On August 20th, I attended an enlightening presentation where I learned a lot and met some interesting people. The presentation was arraigned by Congressperson Susan Kosmas (Florida, 24th District, Democrat) as a part of her “Follow the Green Money” campaign to inform citizens about how they might be able to benefit by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other stimulus funding.
The presentation was titled: “DOE funding for venture capital, energy start-ups and incubator companies” and was presented by Brian Quirke of the Department of Energy (DOE). Brian was a good speaker…and funny enough, he was kinda quirky in this reaction with the crowd which made the 3 hour session mildly entertaining too. It was time well spent to get the perspective of a DOE insider – and how they are committed to making sure our tax dollars are spent carefully…and Brian was believable since he was more of a geek and not a PR guy.
Brian walked us through a Powerpoint Presentation that was very informative.
Here are some tidbits from the presentation…
- The DOE’s cut of the ARRA funds was $32.7B. Of that, $6.7B is slotted for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and $4.5B is slotted for Smart Grid. That’s $11.2B available for projects that are directly or indirectly affected by a charging infrastructure for EVs!
- The money will largely be given away in grants, but there is a small amount that will be loan guarantees.
- Start taking action NOW, the application process is long, especially if you are forming a new company to take advantage of a grant.
- Big focus on transparency: if you get money, you must document how you spent it on recovery.gov (this is a good thing)
- As of 8/20, about half of the existing grants were closed, but Brian said that there will be a "tsunami" of new grants coming online in about 6 weeks or less.
- All grant applications should VERY obviously state over and over how you help the goals of ARRA: Addressing Global Warming, Creating Green Jobs, Helping the Economy Recover, Promoting partnerships, and finally, be able to Get r done fast (Shovel Ready)…as they all of the money spent within 1.5 years.
- All information on grants and programs are online at DOE’s new site: http://www.energy.gov/recovery/funding.htm
- If you're a US Government municipality, you should visit this page to start: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/toolbox/
- Start with these sections if your looking for charging infrastructure dollars...
- Vehicles and Infrastructure in the Transportation Section
- Energy Infrastructure and RE Communities in the State & Local Government Section
- Energy Infrastructure & Storage Section
- You'll need a FedConnect login to apply for the programs, and you'll need to be a legal company entity (or government) that is registered with DUNS and CCR number to get an account with FedConnect. This process can take up to 3 Weeks!
- Some grants require you send a letter of intent...this will add time to the process.
- Read the DOE's FAQ here: http://www.energy.gov/recovery/funding_faqs.htm
Why should you care about all this?
One good reason is $99 Million dollars. That’s how much the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) got in a DOE Grant to put in an initial 12,800 charging stations in Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona and Tennessee. Here’s a link to an eTec FAQ on the Grant: http://www.etecevs.com/pdf/080509_FAQ_DOE_Ecotality_eTec.pdf
For a great overview of eTec's History and how they plan to execute on this grant, watch this interview from Horizon...
Wanna go deeper down the rabbit hole into the details of a DOE Grant? Here's John Kelly dissecting a Smart Grid grant application: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/what-the-doe-wants-in-smart-grid-grant-applications/
If you are not checking www.energy.gov/recovery to see if your organization could benefit, what are you waiting for?