Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Energy is now accepting applications for the second round of funding through the agency’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program. ODOE is making $12 million available to support planning and construction of renewable energy or energy resilience projects for Tribes, public bodies, and consumer-owned utilities.
Grant dollars are available for four types of projects: planning a renewable energy project, planning a renewable energy project that also has a resilience component, construction of a renewable energy project, or construction of a renewable energy project with a resilience component. Eligible projects include renewable energy generation systems like solar or wind, as well as energy storage systems, electric vehicle charging stations, or microgrid technologies paired with new or existing renewable energy systems. Eligible applicants are encouraged to partner with community groups, non-profits, private businesses, and others on potential projects. In October, the agency announced 21 recipients of the first round of grant funds totaling $12 million.
ODOE will again offer grants up to $100,000 for eligible planning projects and up to $1 million for eligible construction projects. Planning grants can cover up to 100 percent of eligible costs to develop a plan to build renewable energy and energy resilience projects. Construction grants for renewable energy projects can cover up to 50 percent of eligible costs to build the project, while construction grants for resilience projects can cover up to 100 percent. Awards will be made on a competitive basis, and priority will be given to projects that support energy resilience and that serve qualifying communities, including communities of color, low-income communities, Tribes, rural areas, and other traditionally underserved groups.
“The Oregon Department of Energy received dozens of applications for outstanding projects across the state in our grant program’s first round of funding,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “We’re thrilled to be able to award grants to more projects that will support clean energy and community energy resilience, bolster local jobs and economic development, and create energy cost savings for Oregonians.”
The Community Renewable Energy Grant Program was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2021 to support projects outside Portland city limits, with a total budget of $50 million. ODOE will make additional rounds of funding available through 2024.
Applications are due by February 15, 2023, and will be checked for completeness before going through a competitively-scored review. Four program opportunity announcements with additional eligibility details are available on ODOE’s website. The agency encourages written questions from potential applicants by January 27; ODOE will post responses online, with a final Q&A posted by February 3.