ARC Announces Second Round of Competition for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grants
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2008—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the second round of a grant competition this week to assist Appalachian communities in leveraging renewable-energy and energy-efficiency resources to revitalize their economies. ARC expects to provide eight to ten awards of up to $75,000 each, for a total of $500,000 in awards, to help communities implement new energy strategies.
Eligible projects should result in the creation of new jobs or businesses in the targeted communities. Outcomes could include:
- Production and use of renewable-energy products (such as biofuels, biomass, and solar or wind energy), including siting of these facilities and net metering applications.
- Distribution of renewable-energy products, including customer purchasing commitments.
- Expansion or start-up of "clean energy" businesses, including support for business incubation programs and targeted business-financing programs.
- Construction or renovation of facilities in accordance with "green building" and Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) certification guidelines.
- Installation in public or nonprofit facilities of energy-efficiency equipment that is eligible for tax credits under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and will directly result in cost savings and lead to increased delivery of services to local communities.
This grant program will not provide support for projects that propose to study or plan for future activities. Energy audits will not be supported unless they include implementation of energy-efficiency programs.
Nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, and public educational institutions located within the Appalachian Region are eligible to apply. Private, for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
An independent review panel will evaluate submissions. The panel will include leading energy-efficiency and renewable-energy organizations, and ARC federal, state, and local partners. The review panel will forward recommendations to ARC for final approval.
Applications will be evaluated on several criteria, including:
- Feasibility of proposal and likelihood of achieving proposed outcomes.
- Capability of applicant, including expertise in relevant program areas, grants management, and community development.
- Level of community support, including overall level of match and private-sector match.
- Articulation of clear, measurable outcomes.
- Sustainability of effort, including ability to continue the activity at the conclusion of the grant period.
- Additional consideration will be given to projects focusing on ARC-designated distressed counties and areas and at-risk counties, and to projects involving multi-state collaboration.
The first round of the grant competition, held last year, saw grants totaling $605,000 awarded to 12 winners from 10 Appalachian states for projects promoting energy-efficient buildings, biofuels production and distribution, clean energy incubators, geothermal heat systems, landfill gas collection and distribution, LED traffic light installation, wind energy production, and energy-related education and training. Information on these projects is available at www.arc.gov/energy.
The deadline for submission of proposals is June 30, 2008. Selections will be announced on July 31, 2008. Information on submitting an application is available at www.arc.gov/energy.