Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Funding Opportunities

Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Funding Opportunities

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The recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), together with existing legislation such as the 2008 Farm Bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, has created unprecedented opportunities for renewable energy and clean technology companies to obtain funding from the federal government for a wide variety of energy and environmental projects. A summary of the major funding opportunities announced by the federal government during the last week can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Funding under these programs will be awarded on a competitive basis and under tight application deadlines. Applications must contain detailed information regarding an applicant's proposal, and actual funding awards require the negotiation of detailed documentation similar to that used in complex project financings.

WilmerHale's Energy and Clean Technology practice group has extensive experience in the areas of public policy, government contracting, project finance and development, and energy regulation. We are uniquely positioned to expertly advise renewable energy and clean technology companies on the complex issues and opportunities that arise in connection with these federal funding opportunities, and to assist companies in both obtaining government funding and successfully developing their projects.

RENEWABLE AND CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES

Smart Grid Demonstrations. DOE will offer grants for regionally unique smart grid demonstration projects that will showcase the viability of smart grid technologies, quantify smart grid costs and benefits and validate new smart grid business models. Projects involving utility scale energy storage and grid monitoring demonstrations may also be funded under the program. The goal of the program is to collect information on technologies that may be implemented and replicated on a national scale. This funding opportunity has been issued in draft form, and potential applicants are encouraged to submit questions on the draft opportunity by May 6, 2009. A final version of the opportunity will be published at a later date.

Deadline for submission of questions: May 6, 2009

Complete application deadline: TBD

For details, click here.

Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. DOE has issued a Notice of Intent for a funding program that will award between $500,000 and $20,000,000 per grantee for smart grid technology deployments. Grants will also be offered for the deployment of grid monitoring devices under the program. After a 20 day public comment period, DOE will finalize the grant program and issue a formal solicitation. The anticipated release date for the solicitation is June 17, 2009.

Deadline for submission of comments: May 6, 2009

For details, click here.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

DOE to Offer $3.4 Billion in Grants for Smart Grid. Vice President Joe Biden, along with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced Thursday (April 16) plans by DOE to make competitive grants supporting the deployment of smart grid technologies. The investments are expected to aid implementation of digital upgrades to the grid, smooth the integration of renewable energy supplies into the grid and add energy management technologies that will increase grid efficiency. With this announcement, DOE released a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a draft Funding Opportunity, which outline how funds will be awarded for smart grid projects. Information on the Smart Grid NOI and draft Funding Opportunity is provided above.

Also in conjunction with Vice President Biden’s announcement, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a group charged with coordinating the development of protocols and standards to assure interoperability of smart grid devices and systems, announced a three-phase plan that will expedite the development of such standards. The plan will: 1) engage stakeholders in the development of standards, partly through a stakeholder summit to be held in Washington on May 19-20, with the goal of developing a consensus on proposed standards; 2) develop partnerships to address gaps or supplement proposed standards; and 3) develop a testing and certification program to assure compliance of smart grid technologies with the standards.

For NOI and funding opportunity details, click here.

For press release and NIST plan details, click here and here.

DOE Announces Investment of $41.9 Million for Deployment of Fuel Cell Technologies. DOE announced last week that it will provide $41.9 million in funding to support the immediate deployment of close to 1,000 fuel cell systems. The systems will operate largely in backup power and materials handling applications, which have emerged as key early markets for fuel cell technologies.

For details and a list of awards, click here.

EPA Awards Stimulus Funds for Superfund Cleanups. EPA announced Wednesday (April 15) that it has awarded $600 million in ARRA funds for the cleanup of hazardous waste (Superfund) sites across the country. In most cases, this funding will accelerate cleanup projects that are already underway.

For details on the Superfund sites receiving ARRA funding, click here.

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