March 15, 2022
Dear Energy Community Supporter,
Welcome to another installment of the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization newsletter. Agencies from across the federal government are regularly announcing new funding opportunities, collectively worth billions of dollars, to help revitalize economies of the nation’s energy communities. With this in mind, please read on for the most up-to-date information on upcoming webinars, new funding opportunities, deadline reminders and more.
Upcoming IWG Webinar
The IWG is hosting its next webinar, Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets, on Wednesday, March 30 from 12 p.m.– 5 p.m., in collaboration with the United States Energy Association. Leveraging and transforming legacy fossil fuel infrastructure (including closed coal power plants, coal mines, and orphaned oil and gas wells) creates opportunities for skilled workforce job creation and economic benefits. This half-day virtual session will feature expertise on site remediation and reclamation, worker training and upskilling of dislocated workers, and the wide range of options for energy communities to capitalize on existing fossil energy assets. Check out the working agenda and register here.
Tribal communities, like the Alaskan Native community Igiugig, are a major focus of investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Many of these communities face economic challenges due to the transition away from traditional energy sources.
AlexAnna Salmon, Igiugig Tribal Council President, has been at the forefront of advocating for her community since 2017, when she joined an advisory committee on a controversial mining project. In 2019, Salmon worked with the U.S. Department of Energy on the Igiugig Hydrokinetic Project, a power system that utilizes the current of the nearby river as a renewable energy source. This project helped reduce Igiugig’s diesel fuel use and, by training local workers on how to deploy and maintain the system, created a sustainable, long-term solution.
Through BIL and other federal funding opportunities, places like Igiugig are revitalizing their economies and communities, while building on their deep respect and connection to the environment. Learn more about Salmon and Igiugig in this DOE article and video.
New Funding Opportunities
- Additional $144 Million Available in FY22 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Funding. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and White House Senior Advisor Mitch Landrieu announced more than $144 million is available to states and Tribes for abandoned mine land reclamation efforts. This funding is in addition to the $725 million FY22 investment in the BIL. Learn more.
- U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration Awards $277 Million Grants to Expand Broadband Infrastructure. NTIA awarded 13 grants, totaling more than $277 million, to 12 states and one territory to expand broadband infrastructure. These grants will help connect more than 133,000 unserved households in rural communities. Read more in this NTIA press release.
- U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Strong Response to the Good Jobs Challenge. The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Good Jobs Challenge received 509 applications from communities across the nation. This $500 million investment will help build and strengthen workforce systems in communities that face barriers to employment. Click here for more.
- U.S. Department of Labor Strengthening Community Colleges Round 2 Application is Open. This opportunity helps build the capacity of community colleges to meet employers’ skill development needs for in-demand industries and career pathways leading to quality jobs. Learn more.
Upcoming Funding Deadlines
The following funding opportunities have upcoming application deadlines in the next six weeks and can all be found on the IWG’s online clearinghouse.
- Appalachian Regional Commission Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems Initiative (INSPIRE) Proposals Due March 24. 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. 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. 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 Energy University Training and Research for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management — University Coal Research Closes on April 4. This funding opportunity focuses on research efforts to mitigate and/or remediate legacy environmental impacts of coal-based generation systems, reclaim legacy mining materials, and ensure the safety of coal and power plant communities. Check your eligibility.
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Applications Due April 14. 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. This opportunity offers financial assistance for rural communities to further develop renewable energy technologies and systems. Submit your letter of intent here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Development Initiative Grants Applications Due April 19. These grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities and economic development projects. Apply here.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rural Communities Opioid Response Program — Behavioral Health Care Support Closes on April 19. This multi-year initiative aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance abuse in high-risk rural communities. Learn more and apply.
- U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Building America Grant Applications Due April 25. The ABA grant aims to expand the Registered Apprenticeship Program through diversifying industries that utilize it and increasing program access for underserved communities. Submit your application.
- U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)Energy and Mineral Development Program Deadline is April 27. BIA is soliciting grant proposals from Indian tribes and Tribal energy development organizations for technical assistance funding that can be used to hire consultants to identify, evaluate, or assess the market for energy or mineral resources. Learn more about this program.
- U.S. Department of the Interior BIA Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant Applications Due April 27. This grant provides American Indian tribes and Alaska tribal entities with funding assistance to manage energy resources through the development of organizational and business structures and regulatory infrastructure. Apply here.
- Two Webinars Remaining in the White House Infrastructure School Webinar Series. Last month, 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 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law guidebook. Two webinars remain, with topics relevant to energy communities.
- U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge Conference (BBBRC) Recording Available. A virtual conference was held in February to provide critical technical assistance to BBBRC finalists. The information shared can be helpful to any community going through an economic transformation. Watch the recording here.
- Intermountain West Energy Sustainability & Transitions Workshop on Energy Transitions. I-WEST is hosting a webinar on March 17 that will present perspectives from individuals working at state and local levels to help communities adapt to the economic changes brought about by energy transition. Register here to attend.
- Technical Assistance Webinars from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA is hosting a series of webinars to help applicants understand the broadband programs available through the BIL and prepare them for submitting high-quality applications. Register for the next webinar on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support 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
Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy