Established by an Executive Order during President Biden’s first week in office, the Energy Communities IWG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to create good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities across the country.
MN Event Recap
The State of Minnesota Energy Transition Office hosted a Summit this summer that brought together federal, state and local officials to discuss energy transition challenges and solutions. This full-day program featured several panels exploring funding, resources and technical assistance available to Minnesota’s energy communities and workers and a pitch fest where local leaders with projects learned more about specific funding relevant to them. The Energy Communities IWG participated and shared federal resources available at energycommunities.gov.
New Funding Opportunities & Announcements
- U.S. Economic Development Administration Recompete Pilot Program
This $200 million grant program supports economic revitalization in distressed communities across the country. Specifically, this program targets areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment significantly trails the national average, with the goal to close this gap through strategy development and implementation investments. Applications are due October 5, 2023.
- Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Announces Nearly $6 Million to Revitalize Coal Communities in Iowa
This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help create good-paying jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands in Iowa.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Now Accepting Letters of Interest for Grants to Deploy Renewable Energy Systems
Under the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) program, $9.7 billion is available to help rural cooperatives deploy renewable energy systems, zero-emission, and carbon capture systems.
- Notice of Intent to Fund Efforts to Reduce Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory intend to release funding opportunities to monitor and reduce methane emissions. EPA and DOE will also partner to offer technical assistance to companies in the oil and gas sector to support emission reduction efforts.
- U.S. Department of Energy Opens Manufacture of Advanced Key Energy Infrastructure Technologies (MAKE IT) Prize
The MAKE IT Prize aims to catalyze domestic manufacturing of critical clean energy technology materials by awarding funds to shovel-ready projects and strategic plans to enable manufacturing activity in communities.
Upcoming Funding Deadlines
The following funding opportunities and technical assistance programs have application deadlines coming up in the next four weeks and can all be found in the IWG’s online clearinghouse.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Rural Energy for America (REAP) Technical Assistance Grant Program Applications Due August 15
- Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program Applications Due August 31
U.S. Department of Commerce
- Tech Hubs Phase 1 Applications Due August 15
- Inflation Reduction Act: NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge Applications Due August 21
U.S. Department of Energy
- Industrial Assessment Center Program; and Building Training and Assessments Centers Applications Due August 15
- Grid Overhaul with Proactive, High-Speed Undergrounding for Reliability, Resilience, and Security (GOPHURRS) Applications Due August 16
- GOPHURRS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Applications Due August 16
- Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program Applications Due August 21
- Operation and Planning Tools for Inverter-Based Resource Management and Availability for Future Power Systems Applications Due August 22
- WETO Offshore Wind 2023 Centers of Excellence Applications Due August 28
- Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Formula Grants to States and Indian Tribes Applications Due August 31
- Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land Applications Due August 31
- Battery Research and Development Consortium Applications Due September 8
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Department of Transportation
- Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation Program Applications Due August 18
- Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program Applications Due August 21
- Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program Applications Due September 6
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Events & Additional Resources
- Western Kentucky Meeting at Murray State
The Energy Communities IWG, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delta Regional Authority visited Western Kentucky last month to deliver a training session to help Kentucky communities prepare projects that would be eligible for the state’s HB 9 funding.
- Four Corners Rapid Response Team (RRT) Virtual Community Update Recording
Live stream replay of the virtual community update on activities that have occurred over the last year, perspectives from the region, and information about upcoming Four Corners RRT events.
- Energy Transition Webinar Series: Webinar 3 Recording
This webinar focused on programs, initiatives, and funding available to support transitioning energy communities experiencing economic and social impacts of the power plant and coal mine closures.
- Recompete Webinar with Senator Casey’s Office
Hosted by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, this webinar discussed the Recompete Pilot Program and how it can help revitalize local economies.
Last year, through the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) Initiative, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded $2.1 million to the city of Batesville, AR to make critical infrastructure improvements at the city’s industrial park.
This grant will construct roads, water, and sewer infrastructure to support expansion and business development at the industrial park as the city transitions away from a coal-centric economy and towards a diversified economy. The EDA investment was matched with $526,275 in local funds and is expected to create 200 jobs and generate $30 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support people living and working in America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit.
Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization