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Director’s Update – March 11, 2024

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.

Upcoming DOE Webinars

Advanced Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program Informational Webinar
March 14, 3:30 p.m. ET

Join the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) to learn more about the $425 million funding opportunity to reduce industrial emissions and advance clean energy manufacturing essential to the U.S. energy supply chain.

Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) Program Regional Events

Save the date! Join DOE’s MESC and the Energy Communities IWG for several regional events in the coming months focused on the Inflation Reduction Act’s $10 billion Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (§48C) Program.

Intermountain West §48C Regional Event
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. MT
Location: Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Central Appalachia §48C Regional Event
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. ET
Location: University of Charleston, Charleston, WV

Illinois Coal Basin §48C Regional Event
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2023
Time: 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CT
Location: University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN

New Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • DOE Announces $2.7 Million in Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets Funding
    Implemented through the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), this program will help local communities across the country create a roadmap toward repurposing existing energy assets. The initiative will help communities build technical capacity and develop a workforce necessary to help revitalize energy systems, address environmental impacts, and tackle challenges associated with energy assets that have been retired or are slated for retirement.

  • DOE Announces Second Round of Advanced Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program
    This program will support small- and medium-sized manufacturers in current and former coal communities that are focused on producing and recycling clean energy products, as well as on investing in decarbonization at their facilities. This opportunity builds on a successful first round of investments in 2023, representing $275 million of federal investments across seven selected projects in seven states. 

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS Release Final Rules on Inflation Reduction Act Direct Pay Provisions
    These provisions will expand the reach of the clean energy tax credits and help build projects more quickly and affordably, which will create good-paying jobs and lower energy costs for families.

  • ReConnect Program Round 5 
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development will begin accepting applications on March 22, 2024, for its fifth round of funding for the ReConnect Program to connect millions of people in rural America to affordable, high-speed internet. USDA is making several program improvements under Round 5 that will further increase the availability of funding in rural areas where residents and businesses lack access to affordable, high-speed internet.

  • DOE Announces $24 Million to Expand America’s Clean Energy Workforce and Enhance Manufacturing Efficiency
    DOE announced a new $24 million funding opportunity for workforce training programs with a focus on training in clean energy jobs that do not require a four-year degree. This funding, from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will further expand the existing Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) network to include more union training programs, community colleges, and trade schools.

  • Communities Sparking Investments in Transformative Energy (C-SITE)
    DOE is accepting applications for the Communities Sparking Investments in Transformative Energy (C-SITE) funding opportunity. C-SITE will award approximately $18 million to implement municipally or Tribal-led high-impact clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities, energy communities, small- and medium-sized cities and towns, and Tribal communities. Full applications are due by May 31, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. ET. 

  • USDA Seeks Applications to Help Farmers and Ranchers Venture into New and Better Markets
    USDA is accepting applications for its Value-Added Producer Grants Program to help agricultural producers maximize the value of their products and venture into new and better markets. USDA is especially interested in applicants with priorities to reduce climate pollution, ensure rural residents have access to USDA Rural Development programs, and help rural communities recover economically through better market opportunities and infrastructure. Electronic applications are due on April 11, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. ET.

  • DOE Invests $800,000 for Workforce Development Opportunities in Energy Communities Across the United States
    DOE’s FECM announced $800,000 in funding for eight local government and nonprofit organizations representing communities that will each create a roadmap toward repurposing their existing energy assets. DOE intends to begin accepting applications for funding in early 2024.

  • SOLVE IT Prize
    The Solutions for Lasting, Viable Energy Infrastructure Technologies (SOLVE IT) Prize aims to support communities in setting their own direction in clean energy by providing direct financial support for identifying and planning innovative clean energy solutions. Submissions are currently open and the Phase 1 deadline is April 12, 2024.

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 Energy Communities IWG Clearinghouse. To learn more about how to navigate the online clearinghouse, click here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Treasury

Events & Additional Resources

  • Central Appalachian Network Convening
    April 2–4, 2024
    Mountain Health Arena, Huntington, WV
    Join the Central Appalachian Network (CAN) for the 2024 CAN Convening to inform and advance collaborative regional strategies in the sectors of clean energy, climate change and resilience, creative reuse of materials, ecological restoration, and food and agriculture.

  • 2nd Annual Wyoming Funding Summit
    April 8–12, 2024
    Central Wyoming College, Riverton, WY
    Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis and Governor Mark Gordon will host a free professional training on identifying, applying for, securing, and managing grant funding. Interact with and hear directly from state and federal funding agencies. Towns and counties are strongly encouraged to attend.

  • West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference
    April 9, 2024
    Mountain Health Arena, Huntington, WV
    The West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference is the state’s premier professional learning and networking opportunity for entrepreneurs, resource providers, and public, private and government entities that support entrepreneurs.

  • 8 Things to Know About Converting Coal Plants to Nuclear Power
    Check out this blog from the Office of Nuclear Energy to learn about the benefits of repowering coal plants with advanced nuclear reactors.

  • Informational Webinar: Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program Round 1 Recap Recording
    This MESC webinar presents a recap of round one of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program, and the selected projects intended to re-equip, expand, or establish a manufacturing or recycling facility for the production or recycling of advanced energy property.

  • Communities Sparking Investment in Transformative Energy (C-SITE) Informational Webinar
    Last week, the Office of State and Community Energy Programs hosted a webinar about C-SITE, which provides approximately $18 million in financial awards and technical assistance to advance community-identified energy priorities. Check back soon for a recording of the webinar.

On behalf of all Energy Communities 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.

Best regards,

Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization

To learn more about funding opportunities, visit the Energy Communities IWG Clearinghouse.

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