- The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced a significant expansion to its state energy program and is now accepting applications for $425 million in formula funding for the development of renewable resources, efficiency improvements, installation of electric vehicle chargers and other clean energy projects.
- In total, the budget increase utilizes funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in September to boost SEP funding by nearly 10 times for fiscal years 2022 through 2026, agency officials said.
- States and territories “are where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to upgrading our energy infrastructure,” Jeremiah Baumann, DOE’s chief of staff for the undersecretary of infrastructure, said during a Friday call with reporters to announce the funding.
A key aspect of DOE’s funding announcement on Friday is the flexibility of the funds, which can be utilized for a wide range of clean energy programs, officials said.
“These funds are quite flexible. They really do give states and territories the freedom to develop the kinds of energy programs and projects that are going to be right for every community in every state,” said Baumann.
Those projects could include improving the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings, launching clean energy demonstration projects to create jobs and attract investment, or investing in manufacturing facilities to onshore clean energy supply chain jobs, Baumann said.
The SEP has already been used to develop a variety of innovative programs in recent years, officials noted. Maryland has used state energy program funding to build solar canopies and EV chargers at an IKEA store in Baltimore, while Kentucky has utilized the funding to develop solar energy at repurposed mine sites.
“We're accepting applications from all states to get on board to level up their clean energy planning and deployment,” White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said. President Joe Biden is “on a roll when it comes to building a clean energy future for all of us.”
DOE has announced a series of clean energy, security and other funding opportunities in recent months. This month, states submitted plans to access $5 billion in federal funding to develop a national EV charging network. Some $45 million was also announced in August to develop new cybersecurity tools and technologies designed to reduce cyber risks for energy delivery infrastructure.