Power and Renewables

Introducing high fidelity energy community layers for PRISM

byMarie Amice

Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) included several adders of particular interest for renewable energy developers. The Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus increases the investment tax credit an extra 10% for projects that began operating after Dec. 31, 2022, and are within one of four qualifying energy communities. 

Two of the energy communities seek to draw developers to areas impacted by environmental contamination and oil, gas or coal pollution: contaminated sites in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RE-Powering database which include brownfields, and sites involved in coal power generation or mining. The third energy community incorporates employment and tax revenue statistics to accelerate the energy transition in specific areas. 

The unstoppable momentum of renewables makes it clear where the industry is headed. If you’re like most developers today, you want to get out of the business of qualifying projects for government incentives and redirect more time to the wide landscape of opportunities. Yet to capitalize on the IRA’s energy community adder, your team needs to answer some tough questions: 

  • Do my existing facilities already qualify for the 10% energy community credit? 
  • Is my qualification based on sound, defensible data that will hold up to an audit? 
  • What datasets do I need to identify sites based on complex criteria? 
  • Out of the tens of thousands of energy community sites, which locations are large enough for my projects? 
  • Where should I site my projects to maximize my overall build and revenue strategy? 

The Enverus GIS and Analytics teams have been working hard to help you answer these questions and our new Energy Community Layer for PRISM does just that in less time than it takes to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The new layer delivers a seamless view of scattered datasets from the EPA, Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Internal Revenue Service. 

The goal is to give your team decision-ready intelligence, which is why the Energy Community Layer goes above and beyond scraping data, which only provides a low-res, low confidence picture of suitable land. Our experts have extracted everything you need to know about qualifying for the 10% Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus and incorporated all the complex conditions into the new PRISM layer. 

We have succeeded in increasing the resolution of public datasets with our in-house data quality team who have cleaned, enhanced and extended the raw material. And our PRISM experts have thoughtfully considered the best ways to display energy community data alongside other Enverus data in order to provide the highest value to you. 

UtilityScale Brownfield Community Layer 

The EPA has identified more than 31,000 sites with recognized environmental conditions, like partial contamination. The Enverus Utility Scale Brownfield Community Layer attenuates the noise from the majority of these locations by taking brownfields that are greater than 5 acres and mapping the point location to an actual parcel of land, enabling renewable developers to instantly focus on suitable locations by viewing 1,300 utility scale sites. 

RE-Powering Community Layer 

This layer includes sites from the EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land initiative which encourages renewable energy development on currently contaminated land as well as sites formerly considered a brownfield, landfills and mine sites that align with the communities’ vision. Now teams can easily view these sites by filtering on the RE-Powering Community Layer in PRISM. 

Coal Community Layer 

This energy community aims to draw renewables to former sites in the coal power generation supply chain, including census tracts and adjacent land where power plants closed after 2010 or coal mines closed after 2000. View the Coal Community Layer by itself or in conjunction with any other PRISM data layer. 

Jobs and Tax Revenue Community Layer

Aiming to revitalize areas formerly dependent on fossil fuel industries, this energy community includes sites where unemployment matches or exceeds last year’s national average, and 0.17% or more residents are directly employed in a job related to coal, oil or natural gas (or at least 25% of local tax revenue is from this sector). Now you can easily visualize all sites that meet these complex conditions in the Jobs and Tax Revenue layer.

All Energy Community Layers are now available to subscribers of Suitable Land Analytics, which is part of the Enverus Power & Renewables suite that helps wind, solar and storage developers quickly find the best sites for their power projects by visualizing and identifying building constraints. 

Because Energy Community Layers are now a seamless PRISM dataset, your team can put all layers in context with your other P&R workflows. View Energy Community Layers alongside grid topology, existing plants, substations and a meticulously maintained layer of planned projects. As a result, your team can manage the overall picture and select sites that match all your business goals to capture the Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus whenever possible and build where it makes the most sense to minimize competition and maximize margins. 

Fill out the form below to request a demo.

Marie Amice

Marie Amice

Project Manager, Power & Renewables at Enverus

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