Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the authors' and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members. On August 5, 2021, we archived old blog posts. You can find the archive by clicking here.
Historic Clean Energy Grant Programs for Wisconsin
Gov. Tony Evers and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today announced that the PSC’s Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) will begin accepting applications for historic clean energy programs beginning in November. These programs, including the Wisconsin Grid Resilience Grant Program, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, and the Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP), are designed to upgrade and strengthen energy infrastructure in the state, helping to ensure critical access to secure, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy while accelerating the state’s clean energy economy. These historic programs will infuse approximately $20 million into Wisconsin, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) signed by President Biden in 2021.
“Investing in clean energy is a key part of our work toward building infrastructure, a workforce, and an economy in Wisconsin that can meet the needs of the 21st Century, and these programs will play a critical part in these efforts moving forward,” said Gov. Evers. “We are making progress on our clean energy goals, including having 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, and these grant programs represent a historic investment in our state’s future that will help us reach these goals, boost our economy, strengthen local communities, and protect our environment.”
“As our state continues to transition to cleaner and more renewable electric generation, clean energy innovation and investments in the resiliency of critical energy infrastructure will be needed to maintain safety, reliability, and affordably for customers,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “By working with federal, state, and local partners, we are well-prepared to roll out these programs and maximize the impact of these opportunities throughout the state.”
The EIGP supports a wide variety of energy projects. Since 2018, $32 million in EIGP funding has been awarded to projects that have demonstrated innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage, comprehensive energy planning, feasibility studies for microgrids, and more. This year, $7.8 million will be available, funded by the BIL. Grants are available for Wisconsin manufacturers, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, Native Nations, and like entities. The application period begins Nov. 30, 2023, and will remain open until March 1, 2024.
The new EECBG Program was created to support local governments and Tribes in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions and improve energy efficiency. To meet these goals, Wisconsin is making $2.3 million available for eligible rural local governments to support comprehensive energy planning, renewable resource planning, and energy efficiency audits and projects. The application period begins Nov. 30, 2023, and will remain open until Jan. 31, 2024. A separate stream of EECBG funds has been directly allocated to Native Nations and many municipalities in Wisconsin.
The new Wisconsin Grid Resilience Grant Program was created to improve the resiliency of the electric grid. Activities that are eligible for nearly $10 million in grant funding over two fiscal years include but are not limited to: hardening of power lines, facilities, and substations; weatherization technologies and equipment; monitoring and control technologies; adaptive protection technologies; fire-resistant technologies; distributed energy resources that support system resilience during disruptive events; and workforce recruitment and skills training. Eligible program participants are electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers, and fuel suppliers. A minimum of 75 percent of available grant funds will be set aside for projects from eligible entities defined by the BIL as small utilities. The application period begins Nov. 16, 2023, and will remain open until Feb. 16, 2024.