Grants available to support rural energy innovation

INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana Office of Energy Development, in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, announced Nov. 15 that matching grants are available to rural communities seeking to improve energy efficiency.

“Energy infrastructure and planning are vital to our rural Hoosier communities,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “Energy competitiveness across the nation is becoming a key metric in economic development and this grant opportunity will help position us as we continue our economic development progress.”

The Rural Energy Innovation Grant funding opportunity is a competitive grant solicitation that funds two-year projects to support rural energy innovation in farms, small towns, agribusinesses and small commercial businesses for energy-related studies or implementation projects. These grants are available to those who live in a rural area with a total population of less than 30,000.

“Our rural communities are the backbone of our great state,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Improving energy efficiency in our small towns will not only provide job opportunities, but also lower energy costs for our rural agribusinesses.”

Eligible applicants include agricultural businesses, communities, farms, public entities, non-profits and small businesses located in rural areas. There are two types of grants available, planning initiatives and infrastructure implementation.

Examples of planning initiatives could include any rural energy efficient planning, including audits, such as engineering or re-engineering of buildings, equipment, and/or feasibility studies that propose to utilize higher efficiency technologies.

Infrastructure implementation could include replacing outdated, inefficient equipment or machinery in an agribusiness. It could also include conducting energy efficient projects that will have a measurable impact on energy usage for HVAC, refrigeration, water quality, livestock, dairy or other types of crop-growing or commercial operations.

“We are excited to be able to facilitate this funding,” said Jennifer Richardson, Director of Energy, Renewables and Resilience Policy at the Indiana Office of Energy Development. “Supporting energy innovation and efficiency in our rural communities will help reduce overall energy costs and could invite additional investment into our communities.”

Grantees must provide matching funds up to $50,000. This funding opportunity is made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy. Project proposals must include work plans, budgets, maintenance plans and insurance or permits, if required. Proposals are due December 13, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. to grants@oed.in.gov. Award winners will be announced on December 30, 2019.

For questions about the grant opportunity, please contact grants@oed.in.gov. To view the project guidelines and requirements, please click here.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Department of Agriculture