Business Opportunities

Partner Clean Energy Business Opportunities

Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER)

Issued By: US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office
Topic Areas: renewable energy, solar, storage, community development, resilience
Application Deadline: See timeline below

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) will award $25 million in funding for projects to enable communities to utilize solar and solar-plus-storage to prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events, and to rapidly restore electricity if it goes down.

Projects will foster engagement and ongoing communication among multiple stakeholders such as utilities, municipal planners, emergency responders, community groups, and others, especially in underserved communities located in areas vulnerable to extreme events causing frequent energy and power service disruptions. In addition, projects will develop and demonstrate rapid energy restoration technologies based on the community resilience plan in order to increase the durability of photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Topic Area 1: Innovative Community-Based Energy Resilience Planning – 6-8 projects, $500,000-1 million each
Topic Area 2: Automation Strategies for Rapid Energy Restoration – 5-6 projects, $2-3 million each
Topic Area 3: Innovative Solutions to Increase the Resilience and Hardening of PV Power Plants – 2-3 projects, $1.5-3 million each
FOA Issue Date: 4/12/2022
Informational Webinar: 4/27/2022 at 1 p.m. ET: Register
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: 5/26/2022 at 5 p.m. ET
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 7/25/2022 at 5 p.m. ET
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: September 2022
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: October 2022–January 2023

 

Additional Information

Two Resources for Findings Federal Funding Opportunities

Issued By: American Cities Climate Challenge and Interagency Working Group on Coal & Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization
Topic Areas: federal funding, clean energy, local communities, economic development
Application Deadline: N/A

  • Created by the American Cities Climate Challenge, the Federal Funding Opportunities for Local Decarbonization (FFOLD) tool helps users learn about the many federal funding opportunities that exist for advancing local decarbonization efforts.

Navigating these opportunities and making strategic decisions on how to best utilize the funds available can be challenging. This tool helps local governments prioritize and leverage existing federal funding to advance system-wide energy transition goals—from block grants and technical assistance to competitive grants, loans, and revolving loan funds.

Find more information on and download the FFOLD Tool at the American Cities Climate Challenge website.

  • The Interagency Working Group on Coal & Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization created a centralized clearinghouse that features billions of dollars in existing federal funding sources. This government-wide list offers easy access to energy communities applying to fund infrastructure, environmental remediation, job creation, and community revitalization efforts.

View the Interagency Working Group's Clearinghouse.

One North Carolina Small Business Program

Issued By: NC Department of Commerce
Topic Areas: small business, technology, community development, clean energy, workforce development
Application Deadline: Dependent of Solicitation Period and county status

The One North Carolina Small Business Program is comprised of two programs:

  • The SBIR/STTR Phase I Incentive Funds Program (***new this year)
  • The SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Funds Program.

As authorized by North Carolina General Statute § 143B‑437.80 the SBIR/STTR Phase I Incentive Funds Program provides reimbursement to qualified NC businesses for a portion of the costs incurred in preparing and submitting Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposals to federal agencies. The goal of the Incentive Program is to increase the number, quality, company and technology diversity, and geographic breadth of NC applications for Federal SBIR and STTR Phase I awards.

As authorized by North Carolina General Statute § 143B‑437.81 the SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Funds Program awards matching funds to NC businesses who have received a federal SBIR or STTR award. The goals of the Matching Program are to help NC companies bridge the funding gap period between the final Phase I payment and the first Phase II payment in the Federal Program and increase the intensity of the research conducted under Phase I, making NC small businesses more competitive in the competition for Phase II funds.

If you have questions regarding the programs overall or eligibility, please contact the OSTI staff.

American Cities Climate Challenge Justice40 Capacity Building Fund (J40 Fund)

Issued By: Bloomberg Philanthropies
Topic Areas: environmental justice, community development, clean energy, workforce development
Application Deadline: Awards issued on a rolling basis, early applications encouraged

The J40 Capacity Building Fund provides capacity building and technical assistance services to community-based organizations to implement projects which support the investment areas of the federal Justice40 Initiative. Some of the J40 investment areas include clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, and training and workforce development. Selected community-based organizations will receive awards of up to $30,000 to partner with their local government to carry out community-led projects which help expand access to the benefits of federal climate and clean energy investments. All proposed projects must be completed before August 1, 2022 and led by a community organization that serves environmental justice communities. To access additional application support and materials, please visit the J40 Capacity Building Fund webpage.

SEI Seeking NC Advisory Committee Members

Issued By: Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI)
Topics Areas: renewable energy
Proposal Date: March 16, 2022

Strategic Energy Innovations is an environmental nonprofit that builds leaders to drive sustainability solutions. For 25 years, SEI has partnered with schools, communities, and businesses to develop a sustainability leadership pathway from elementary school to early career.

As Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) expands into North Carolina, they are seeking local experts to provide state-specific guidance and connection to a variety of resources. Advisors will serve for one-year terms, and it is anticipated the time commitment to be no more than 5-10 hours annually. Advisors would have the following responsibilities:

  • As appropriate, actively connect SEI to their organization and networks
  • Provide insight into establishing North Carolina-appropriate models
  • Support in one or more of the following ways: host student interns or Climate Corps Fellows, help identify funding sources, assist with promotion, provide technical support for program training
  • Provide guidance on regional diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice issues

Provide feedback on and support for grant proposals

Attend occasional meetings with SEI staff or advisory group (no more than quarterly)

For more information about this opportunity click here.

NC DEQ DC Fast Charging Infrastructure Program

Issued By: North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Division of Air Quality
Topic Areas: electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, DC fast chargers
Application Due Date: May 16, 2022, 11:59pm ET

NC DEQ recently began accepting applications for DC Fast Charging Infrastructure Program grants through the second phase of Volkswagen settlement funding. With the goal of expanding North Carolina’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) charging network, $4.9 million is available for organizations that own or operate a host site in an eligible location to install new DC Fast sites. Funding awards will be prioritized for corridors without DC Fast charging sites and major coastal evacuation routes. Additionally, there will be a webinar for interested applicants on March 1, 2022 from 1pm-3pm discussing details about this RFP and the application process. For more information on this opportunity including the full RFP, please visit the associated webpage on the DEQ website.

EDA’s ‘Build to Scale’ Funding Opportunity

Issued By: Economic Development Administration
Topic Areas: local business, startups, innovation, investment, equity
Application Deadline: June 13, 2022 (at 11:59pm)

The Economic Development Administration is now accepting applications for the FY22 Build to Scale (B2S) program, which is designed to invest in regional economies through scalable business startups.

The Build to Scale program’s national competitions will deploy $45 million to further technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high-quality job growth, create more economic opportunities, and support the next generation of industry-leading companies.

The FY22 Build to Scale program is comprised of two competitions—the Venture Challenge and the Capital Challenge.

  • The Venture Challenge seeks to support high-growth, technology-centric entrepreneurship to stimulate innovation, increase economic prosperity, and create high-skill, high-wage jobs.
  • The Capital Challenge increases access to entrepreneur-ready, equity-based capital by providing operational support for early-stage investment funds, angel networks, and investor training programs.

Each challenge has two funding tiers. For the Venture Challenge, grants of up to $750,000 are available to pilot or adapt new programs, and grants of up to $2 million are available to scale proven programs.  For the Capital Challenge, grants of up to $300,000 are available to educate and connect investors, and grants of up to $750,000 are available to create, scale, and operate equity-based investment funds.

Eligibility is open to cities, counties, states, other political subdivisions of states, and Indian tribes; or entities supported by a state or political subdivision of a state that is one of the following: a nonprofit organization, institution of higher education, public-private partnership, science or research park, federal lab, venture development organization, economic development organization, or a consortium of any of the aforementioned.

For more information about the Build to Scale program, visit: https://eda.gov/oie/buildtoscale/

Deploying Solar with Wildlife and Ecosystem Services Benefits

Issued By: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)
Topic Areas: utility-scale solar, community solar, environmental impact, ecosystems
Concept Paper Due Date: April 11, 2022, by 5:00p.m. EST
Application Due Date: June 20, 2022, by 5:00p.m. EST

In an effort to expand solar energy infrastructure in harmony with local ecosystems, this funding opportunity seeks to enable ground-mounted solar projects that account for interactions with the surrounding environment. DOE is distributing $10 million within two topic areas which will each support 2-4 projects. Topic Area 1 will support projects that monitor wildlife-solar interactions, maximize benefits and mitigate adverse impacts on wildlife, or build data-sharing infrastructure regarding wildlife at solar energy facilities. Topic Area 2 will support projects that characterize, quantify, and/or optimize ecosystem benefits from solar energy facilities and that improve solar energy siting practices. To access additional funding opportunity information and resources, please visit the funding notice webpage.

DOE Notice of Intent: Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications

Issued By: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Topic Areas: electric vehicles, recycling, second use battery
Application Due Date: TBD

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy released this Notice of Intent (No. DE-FOA-0002679) to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement. DOE anticipates making $60 million available to fund research, development, and demonstration projects in two areas. First, Recycling Processing and Reintegration into the Battery Supply Chain. Second, Second Use Battery Scale Up and Demonstration.

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