- The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced a significant expansion of its state energy program and is now accepting applications for $425 million in formula funding for developing renewable resources, improving efficiency, installing electric vehicle chargers and other clean energy projects.
- In total, the budget increase uses funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in September to increase SEP funding nearly 10 times for fiscal years. 2022 to 2026agency officials said.
- States and territories “are where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to modernizing our energy infrastructure,” said Jeremiah Baumann, DOE chief of staff for the undersecretary of infrastructure, during a Friday call with reporters to announce the funding.
Overview of the dive
A key aspect of the DOE’s funding announcement on Friday is the flexibility of the funds, which can be used for a wide range of clean energy programs, officials said.
“These funds are quite flexible. They really give states and territories the freedom to develop the kinds of energy programs and projects that will work for every community in every state,” Baumann said.
These projects could include improving the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings, launching clean energy demonstration projects to create jobs and attract investment, or investing in manufacturing facilities to create jobs in clean energy supply chain onshore, Baumann said.
The SEP has already been used to develop a variety of innovative programs in recent years, officials noted. Maryland used state energy program funding to build solar canopies and EV chargers at an IKEA store in Baltimore, while Kentucky used the funding to develop solar energy on converted mining sites.
“We are accepting applications from all states to come on board to improve their clean energy planning and deployment,” said White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. President Joe Biden is “on a roll when it comes to building a clean energy future for all of us.”
Biden scored key victories for clean energy as he passed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill nine months ago and the Cut Inflation Act earlier this this month.
The DOE has announced a series of clean energy, security and other funding opportunities in recent months. This month, states submitted plans to access $5 billion in federal funding to develop a national electric vehicle charging network. Some $45 million was also announced in August to develop new cybersecurity tools and technologies designed to reduce cyber risks to power distribution infrastructure.