The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the third round of a grants competition this week to assist Appalachian communities in leveraging renewable-energy and energy-efficiency resources to revitalize their economies. ARC expects to provide seven to ten awards of up to $40,000 each, for a total of $250,000 in awards, to help implement energy efficiency and renewable energy training and certification programs for adults within the Appalachian Region.
These training programs can be administered by postsecondary institutions, such as vocational and technical schools, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities, as well as by non-profit trade associations, non-profit organizations, and government entities. The programs will provide trained employees for supply chain jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields, certification for installers of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and support for implementing energy efficiency education and training curricula. The grants program will also assist in implementing energy efficiency education curricula, such as USGBC LEED, ASHRAE, IECC and other energy efficiency programming.
An independent review panel will be convened to evaluate submissions. This panel will include leading energy efficiency and renewable energy organizations, and ARC’s federal, state and local partners. The review panel will forward recommendations to ARC for final approval.
To assist applicants develop proposals, Grants Workshops will be held on the following dates:
- March 20, Ohio University Southern, Ironton, Ohio
- March 20, Northeast State Technical Community College, Blountville, Tennessee
For more information on the grants workshops visit the ARC website. To reserve a place at the workshop please pre-register by sending an email noting which workshop you will be attending, and the names and contact information of all who will be attending. Walk-ins will be welcome on a space-available basis.
Applications will be evaluated on several criteria, including:
- Feasibility of proposal, including matriculation of students from proposed training program and entry into target industry.
- Capability of applicant and quality of the curricula to be used.
- Level of community support and matching financial support. A minimum financial match of 1:1 will be required, which may be provided ‘in-kind’ from non-cash sources.
- Articulation of clear, measurable outcomes.
- Outreach activities focusing on disseminating or promotion of the program.
- Sustainability of effort and ability to continue the activity upon conclusion of grant period.
- Additional consideration will be provided for projects that focus on ARC-designated distressed counties and areas and at-risk counties, involve multi-state collaboration, and build partnerships with local K-12 school systems.
The first two rounds of the grants competition resulted in nearly $1.2 million in funding to 21 winners from ten Appalachian states for projects promoting energy-efficient buildings, biofuels production and distribution, clean energy incubators, geothermal heat systems, landfill gas collection and distribution, LED traffic light installation, wind energy production, start-up of “clean energy” businesses, and energy-related education and training. A listing of projects funded in 2007 and 2008 can be obtained at the ARC website.
The deadline for submission of proposals is May 29, 2009. Selections will be announced on June, 30 2009. For information on submitting an application please go to the ARC website.