recommendations for Californian communities and developers.June 2023CBAsNo
Columbia Climate School, Columbia University & Clean Air Task ForceCommunity Benefit Agreements: Case Studies, Federal Guidelines, and Best PracticesThe report, created by Columbia masters students in their Climate & Society Capstone Project, includes a literature review, description of nine CBA case studies, and an overview of federal guidelines. The report also recommends practices for effective engagement and enforceability.Nov 2023CBAsYes
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia UniversityCommunity Benefit Agreement DatabaseThe database compiles examples of community benefit agreements and other project agreements from renewable and non-renewable energy projects and some non-energy projects.Sept 2023CBAsYes
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia UniversityExpert Insight on Best Practices for Community Benefits AgreementsThe report presents a list of recommendations informed by advice from experts in agreement negotiations, intended for developers and host communities in negotiating CBAs for direct air capture, among other renewable energy projects.Sept 2023CBAsNo
Government
Clean Energy Infrastructure, Department of EnergyAbout Community Benefits Plans – Frequently Asked QuestionsThe Department of Energy Clean Energy Infrastructure’s page on CBPs contains an informational webinar and an FAQs section.NACBPsNo
Good Jobs Initiative, Department of LaborProject Labor, Community Workforce, and Community Benefit AgreementsThe Good Jobs Initiative’s factsheet on PLAs includes information on CWAs and CBAs, the benefits of PLAs, and required components on PLAs.2023PLAsNAYes
Loan Programs Office, Department of EnergyCommunity Jobs and JusticeThe webpage gives an overview of CBPs, requirements for CBPs for grant applicants, and a list of additional government resources.NACBPsNAYes
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Department of EnergyWind Energy Community Benefits GuideThe guide introduces the concept of community benefits and CBAs for decision-makers, local stakeholders, and developers and provides a list of examples.2023CBAsNo

Technologies icon guide:

Direct air capture
Electricity Transmission
Hydrogen
Solar
Wind

Glossary – Types of Agreements

The following glossary provides definitions for acronyms used in the Clean Energy Community Benefits Inventory.
The definitions were sourced from the Department of Energy.

AcronymTermDefinition
CBACommunity Benefits Agreement“A ‘Community Benefits Agreement’ is an agreement signed by community groups or coalitions and a project developer, identifying the community or labor benefits a developer agrees to deliver in return for community support or workforce availability for a project….help ensure that measurable local benefits will be given to a community. They are enforceable, legally binding contracts for all parties. They typically specify responsibilities, reporting, and remedies.”
CBPCommunity Benefit PlanCommunity Benefit Plans are non-legally binding agreements created by developers in collaboration with community organizations, outlining developer’s commitments. “The Department of Energy (DOE) requires Community Benefits Plans (CBPs) as part of all Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and loan applications. Community Benefits Plans are based on a set of four core policy priorities: Engaging communities and labor; Supporting quality jobs and workforce continuity; Advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility through recruitment and training; and Implementing Justice 40.”
PLAProject Labor Agreement“A PLA is a pre-hire collective-bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. PLAs are permissible pre-hire agreements under section 8 (f) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(f)), which authorizes the use of these agreements between labor organizations and employers engaged primarily in the building and construction industry.”
CWACommunity Workforce Agreement“A CWA is a PLA that includes community-oriented commitments relating to equitable workforce development, social justice, small business support and/or other issues. Negotiating a CWA brings building trades unions and the trades council together with the project user/owner, the general contractor, and community organizations to jointly develop the terms of the project.”