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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Funding for Energy

“$62 billion in clean energy related federal funds to be administered by U.S. Department of Energy”~Signed into law on November 15, 2021

The Energy Programs Office (EPO), Pennsylvania’s State Energy Office, expects to receive approximately $67 million in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) formula funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. Formula funding is predetermined and noncompetitive, but must be applied for.

These funds can be used for existing or new decarbonization or resilience programs managed by EPO, block grants for local government or nonprofit energy efficiency programs, and energy efficiency revolving loan programs.

Objectives for use of IIJA funds in Pennsylvania:

  • Invest in environmental justice communities to reduce energy burden.
  • Expand access to energy efficiency solutions and measures for families, communities, and businesses.
  • Increase the generation of reliable, clean, and affordable power.
  • Deploy clean and resilient energy infrastructure to combat the effects of climate change.
  • Develop a clean energy workforce and manufacturing capabilities.

The Energy Programs Office will apply for six types of IIJA funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The first four are predetermined formula funds. The last two are competitive programs, with funding amount determined by application.

Pennsylvania Grid Resilience Grants Program is Now Open!

The Pennsylvania Grid Resilience Grants (PA GRG) Program is now accepting applications for the 2023 program year. PA GRG has approximately $16 million in competitive funding available to entities that own or operate electric power system infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth that want to implement resilience measures intended to mitigate the impact of electric grid disruptive events.

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Application deadlines: There are two application periods. PA GRG applicants are required to submit a Concept Paper in order to be eligible to submit a Full Application. The program will collect and review all Concept Papers submitted by 11:59PM on November 14, 2023. The program will collect and review all Full Applications submitted by 11:59PM on January 26, 2024.

Details and Instructions

About the 2023 PA GRG Program

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is announcing an opportunity to apply for approximately $16 million in competitive grants offered through the Pennsylvania Grid Resilience Grants (PA GRG) Program, one of the programs funded under the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021. This funding is available for eligible resilience measures intended to mitigate the impact of electric grid disruptive events.

DEP is seeking applications for innovative, advanced, and transformative projects resulting in a more resilient and reliable electric grid while promoting the expansion of clean energy generation, workforce benefits, and positive outcomes in disadvantaged communities. Other restrictions may apply. Entities that own or operate electric power system infrastructure throughout the state should apply. These entities may include electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers, fuel suppliers, and any other relevant entity as determined by DEP in consultation with DOE. Grant funding provided by DEP may only be used to implement the following resilience measures intended to mitigate the impact of disruptive events. This list of measures includes:

  • a) weatherization technologies and equipment;
  • b) fire resistant technologies and fire prevention systems;
  • c) monitoring and control technologies;
  • d) the undergrounding of electrical equipment;
  • e) utility pole management;
  • f) the relocation of power lines or the reconductoring of power lines with low sag;
  • g) advanced conductors;
  • h) vegetation and fuel load management;
  • i) the use or construction of infrastructure for enhancing system adaptive capacity during disruptive events, including microgrids and battery storage subcomponents;
    • o Note: These projects are only eligible if used exclusively during disruptive events.
  • j) adaptive protection technologies;
  • k) advanced modeling technologies;
  • l) hardening of power lines, facilities, substations, or other systems; and
  • m) the replacement of old overhead conductors and underground cables.

Priorities for grant funding:

  • Improving Grid Performance
  • Improving Grid Resilience
  • Increasing Economic Resilience
  • Ensuring Workforce Benefits
  • Improving Environmental Performance and GHG Reduction
  • Improving Outcomes in Disadvantaged Communities
  • Project Readiness

2023 Award Overview

Funding Information:
Approximately $16 million is available for new awards under this competitive grant program. Projects funded will have an initial Period of Performance of five years. Awards may be extended to span the amount of time necessary for recipients to complete all project efforts, up to ten years. At least five percent of the program funding is being set aside for eligible entities that sell not more than 4,000,000 MWh of electricity per year. This funding portion is referred to as “Small Utility Set Aside.”

Cost Match Requirements:
An eligible entity that receives a grant award under the Program is required to match a minimum of 100 percent of the award amount. However, if the eligible entity sells not more than 4,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year, the required minimum match will be one third of the award amount. Matching funds means any new public or private investment in the proposed project made by an eligible applicant. Eligible applicants must provide letters documenting the financial commitment. Eligible letters and matching fund use are discussed in the application requirements section of the PA GRG 2023 Guidance Document.

Contact

For project and funding inquiries, please contact: Daniel Eitzman, Energy Programs Office, at deitzman@pa.gov or (717) 772.5628

State Energy Program (SEP)

The Energy Programs Office is expected to receive $14 million to help implement programs that include policy, planning, and education initiatives to address energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy security and resiliency planning to help the industry, buildings, transportation, electric power sectors in disadvantaged communities.

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG)

The Energy Programs Office is expected to receive $4.7 million to support small local governments and nonprofits programs with grants/rebates/financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and zero-emission transportation.

Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund

The Energy Programs Office is expected to receive $3.7 million in new funding to capitalize or support a revolving loan fund for energy efficiency loans and audits.

Energy Auditors Training Program

The Energy Programs Office can apply for a maximum of $2 million to provide energy auditor training assistance.

Building Codes Assistance/Training

$225 million will be available nationally over the next five years to be used for energy code workforce training, codes updates, implementation and compliance. EPO can apply in partnership with other agencies and non-government organizations to support energy code workforce development.

Additional IIJA Funding Available to Pennsylvania from the U.S. Dept. of Energy

These funding programs are not administered by the DEP Energy Programs Office but critical to the success of achieving a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania:

  • National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program - The NEVI Formula Program will provide approximately $171 million in dedicated funding to Pennsylvania to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. These funds will be administered by PennDOT. Grants will be provided to install alternative fuel infrastructure along Federal Highway Administration designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. When the corridors are complete, NEVI funds will then be dedicated to the deployment of publicly accessible alternative fuel charging/fueling projects outside of Alternative Fuel Corridors, with priority to rural, low and middle-income, and underserved communities, and multi-unit dwellings.
  • Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs - Two billion will be distributed by DOE to regional projects that support the development of at least 4 regional clean hydrogen hubs. Projects must demonstrate the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen through regional clean hydrogen hubs, which are networks of clean hydrogen producers, potential clean hydrogen consumers, and connective infrastructure located in close proximity.
  • Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid – $2.5 billion available competitively nationwide, in addition to the Formula Grant to States, to help in improving the all-hazards resilience of the electric grid and to prevent outages through: hardening of assets, real time control and coordination of system assets, and provision of tools for support modeling and analysis efforts.
  • Building a Better Grid, Energy Improvement in Rural and Remote Areas - $1 billion available nationwide for cooperative agreements between Industry Partners, Utilities, National Laboratories, Universities, State and Local Governments, Community Based Organizations, Tribal, and Environmental Groups. Funding for energy improvements for rural areas. Will create common analytical frameworks, tools, metrics, and data to assess the resilience, reliability, safety, and security of U.S. energy infrastructure.
  • Building a Better Grid, Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency - $5 billion available, program focuses on demonstrating new approaches to enhancing regional grid resilience, implemented through States by public and rural electric cooperatives. Program for states, tribes, PUCs and local governments for transmission, storage, and distribution hardening and regional grid resilience. Requires match.
  • Grants for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities - Five hundred million in grants to be awarded by DOE for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fueled vehicle upgrades and improvements at public schools.
  • Replacement of Existing School Buses with Clean and Zero Emission School Buses - Five billion in grants to schools for zero emission buses (50% of funds) and clean or zero emissions buses (other 50% of funds).
  • Weatherization Assistance Program - The IIJA-funded increase to the Weatherization Program will provide an additional $186 million to help increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety. Energy efficient measures could include the installation of weatherization materials such as attic insulation, caulking, weather-stripping, furnace efficiency modifications, certain mechanical measures to heating and cooling systems, and replacement furnaces, boilers, and air-conditioners.