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Empowering Rural America New ERA Program

The program prioritizes greenhouse gas reductions rather than requiring the use of specific technologies. Applicants can seek funding for renewable and zero-emission systems that eliminate aging, obsolete, or expensive infrastructure. Applicants can also change purchased-power mixes to support cleaner portfolios, manage stranded assets, and boost the transition to clean energy. Funding provided to make energy efficiency improvements to eligible generation and transmission systems, to purchase, build, or deploy renewable energy, zero-emission systems, carbon capture storage systems, or to purchase renewable energy.

September 15, 2023
Microgrid Technologies for Underserved and Indigenous Communities Funding for multi-year research, development, and demonstrations (RD&D) of microgrid-related technologies. The goal is to bring microgrid solutions to underserved and Indigenous communities in remote, rural, and islanded regions in the United States. Programs such as this will ensure that low-cost reliable, resilient, clean energy is available to support and improve the lives of every American.  September 15, 2023
Energy Future Grants

Energy Future Grants will encourage local, tribal, and state governments to partner and build ideas in the power, transportation, and/or building sectors that will benefit disadvantaged communities. The grants (up to $500,000 each) will provide support for at least 50 multi jurisdictional teams. Teams should be ideally comprised of 3-4 or more state, local, and/or tribal government partners joining together on a planning project. Applicants are required to submit a Community Benefits Plan outlining how the project will achieve four goals: (1) support community and labor engagement, (2) invest in the American workforce, (3) promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and (4) contribute to the President’s goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities (the Justice40 Initiative).

September 30, 2023

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for $1 billion in grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses (including some munis and rural electric coops) invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. 

September 30, 2023
(with four additional quarterly competitions through 2024)
Solar for All - EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

This competition will award up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofit recipients to expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for distributed solar investment—enabling millions of low-income households to access affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy. Grantees will use funds to expand existing low-income solar programs or design and deploy new Solar for All programs nationwide.

DEADLINE EXTENDED - Notice of Intent: Oct. 12, 2023
Clean Energy Innovation in Underserved Communities

Up to $7.5 million in cash prizes and mentorship opportunities to organizations supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, capacity building, and economic development in communities historically underrepresented in climate and energy technology funding. Prizes are awarded in three tracks: 

Clean Energy Ecosystem Track: $4.9 million is available for community-led projects across a wide range of clean energy initiatives, technologies, and areas of focus that advance local clean energy transitions.

Manufacturing Ecosystem Track: $2.1 million is available for projects that advance clean energy manufacturing innovation ecosystems in historically underserved communities. Awarded projects will bring together public, private, and community stakeholders to address key barriers to advancing manufacturing innovation, business models, and market development.

Collegiate Track: $450,000 is available for student-led teams to work alongside a community partner on a project related to the clean energy transition. Students from minority serving institutions, universities located in rural and/or disadvantaged communities, and community colleges are especially encouraged to apply.

Collegiate Track: Nov. 3, 2023

Ecosystem Track: Feb. 2, 2024 

Manufacturing Track: Feb. 2, 2024

Webinars: Oct. 2 and Oct. 12

Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets Up to $3.5 million to help local communities create a roadmap towards repurposing existing energy assets. The Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets initiative will assist communities where a significant portion of their local economy has historically been supported by energy assets, such as coal, oil, and/or natural gas power facilities and accompanying equipment and infrastructure. The initiative will help these communities build technical capacity and develop a workforce necessary to help revitalize energy systems, address environmental impacts, and tackle challenges associated with energy assets that have been retired or are slated for retirement. November 6, 2023
DOE Energy Efficient Transformers Rebate Program The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains is accepting applications for its $10 million energy efficient transformers rebate program. The rebate program aims to help domestic manufacturers, utilities, tribes, hospitals, schools, and other operators replace aging grid infrastructure by financing equipment upgrades, which will conserve energy and reduce costs while slashing greenhouse gas emissions. December 31, 2023 (or until funds are expended)
HUD Green and Resilient Retrofit Program 

GRRP is the first HUD program to simultaneously invest in energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, energy generation, green and healthy housing, and climate resilience strategies specifically in HUD-assisted multifamily housing. All the investments under the GRRP will be made in affordable housing communities serving low-income families. This Notice of Funding Opportunity makes $140,000,000 available to: 1) Lower carbon emissions and improve energy and water efficiency, 2) Incorporate renewable energy use, where appropriate, 3) Further climate resilience to better withstand the impacts of natural hazard events and protect residents; 4) Reduce resident exposure to health risks and environmental hazards, 5) Improve the quality of HUD-assisted multifamily housing for residents, 6) Support long-term housing preservation through extended affordability requirements.

March 28, 2024
Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants

Competitive EPA grants for implementing measures contained in the State of Minnesota, any tribal, or Twin Cities metropolitan area Priority Climate Action Plans (PCAPs). Individual grants grants between $2 million and $500 million ($1 to $25 for tribes and territories). 

Partnerships are highly encouraged. GreenStep can help interested communities connect project needs with potential partners and projects.  

General: April 1, 2024 

Webinars: Sept. 21 and Oct. 3

Tribes and territories: May 1, 2024 

Webinars: Sept. 27 and Oct. 5

Tax Provision


Production Tax Credit for Electricity from Renewables

For production of electricity from eligible renewable sources, including wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, landfill and trash, hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic energy. Credit Amount (for 2022): 0.55 cents/kW (2.75 if PWA met).

  • Clean Energy Production Tax Credits available for clean electricity for facilities that begin construction and are placed in service after 2024; credits starting in 2025. 
Investment Tax Credit for Energy Property

For investment in renewable energy projects including fuel cell, solar, geothermal, small wind, energy storage, biogas, microgrid controllers, and combined heat and power properties. Credit Amount: 6% of qualified investment (30% if PWA met).

  • Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit available for facilities that begin construction and are place in service after 2024. 
  • Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit available for small-scale solar and wind or clean electricity facilities on Indian land, federally subsidized housing, in low-income communities, and benefit low-income households. Allocated through an application process. Credit Amount: 10 or 20 percentage point increase on base investment tax credit.
Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit For purchasers of commercial clean vehicles. Qualifying vehicles include passenger vehicles, buses, ambulances, and certain other vehicles for use on public streets, roads, and highways. Credit Amount: Up to $40,000 (max $7,500 for vehicles <14,000 lbs)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit For alternative fuel vehicle refueling and charging property, located in low-income and non-urban areas. Qualified fuels include electricity, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, and biodiesel. Credit Amount: 6% of basis for businesses and can increase to 30% if PWA is met.
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Funding Opportunity:


Announcement Dates

Distributed Energy Systems Demonstrations

Up to $50 million to support the demonstrations that de-risk technologies needed to manage variable generation; control flexible loads; and integrate energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, and other facilities into the U.S. transmission and distribution grids.

September, 2023
Neighborhood Access and Equity Program Addressing walking, biking, and transit access, especially in low-income areas. Not announced

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): Also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, became law on November 15, 2021. The IIJA authorized $1.2 trillion in funding opportunities across a wide variety of infrastructure subject areas, including:

  • Energy - Funding opportunities authorized under IIJA include grid modernization, new electric transmission, energy system resiliency and reliability updates, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, improvement to the energy efficiency of buildings, smart manufacturing, carbon capture and carbon utilization projects, renewable energy technologies and demonstration projects and other innovative initiatives. 
  • Transportation - provides higher funding levels and many new formula and discretionary grant programs that will expand the definition of transportation infrastructure and address health and community-driven outcomes. 
    • MnDOT: available grants and information about formula funding. 
    • DOT Navigator, US DOT: technical assistance to help communities understand the best ways to apply for grants, and to apply for and deliver transformative infrastructure projects and services. 
  • Water Infrastructure 
  • More resources: 

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): became law on August 16, 2022. The IRA authorized billions of dollars in funding opportunities across a wide variety of investment subject areas, including: