March 2, 2022
Dear Energy Community Supporter,
With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) in late 2021, funding opportunities for energy communities have surged. Agencies across the federal government are announcing programs to install and maintain broadband; implement training for dislocated workers; invest in transportation infrastructure; clean up abandoned mine lands and orphaned oil and gas wells; and expand domestic production of critical minerals. Keeping track of new funding announcements and deadlines can be a daunting task for energy communities. The Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization is pleased to offer resources, such as our newsletters and online clearinghouse tool, to make the process easier.
IWG Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Webinar
The IWG last week hosted its second webinar of the year, titled Updated Clearinghouse Helps Energy Communities Access $100 Billion in Infrastructure Funding. This webinar highlighted how BIL funds will be available to support a wide range of projects in energy communities.
Attendees heard from IWG leadership and senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Interior, who discussed their agencies’ BIL funding that is specific and relevant for energy communities.
New features on the IWG website debuted at the webinar, including the updated online clearinghouse with BIL funding opportunities, the new BIL landing page with additional information on the law and relevant programs to energy communities, and the new resources page that features non-monetary resources to help energy communities with the federal fund application process. The webinar also shared an updated version of the IWG’s clearinghouse navigation demonstration video.
Access the webinar recording, presentation slides, and additional resources on the IWG past events page.
Coalfield Development is committed to rebuilding the Appalachian economy from the ground up. Through various programs, the non-profit created more than 250 new jobs, trained over 1,200 people, leveraged more than $20 million in new investment to the region, and revitalized over 200,000 square feet of formerly dilapidated property.
One of those programs is Mountain Mindful, a sustainable apparel company based in southern West Virginia. Through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Community Economic Development (CED) grant, Coalfield Development created this company to provide job and growth opportunities to people in the region and to boost the local economy. Mountain Mindful was designed to create jobs for people who are low income and face barriers to employment, like incarceration and substance use.
Watch this video to learn more about this program, or visit coalfield-development.org to learn more.
New Funding Opportunities
- Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative Awards $25 Million in 2022. The POWER Initiative, which will award nearly $25 million in grants this year, is now accepting proposals for 2022. Letters of intent are due April 4, and final applications are due April 29. Learn more here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Opens Rural Community Development Initiative Grants. Last month, USDA opened the application window for its Rural Community Development Initiative Grants. They help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas. Apply here.
- U.S. Department of Energy Announces $28 Million to Develop Clean Hydrogen. DOE recently announced $28 million in funding for research and development (R&D) and front-end engineering design (FEED) projects to develop clean hydrogen solutions. FEED studies for gas-fueled H2 production could interest energy communities and set the stage for larger projects that will create jobs. Learn more here.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Released Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities Request for Applications. EPA is seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. Learn more on grants.gov.
- U.S. Department of Energy Establishes Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $9.5 Billion Clean Hydrogen Initiatives. In mid-February, DOE announced two Requests For Information to collect feedback to inform the implementation and design of the BIL’s Regional Hydrogen Hub and the Electrolysis and Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Programs. Responses are due March 8, 2022, and March 29, 2022, respectively. Read this DOE press release for more.
- U.S. Department of Interior Announces Nearly $725 Million in Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Funding for FY22. As part of the BIL, nearly $725 million in FY22 funding is available to 22 states and the Navajo Nation to create good-paying union jobs and economic opportunities by reclaiming abandoned mine lands. A total of $11.3 billion in AML funding over 15 years is available through the BIL. Click here to read more.
- U.S. Department of Energy Launches $140 Million Program to Develop America’s First-of-a-Kind Critical Minerals Refinery. DOE seeks public input on building America’s first-of-a-kind rare earth element and critical minerals extraction and separation facility. This project is an investment in the BIL and will support manufacturing jobs and a strong domestic supply chain. Responses to this RFI are due March 31, 2022. Learn more on energy.gov.
- Biden Administration, U.S. Department of Energy to Invest $3 Billion to Strengthen U.S. Supply Chain for Advanced Batteries. DOE recently issued two notices of intent to provide nearly $3 billion to boost production of the advanced batteries critical to electric vehicles and energy storage, as directed by the BIL. Production facilities will create good-paying clean energy jobs across the nation. Read more here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Extends to March 9 the Application Deadline for ReConnect Program Funding. Applicants now have until March 9, 2022, to complete and submit applications to USDA’s ReConnect program, which will expand access to high-speed internet for rural America. Submit your application here.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces State Opioid Response Grants. New State Opioid Response grants from HHS aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment to treat opioid use disorder, reduce unmet treatment needs, and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths. Grants.gov has more information.
Upcoming Funding Deadlines
The following funding opportunities have upcoming application deadlines in the next six weeks and are available on the IWG’s online clearinghouse.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rural Health and Economic Development Analysis Applications Due March 8, 2022. This initiative develops and maintains projects to support rural communities’ economies and health of residents. Apply today.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Behavioral Health Care Technical Assistance Applications Due March 9, 2022. This program seeks to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities by strengthening prevention, treatment, and recovery practices. Click here to apply.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s University-Based Cybersecurity Centers Application Deadline is March 15, 2022. This program, for educational institutions, aims to establish a network of R&D centers across the nation and bolster the overall security and resilience of U.S. electric power systems through technological innovations and workforce development. Click here to learn more.
- U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program Application Window Closes on March 16, 2022. This program supports economic opportunities to Native and Tribal entities through energy development projects and activities. Learn more here.
- Appalachian Regional Commission Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems Initiative Letters of Intent Due March 24, 2022. For communities struggling with the substance use crisis, the INSPIRE initiative helps create or expand a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry of individuals in substance abuse recovery. Find out if your community is eligible here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees and Grants Application Closes on March 31, 2022. REAP provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Learn more and apply.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program Loan Guarantees Deadline is April 1, 2022. This program provides loan guarantees to assist in the development, construction and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies, including advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products. Click here to apply.
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant Applications Due April 14, 2022. RAISE, an investment in the BIL, funds planning and capital investments in multimodal surface transportation infrastructure that will have a significant local or regional impact. Read more here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy Pilot Program Letter of Intent Due April 19, 2022. This opportunity offers financial assistance for rural communities to further develop renewable energy technologies and systems. Submit your letter of intent here.
- IWG Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets Webinar Being Held in March. The IWG is hosting its next webinar, Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets, on Wednesday, March 30, from 12-5 p.m. This half-day virtual workshop will explore strategies for repurposing legacy fossil fuel infrastructure, including closed coal power plants and orphaned oil and gas wells, site remediation and reclamation, and worker training and upskilling of dislocated workers. Check out the working agenda and register here.
- White House Infrastructure School Webinar Series
To help partners better understand the programs in the BIL guidebook, the White House launched Infrastructure School, a series of 12 webinars that provide an in-depth look into the programs within each major chapter of the guidebook. Here are the webinars relevant to energy communities being held in March.
- Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 4 p.m.-5 p.m. ET: Clean Energy and Power
- Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 4 p.m.-5 p.m. ET: Water
- Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 4 p.m.-5 p.m. ET: Environmental Remediation
- Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 4 p.m.-5 p.m. ET: Broadband
Registration information is coming soon.
On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest and support of our efforts. 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
Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy