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
Recovery Act Local Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) Initiative. DOE will award up to $300,000 to city government applicants with an interest in developing energy assurance and resiliency plans. The goal of the program is to aid cities in developing new energy plans, or revising existing ones, which integrate new energy sources (such as renewables) and new applications (such as smart grid technologies), thereby increasing the reliability of the electricity grid.
Current application deadline: October 8, 2009
For details, click here.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
DOE to Host Webinar to Discuss Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility Funding Announcement. DOE will host a webinar on July 30, 2009 to discuss its Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility funding announcement, and to address questions from potential applicants. Parties interested in applying for funding under this program should plan to attend.
DOE Issues Smart Grid System Report; Announces Development of Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse. DOE has released a report that explores the capabilities of smart grid technologies, and the potential for nationwide deployment of such technologies. The report notes that while many promising smart grid technologies are in the early stages of development, existing technologies are being deployed at a significant pace. DOE also recently announced that it will grant $1.3 million to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to develop and maintain a smart grid information clearinghouse website, which will make information about various smart grid initiatives available to the public.
To view the full text of the DOE Smart Grid System Report, click here.
FERC Releases Smart Grid Policy Statement. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently adopted a Smart Grid Policy Statement, which sets priorities for the development of smart grid interoperability standards and provides guidance to expedite the process of developing such standards. The final policy, issued on July 16, 2009, closely resembles a proposed policy issued in March.
To view the full text of the FERC Smart Grid Policy, click here.
White House Clarifies Position on Stimulus Related Lobbying Efforts. The Executive Office of the President recently published a memorandum, which provides further guidance to executive departments and agencies regarding stimulus funding related communications between registered lobbyists and agency officials. The guidance, which relaxes earlier restrictions banning lobbyists from any oral communication with federal officials on the subject of stimulus funding, allows, in part, for unrestricted communication between lobbyists and federal officials on logistical issues related to stimulus funding, and in public communications made at widely attended gatherings.
To view the full text of the guidance memorandum, click here.