DOE recently announced the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) Program, which makes available $50 million to help deploy community-driven clean energy solutions in rural and remote areas across the country. This funding opportunity will award grants for projects between $500,000 to $5 million and requires no cost-share from recipients to help ensure an equitable transition to a clean energy future.
Applicants must first submit a pre-application, due by July 13, 2023, and once reviewed, the DOE will invite some applicants to submit a full application.
Applications must identify at least one city, town, or unincorporated area in the United States (including U.S. territories) with a population of not more than 10,000 that benefits from the proposed energy improvement. The applicant and subrecipient(s) must be domestic entities.
The ERA Program aims to fund clean energy projects with at least one of the following resilient clean energy objectives:
- Improving overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems;
- Siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines;
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation in rural or remote areas;
- Providing or modernizing electric generation facilities;
- Developing microgrids; and,
- Increasing energy efficiency.
EPN has created a suggested 6-step pre-application process—including a suggested timeline—for this opportunity:
Included are links to publicly available tools, webinars, information, and instructions from DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.