Federal Clean Energy Funding Opportunities
The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (H.R. 3864, 2021) appropriated more than $62 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create 60 new programs, including 16 demonstration and 32 deployment programs. The legislation also expands funding for 12 existing Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RDD&D) programs.
This newly available and one-time federal funding supports the CPUC’s goals of bill affordability, climate adaptation, and safety for California’s electric and gas ratepayers by potentially displacing the need for ratepayer dollars for electric infrastructure interconnection, hardening, and resiliency projects. The electric and gas investor-owned utilities (IOUs) can directly apply to the U.S. DOE for funding through various competitive grant solicitations. The California Energy Commission (CEC) will also be applying to relevant formulaic and competitive funding solicitations open to state entities with much of this funding eventually flowing to the electric and gas IOUs as well as other project developers and eligible entities.
More information on the DOE’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program & Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found here.
Federal Funding Engagement with Electric and Gas Investor-Owned Utilities
The latest Request for Information (RFI) from the U.S. DOE clarified many application requirements and procedures the electric and gas IOUs will need to include in their applications. As a result, the CPUC is coordinating with the electric and gas IOUs to implement regulatory guidance consistently across the utilities on a short timeline. The CPUC aims to develop a clear regulatory process to better position the electric and gas IOUs win competitive funding opportunities available through the U.S. DOE.
As part of the IIJA, the DOE Grid Deployment Office is administering a $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership Program (GRIP) nationwide to enhance grid flexibility and improve the resilience of the nation’s power grid against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change. These programs will accelerate the deployment of transformative projects across the nation to help ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, ensuring communities have access to affordable, reliable, and clean electricity.
For more information on the GRIP, including concept paper and application timelines, please see here.
Tribal Federal Funding Opportunities
California Tribes are also eligible to apply for grants from the new DOE clean energy federal funding programs. The CPUC is committed to incorporating Tribal concerns into the development of the federal funding regulations and policies through discussion and consultation with Tribes.
The various grant programs tribes are eligible to apply for include, but are not limited to:
- Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas
- Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
- Smart Grid Grants
- Grid Innovation program
- Grid Hardening State/Tribal Formula Grant Program
- State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) Program
The DOE Office of Indian Energy leads engagement across state and federal government agencies and Tribes to connect Tribes with programs that promote tribal energy development, strengthen energy infrastructure and electrify tribal lands. The Office provides financial assistance, technical assistance, education and outreach for tribal nations.
More information on the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy can be found here.
Office of Governmental Affairs
- Amanda Singh - Amanda.Singh@cpuc.ca.gov
- Adam Banasiak – Adam.Banasiak@cpuc.ca.gov