The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program seeks to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. The ERA program will leverage DOE’s expertise and experience in resilient energy solutions to modernize electric generation facilities, address disproportionately high electricity costs, and support new economic opportunities in rural and remote communities.
The ERA program received $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provides financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions that are replicable and scalable. ERA aims to fund community-driven energy projects with three specific goals:
1. Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding replicable energy projects that lower energy costs, improve energy access and resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm
2. Demonstrate new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, business structures that promote economic resilience, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement best practices
3. Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance throughout rural America
Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, for-profit and non-profit organizations, state, local governments and Tribal Nations, incorporated and unincorporated consortia.
Eligible uses include:
Overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems;
Siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines;
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas;
Providing or modernizing electric generation facilities;
Developing microgrids; and
Increasing energy efficiency.
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state’s investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is offering grants to support the development of new and existing cooperatives in Wisconsin, with a goal of fostering the success of current and future cooperatives by supporting planning and exploratory research in advance of making a large investment.