Energy Grant Roundup

First of all we would like to take a moment to congratulate our client, the Mancelona Area Water & Sewer Authority, on once again being named “Best Tasting Water in the Region” by the American Water Works Assn (MI) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment! This is a third-time win for MAWSA, with top honors in 2010, 2007 and 2006. This project first broke ground in the fall of 2001, and included over 17 miles of new watermain.

On to the energy grants available!

Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing grants and loans will provide $20 million to assist small manufacturing companies, currently located in Michigan, to diversify into high-growth clean energy sectors and invest in advanced manufacturing of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems and components. Any business physically located in Michigan with 500 or fewer full-time or equivalent employees, or a business that relocates to Michigan by the time of the award is eligible to apply.
Energy Efficiency – due May 21:
Renewable Energy – due May 14:

USDA Energy Grant program options:

REAP Renewal Energy Program
(Rural Energy for America Program, formerly known as the “§9006” program) offers grants and/or loan guarantees for the purchase and installation of renewable energy generating systems. Assistance is limited to small businesses and farmers & ranchers. Projects must be located in a rural area. REAP grants and guarantees may be used individually or in combination. Together they may finance up to 75% of a project’s cost. Grants can never finance more than 25% of the project or $500,000 — whichever is less. (The REAP program also supports energy efficiency projects.)

Authorized uses include:

  • Renewable energy machinery & equipment – purchase & installation (including reimbursement for these costs only if the costs were incurred after submitting your application).
  • Renewable energy real estate improvements – materials & construction (including reimbursement for these costs only if the costs were incurred after
  • Feasibility studies, technical/engineering reports, permits, professional fees, & business plans (including reimbursement for such costs whether incurred submitting your application).before or afterapplication date).

REAP Energy Efficiency Program

(Rural Energy for America Program, formerly known as the “§9006” program) offers grants and/or loan guarantees for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency improvements. Assistance is limited to small businesses and farmers & ranchers. Projects must be located in a rural area. REAP grants and guarantees may be used individually or in combination. Together they may finance up to 75% of a project’s cost. Grants can never finance more than 25% of the project or $250,000 — whichever is less. (The REAP program also supports renewable energy projects.)

REAP applications are now being accepted for FY2010; the application deadline is June 30, 2010. Awards are likely to be announced in summer 2010.Note: Applicants seeking REAP grants of $20,000 or less are greatly favored in the 2010 selection process.

Contact us for more information!

Energy Grant Roundup

Energy for Sustainability Grants, Deadline March 3

NSF has released its proposal submittal schedule for 2010. The grants available include the following “Energy for Sustainability” program, to further the development of alternative fuel technologies.

Full Proposal Window: February 1, 2010 – March 3, 2010

The Energy for Sustainability program supports fundamental research and education in energy production, conversion, and storage and is focused on energy sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Most world energy needs are currently met through the combustion of fossil fuels. With projected increases in global energy needs, more sustainable methods for energy production will need to be developed, and production of greenhouse gases will need to be reduced.

Sources of sustainable energy include:

Hydrocarbons, alcohols and hydrogen are potential energy carriers that can be derived from renewable sources. Research that generates enabling science and technologies for more efficient hydrogen generation and storage is supported by the program. Potential sources of hydrogen include conversion from biomass and from electrolysis, photolysis or thermolysis of water. Biomass is available from agricultural crop residues, forest products, aquatic plants, and municipal wastes. In addition to hydrogen, biomass can be a source of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons and alcohols.

In the long term, fuel cells have the potential to convert fuels such as hydrogen and alcohols to electricity at high efficiencies and should play an increasing role in energy conversion. Critical components of fuel cells requiring additional research include catalysts and electrolytes. Development of these components also requires fundamental research on the reaction and transport mechanisms at the catalyst and membrane electrolyte interface. Advances in these areas are needed to address key challenges in efficiency, durability, power density, and environmental impacts. The engineering aspects of fuel-cell design and operation also require further study in areas such as water and thermal management.

Wind power is a growing source of electrical energy. Increased efficiency requires a fundamental knowledge of the interaction of wind with the blade structure. Understanding the fluid flow, and optimizing blade design are important aspects in developing more efficient wind generators. Photovoltaic devices have the potential to supply a significant fraction of electrical energy to the power grid. Although silicon-based materials have been most widely used, other semiconducting, quantum and organic materials also have potential. New materials and novel fabrication techniques for solar energy conversion are supported by the program.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The average annual award size for the program is $100,000. Small equipment proposals of less than $100,000 will also be considered and may be submitted during these windows. Any proposal received outside the announced dates will be returned without review.

Contact us for more information!

Energy for Sustainability Grants, Deadline March 3

Funding Under the Green Project Reserve

The current issue of OnTap magazine has an article on the Green Reserve portion of the recovery act allocation in the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program. There are four categories:

1. Green stormwater infrastructure
2. Energy efficiency
3. Water efficiency
4. Innovative environmental projects

There are some exclusions, standard SRF and recovery act regulations apply.

You can access the entire article below:

Green Project Reserve, On Tap Magazine

Related information:

EPA Stormwater PPT

EPA Green Reserve Webcast

ARRA Presentation

Build it Green PPT

Funding Under the Green Project Reserve

Energy Efficiency Block Grant Webinar July 28

In our blog post of July 13 we highlighted an energy efficiency grant program – next week there is a webinar to review potential uses.

For those non-entitlement communities that cannot attend on dates listed above, the state will hold a one-time webcast with the same agenda as the regional workshops.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
9:00 am – 12:00 am

*Non-entitlement communities are any incorporated city, township or county government that did not receive a federal EECBG allocation under the funding opportunity announcement-DE-FOA-0000013 and is listed in the U.S. Census report of estimated population of MI Cities & Townships by County, 2000-2007.

Register on DLEG’s website at:,1607,7-154-25676-217150–,00.html

Energy Efficiency Block Grant Webinar July 28

Energy Efficiency Block Grant Apps Due Aug 10

Congratulations to the City of Charlevoix for taking the Green Community Challenge!

Michigan Green Communities Challenge is part of the an energy efficiency and renewable energy block grant program created through the federal recovery act. The deadline to apply for these funds has been extended to August 10. Funds may be used community-wide for energy efficiency and energy conservation, projects and programs. These can include: building energy audits, codes and enforcement (development and promotion of zoning changes to promote energy efficient development), material conservation programs (recycling), transportation improvements (including bike paths and walkways), renewable energy for municipal buildings, signals and street lighting, and more.

More information on the program’s basics is available online:

While larger urban areas have allocations setaside, smaller communities can also apply under the competitive grant allocation category. Michigan has been designated to receive $19,599,600, with an additional $57M+ allocated for the larger urban areas.

MML also has created a challenge on their website:
All Michigan communities are eligible to complete the Basic Challenge, a program designed to reflect the governing body’s commitment to adopt policies and programs of energy efficiency and conservation. If a community decides to accept the Basic Challenge, its governing board must pass a resolution indicating its desire to participate, and complete Steps 1–6 as outlined in the attached materials.

Details are available on MML’s website, a quick summary of the six steps includes:
1. Obtain Organizational Support (Resolution)
2. Assign Responsibility
3. Collect all Energy Data for Governmental Operations
4. Assess Situation and Identify Gaps
5. Develop Goals and Activities: Planning for the Future
6. Measure Performance and Quantify Results

You can apply for these funds whether you are a member of MML or not, however, your community needs to be prepared to complete the steps required by the grant program.

Contact us for more information on making your community more energy efficient!

Energy Efficiency Block Grant Apps Due Aug 10

Upcoming funding opportunities for alternative fuel projects

$480 Million Solicitation for Integrated Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Biorefineries
Projects selected under this Funding Opportunity Announcement will work to validate integrated biorefinery technologies that produce advanced biofuels, bioproducts, and heat and power in an integrated system, thus enabling private financing of commercial-scale replications.
DOE anticipates making 10 to 20 awards for refineries at various scales and designs, all to be operational in the next three years. The DOE funding ceiling is $25 million for pilot-scale projects and $50 million for demonstration scale projects.
These integrated biorefineries will reduce dependence on petroleum-based transportation fuels and chemicals. They will also facilitate the development of an “advanced biofuels” industry to meet the federal Renewable Fuel Standards.

Demonstration of Integrated Biorefinery Operations, Application Deadline May 29.

Advanced Water Power, Deadline June 4
The three Topic Areas are: 1. Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Conversion Device or Component Design and Development 2. Marine and Hydrokinetic Site-specific Environmental Studies/Information 3. Advanced Water Power Market Acceleration Projects/Analysis and Assessments In addition a parallel Program Announcement (PA) directed at Department of Energy Laboratories to address technical challenges in water power development, as well as market acceptance barriers has been issued.

Biomass Research and Development Initiative, Application Deadline June 11
The purpose of the Initiative is to competitively award grants to eligible entities to carry out research on and development and demonstration of
(A): biofuels and biobased products; and
(B) the methods, practices and technologies, for the production of biofuels and biobased products. Project Description DOE and USDA/CSREES are, therefore, seeking pre-applications to address the Technical Areas as set out in Section 9008 of the FCEA. The Technical Areas defined in the FCEA are the only eligible topic areas under this FOA.

The Technical Areas are: (A) FEEDSTOCKS DEVELOPMENT Research, development, and demonstration activities regarding feedstocks genetic, and feedstock logistics (including the harvest, handling, transport, preprocessing, and storage) relevant to production of raw materials for conversion to biofuels and biobased products.
(B) BIOFUELS AND BIOBASED PRODUCTS DEVELOPMENT. Research, development, and demonstration activities to support (i) the development of diverse cost-effective technologies for the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels and biobased products; and (ii) product diversification through technologies relevant to production of a range of biobased products (including chemicals, animal feeds, and cogenerated power) that potentially can increase the feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery.
(i) STRATEGIC GUIDANCE. Development of analysis that provides strategic guidance for the application of renewable biomass technologies to improve sustainability and environmental quality, cost effectiveness, security, and rural economic development.
(ii) ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. Development of systematic evaluations of the impact of expanded biofuel production on the environment (including forest land) and on the food supply for humans and animals, including the improvement and development of tools for life cycle analysis of current and potential biofuels.
(iii) ASSESSMENT OF FEDERAL LAND. Assessments of the potential of Federal land resources to increase the production of feedstocks for biofuels and biobased products, consistent with the integrity of soil and water resources and with other environmental considerations. Detailed descriptions and desired outcomes of each topic are found in Appendix C. Research, Development, or Demonstration projects will be considered for all Technical Areas.

Contact your GFA client rep for more information on preparing applications for these grant programs!

Upcoming funding opportunities for alternative fuel projects

Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings

According to a post in the Environmental Leader yesterday, Energy Star-qualified commercial building designs have increased by 60%, as 75 new commercial building design projects became Energy Star qualified.

One of the projects, the Lenox Hotel in Boston implemented multiple measures to achieve qualification, including:

  • 610+ low energy windows
  • Super-efficient boilers and heat pumps
  • ENERGY STAR office equipment, and televisions
  • Motion sensors for lighting in intermittent or low-traffic areas
  • An ozone laundry system, avoiding the use of hot water and cleaning chemicals
  • Thousands of Compact and Fluorescent bulbs (saves 58,000 kilowatts each year)
  • Motion sensors on vending machines (saves an additional 21,000 kilowatts per year).

    Note: the last two initiatives alone remove 52 tons of CO2 from of the atmosphere each year!

Saunders Hotel Group is now evaluating solar hot water technology for their Comfort Inn & Suites property – if it is feasible and effective.

How the ROI of the Upgrades

Motion sensors in storage areas/closets, Approx. $500, Payback 1 year, In Engineering budget
Compact Fluorescent Chandelier Bulbs, $5,000, Payback 8 months, In Engineering budget
Separate meter for cooling tower, N/A, Payback 1-3 years, Financed in combination of water utility and Engineering budget

A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting any one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These tax deductions are available for systems “placed in service” from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013.
Take the
ENERGY STAR Challenge to find the best opportunities for energy savings, set goals for improvement, and achieve superior energy efficiency.

IRS Notice 2006-52 (6/2/2006) provides guidance on deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings.
IRS Notice 2008-40 (4/7/2008) – Amplification of Notice 2006-52
Qualified Software for Calculating Energy Savings
Commercial Building Tax Deduction Coalition
For More Information:
Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP)
Energy Policy Act of 2005
IRS Guidance on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (June 2006)
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“the Bailout Bill”)
Signed October 3, 2008 by President Bush
Relevant sections are in DIVISION B, Sections 106 (25D) and 302 (25C)
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Stimulus Bill”)
Signed February 17, 2009 by President Obama
Relevant Sections are: DIVISION B, Sections 1103, 1121 (25C) and 1122 (25D)
Department of Energy Web site on Tax Incentives

Commercial Building Design Goals

Developing a Green Building Policy

Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings