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ARC Announces Fourth Round of Grant Competition for Planning and Implementation of Community Energy Projects

May 2010


WASHINGTON, May 10, 2010—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the fourth 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 seven to fifteen awards of up to $75,000 each, for a total of $545,000 in awards, to successful applicants.

"Local communities can play an important role in building demand for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency enterprises," said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. "The goal of this grant competition is to develop a community infrastructure that grows markets for those enterprises, generating new energy jobs in Appalachia in the process."

ARC will fund two complementary activities as part of this grant competition: the development of community energy plans; and the implementation of a demonstration energy-efficiency or renewable-energy project in target communities.

Outcomes of funded projects could include:

  • Preparation and adoption of a community energy plan by a local government jurisdiction.
  • Implementation of a renewable-energy or energy-efficiency project such as:
    • Production and/or use of renewable energy, including biofuels, biomass, solar, or wind energy, to include local siting of production facilities.
    • Distribution of renewable energy, to include customer purchasing commitments.
    • Expansion or start-up of "clean energy" businesses, including support for business incubation programs or targeted business financing programs.
    • New construction or renovations that follow "green building" and LEED certification guidelines.
    • Installation of energy-efficiency equipment in public or nonprofit facilities.

Nonprofit organizations, government entities, and public education 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 applications. This panel will include leading energy-efficiency and renewable-energy organizations and federal, state, and local partners. The review panel will forward recommendations to ARC for approval.

Applications will be evaluated on several criteria, including:

  • Feasibility of the proposal and the likelihood of achieving proposed outcomes.
  • Capability of applicant, including expertise in relevant program areas, grant management, and community development.
  • Level of community support, including public and private-sector funding matches.
  • 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 provided for projects focusing on ARC-designated distressed counties and areas and at-risk counties, and for projects involving two or more local jurisdictions.

The deadline for application submissions is August 31, 2010. Selections will be announced in fall 2010. For more information, see the request for proposals (RFP).

Webinars will be held on June 23 and June 30 at 10:00 a.m. to answer questions from prospective applicants. For information, see the webinar information page.

Since the launch of the ARC Energy Initiative in 2006, the Commission has provided over $10 million for projects promoting energy-efficient buildings, biofuels production and distribution, clean-energy incubators, geothermal heat systems, landfill gas collection and distribution, LEED traffic light installation, wind energy production, "green" investment funds, and energy-related education and training. Information on featured projects is available on the ARC Web site.

Please visit for more information on ARC's energy activities.

2010 ARC Energy RFP: PDF Format (95 KB)