Minnesota recently received some BIG energy grants. A hat tip to the amazing utility and community-based organizations across the state doing important clean energy work. Similarly, a shout out to the staff at the Minnesota Department of Commerce who work tirelessly to write/support grant proposals and build the systems needed to implement federal and state policy into on-the-ground clean energy reality..
Interested in sharing your project award? Send [email protected] your project title, award amount, total project cost, a brief description of the project, and funding program title and number.
EPA Environmental Justice Government to Government Grants (EJG2G) – EPA Region 5
- Justice40 Minnesotans Navigating Climate Action | Minnesota Department of Commerce | Federal Cost Share/Award: $1 million
Justice40 Minnesotans Navigating Climate Action (J40MNCA) builds broad, robust, and results-oriented partnerships between State departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) serving environmental justice communities in Minnesota. Through this project, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the newly expanded Community Energy Collaborative (CEC) will partner to co-develop a Justice40 Leadership Academy and establish a demonstration Community-based Navigator Program. Partners will develop and test multiple ways to apply data, strengthen relationships, and build energy and environmental justice leadership capacity at the local and state level. Activities will result in key tools and processes that increase the integration of community input and justice considerations across the state government, provide a model for co-created program development, and increase equitable access to climate-based federal funding available through the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Tribal Home Energy Project to Upgrade Tribal Homes with Energy-efficient, Carbon Reducing Technologies | The Prairie Island Indian Community | Federal Cost Share/Award: $1 million
The project addresses PIIC’s immediate need for energy efficiency, cost savings, and a safer, healthier living environment. The main objective is to upgrade homes with technologies that help tribal members eliminate fossil fuels, save money, reduce indoor pollutants, and improve health, and safety. Activities include: 1) stakeholder input; 2) outreach to create project awareness and encourage participation in the project; 3) public education about home energy; 4) home energy audits to identify efficient and cost-saving options; 5) small-scale construction and installation of system upgrades and energy-efficient, electrification, and renewable energy equipment; 7) quality inspections; and 8) assessment of project performance and progress.
Energizing Rural Communities Prize: This prize challenges individuals and organizations to develop partnership and financing strategies to support efforts in rural or remote communities to improve their energy systems and advance clean energy demonstration projects. Each of the 5 Minnesota winners will receive mentorship services worth $100,000.00, and eligibility to compete in phase two of the prize to win an additional $200,000.
- Region Five Economic Development Organization: Making Mr. CEF'S (Minnesota Rural Clean Energy Finance) Capital Stack Burger
- White Earth Tribal and Community College and CERTs: Rural Clean Energy Training Pathways
- Region Nine Development Commission: Region Nine BioEconomy Development Zone
- Smart Grid, Magnolia, MN: Wireless Fault Indicator System
- The Morris Model Partnership, Morris, MN: The Morris Model Partnership Plan
Rural Energy for America Program Technical Assistance Grant
- Energy Smart | Minnesota Chamber of Commerce | Federal Award: $200,000
The three-year grant will allow the Energy Smart program to identify energy efficiency projects and complete REAP applications for candidates in qualifying areas of greater Minnesota with a focus on small business energy efficiency projects. At least 40% of funding is reserved for technical assistance in distressed communities.
Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Grants
- IIJA 40103b - Grid Innovation Program for the Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue Transmission (JTIQ) Study Process and Portfolio | Minnesota Department of Commerce | Federal Cost Share: $464 million
Leveraging an innovative partnership and collaboration among states, the project will coordinate the planning, design, and construction of five transmission projects across seven Midwest states, known as the Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue (JTIQ) Portfolio. The JTIQ Process replaces the traditional interconnection study approach with a coordinated, long-range, interregional assessment that studies multiple projects at once, resulting in more regionally optimized transmission solutions and an innovative cost-share allocation approach.
- IIJA 40101c - Wildfire Mitigation and Extreme Weather Resilience for Xcel Energy. | Xcel Energy Services, Inc. | Federal Cost Share: $100 million
Xcel Energy will implement Upper Midwest projects in Minnesota related to mitigating extreme weather event risks, undergrounding of lines, micro-grid development for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community centers in Minnesota; and a system resilience installation for a wastewater treatment facility in Wisconsin. Funding will also allow Xcel to undertake a school bus-to-building electric vehicle (EV) demonstration project, develop an EV charging program to ensure emergency evacuation vehicles are fully charged, and implement seven projects in its Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas service territory that will provide system-wide wildfire risk mitigation measures.
- IIJA 40107 - Minnesota Power HVDC Terminal Expansion Capability | Allete Inc. | Federal Cost Share: $50 million
The Minnesota Power HVDC Terminal Expansion Capability project will increase capacity to prepare the system for future expansion and the integration of clean energy resources. The project will also provide enhanced grid operations support and flexibility as well as improved system reliability as renewable energy resources become a larger part of electricity generation on the grid. Additionally, it will leverage existing assets to advance Minnesota’s carbon reduction goals, as established by state law in 2023, requiring utilities to deliver carbon-free electricity.
IIJA 40314 Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub
- Heartland Hydrogen Hub | Heartland Hub (HH2H) | Federal Cost Share: Up to $925 million
This project will leverage the region’s abundant energy resources to help decarbonize the agricultural sector’s production of fertilizer and decrease the regional cost of clean hydrogen. The Heartland Hydrogen Hub also proposes to use clean hydrogen for power generation in a manner that may catalyze co-firing hydrogen in utility-owned generation across the country. The Hub plans to offer unique opportunities of equity ownership with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and to local farmers and farmer co-ops through a private sector partnership that will allow local farmers to receive more competitive pricing for clean fertilizer.
Buildings Upgrade Prize
- Equity-Centered Pathway Phase 1 Winners | Community Power/Cooperative Energy Futures | Federal Award: Community Power will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award). Cooperative Energy Futures will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).
This project will upgrade 2,000-plus Minnesota homes by creating access to upfront capital, data integration, and providing community-trusted support through a navigator position.
- Equity-Centered Pathway Phase 1 Winners | Ecolibruim3 | Federal Award: $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).
This project focuses on equitable electrification via a holistic support-centric approach including enhanced audits, guided support systems, and expanded training.
The above information comes from a Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Office update.