DOE launches $300M funding opportunity for rural, remote energy projects

Published on March 03, 2023 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will award $300 million for projects that increase energy affordability and promote climate resilience, particularly in rural areas.

The $300 million funding opportunity, called Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas, is targeted at rural and remote communities across the United States. The DOE will award projects with an anticipated federal cost share ranging from $5 million for single-site projects to $100 for a single or multi-site demonstration project that benefits multiple communities.

The funding is organized into nine geographical regions to reflect regional diversity in energy consumption and access, varying weather patterns, and climate impacts.

“Access to a reliable and affordable energy supply is critical to building safer, climate resilient communities and key to addressing the unique energy challenges faced by remote regions,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Thanks to new investments from President Biden’s clean energy and climate agenda, DOE is doubling down on its efforts to ensure every American—especially those in rural and remote areas—can unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits that come with the transition to a clean energy future.”

Nearly one in six Americans live in a rural or remote community. However, these communities often face higher energy costs and poor electrical reliability. The ERA program will seek to modernize electric generation facilities, address disproportionately high electricity costs, and support new economic opportunities in these communities.

The DOE is also launching a $15 million Energizing Rural Communities Prize to support improving energy systems in rural or remote areas. Through $15 million in funding, this prize competition will help build partnerships by connecting communities to government funding and a network of partners that can help implement clean energy projects.

These two new funding opportunities are a critical component of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program.