Metro CERT Clean Energy Accelerator Application

Share:


Translate:

 
Metro CERT Clean Energy Accelerator

Communities across Minnesota are looking to take action on clean energy projects, but sometimes knowing where to start, who to involve, and how to get from an idea to a completed project are steps that make the process seem daunting. Making those difficult steps easier, and getting through them faster, is the purpose of Clean Energy Accelerator.

NOTE: Applicants with Public Building Energy Efficiency project needs should apply for assistance through the separate Public Buildings Energy Efficiency Accelerator offering.



About the Accelerator

What is being offered? Through this program, Metro CERT is offering the opportunity to apply for staff assistance with getting community-based clean energy projects “off the ground” in Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright Counties. Direct financial assistance is not available through this program, though staff assistance may include help with identifying project funding sources and/or financing methods.

What is the applicant’s commitment to the project? Our approach to working with communities involves meeting half-way – we provide staff assistance to help projects succeed; meanwhile, we expect that project leaders will put forth whatever commitment and capacity they can offer to the project. Ultimately, these are community-driven projects and we want to ensure that each community has the capacity to take leadership where and when it’s needed.

What kinds of assistance are available? The Twin Cities Metro region is home to a vast landscape of programs, resources, and experts that assist communities with implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices. Metro CERT’s role within this landscape is to help community members LEARN about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices, CONNECT them to existing programs, resources, and experts, and help them ACT to reduce energy usage or offset it with community-scale renewable generation. The following list includes some examples of the assistance we can offer to communities pursuing clean energy projects:

  • LEARN Assistance: Presenting at community meetings or finding topical experts willing to give a presentation, organizing educational workshops for community members, designing factsheets and educational materials.

  • CONNECT Assistance: Helping communities and their members to understand and take advantage of the energy-related programs and resources available to them; identifying peers who can describe their experience with a similar project; convening stakeholders to develop community-based solutions; facilitating community meetings; building relationships between community groups, local units of government, and energy utilities.
  • ACT Assistance: Helping to think strategically about the best technologies and approaches to achieve a community’s energy goals; helping to ask questions while finding a service provider that will meet the needs of the project; helping to think about what role community leaders and members can play in project implementation and management; assisting with project results measurement; sharing clean energy stories and lessons learned.
    If you still have questions about how Metro CERT could help with your project, read the official RFP and the contact one of the Metro CERT staff members.

Are there priorities for the types of projects funded? While applicants may apply for assistance with any community-driven project that could ultimately lead to energy saved through efficiency or offset through renewable generation, priority will be given to projects that align with either an “Audience Priority” AND a “Technology Priority” OR a “Specific Priority.” Priorities are set annually by the Metro CERT Steering Committee, with input from attendees at the Metro CERT Annual Event.

  • Audience Priorities:
    • Projects located in suburban, exurban, and rural areas within the 11-county Metro CERT Region.
    • Projects that will benefit under-served communities

  • Technology Priorities:
    • Projects that seek to increase the utilization of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs.
    • Projects that will help communities to understand and utilize renewable energy, including solar energy, community solar gardens, and green pricing programs.
  • Specific Priorities:
    • Local governments seeking to electrify their fleets or install community charging infrastructure.
    • Local governments seeking to subscribe to, host, or coordinate community solar gardens.

NOTE: Applicants with Public Building Energy Efficiency project needs should apply for assistance through the separate Public Buildings Energy Efficiency Accelerator offering.

How is the program delivered? Selected participants will meet regularly with Metro CERT staff for the duration of the project. Meetings may also include outside experts with topical knowledge. Both the project team and Metro CERT staff will have assignments between meetings to keep progress moving. Metro CERT is also offering technical assistance with energy benchmarking for local governments and surveying knowledge and attitudes around clean energy.

Is there a structure that projects will follow? While every project is slightly different, most will go through three general phases: planning, implementation, and follow-up. Planning involves convening key stakeholders, identifying barriers and opportunities, establishing a baseline to measure progress, and making a plan for action. Implementation involves education, outreach, or project management work that will result in energy saved through efficiency or energy offset with renewable sources. Follow-up includes measuring project results and sharing the project story through a case study or at an event.

What is the application timeline? Applications for Deep Assistance are due March 24th, 2016 at 11:59pm. Selected participants will be announced in April 2016 and assistance will begin shortly thereafter. NOTE: If your application for Deep Assistance is declined, you are still eligible to apply for Rapid Assistance. Applications for Rapid Assistance are reviewed on a rolling basis and may be submitted at any time until August 1st, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by a committee made up of Metro CERT Staff, Partners, and Steering Committee members. Selection will be based on the capacity of Metro CERT staff to provide effective assistance and alignment with the priorities listed above. We anticipate being able to provide Deep Assistance to 1-3 projects or Peer Learning Cohorts and Rapid Assistance to up to 10 projects.



Request for Proposals (RFP)

Review the RFP to learn more The Metro Clean Energy Resource Teams (Metro CERT) seeks applications for assistance with planning and implementing community-based energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects in Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright Counties. The official RFP has more details about funding priorities, eligibility, the types of assistance being offered, and more.

Review the Request for Proposals to learn more >>
 



Application Form

Applications for both Rapid and Deep Assistance are combined into a single application form.

Download the Application Download the Application: To download the Clean Energy Accelerator Application Form, please click here to provide your name and email address and then click “Next”. You will then be able to download the document. We’re collecting your email address so that we can keep you updated regarding the application process.
 



Submitting Your Application

Submit your Application

Applications for both Rapid and Deep Assistance must be submitted electronically to accelerator@cleanenergyresourceteams.org

Deep Assistance
Applications for Deep Assistance are due Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 11:59pm. Selected participants will be announced in April 2016 and assistance will begin shortly thereafter. NOTE: If your application for Deep Assistance is declined, you are still eligible to apply for Rapid Assistance.

Rapid Assistance
Applications for Rapid Assistance are reviewed on a rolling basis and may be submitted at any time until August 1st, 2017.
 



Contact Us

If you have a question that has not been addressed on this website or in the Request for Proposals, please contact a Metro CERT Staff member:

Minnesotans building a clean energy future

         

    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission