This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 29, 2009

DOE Awards $54 Million for State Energy Programs in Four States

DOE awarded $54 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin on July 27 to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Under DOE's State Energy Program (SEP), states and territories have proposed statewide plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funds will support loan and grant programs; capital financing programs; building retrofits; building energy code upgrades; LED (light-emitting diode) upgrades for traffic signals and street lights; and funding to install solar renewable energy systems.

Photo of several large spherical metal parts with large circular cutouts in them lined up on the floor of a large manufacturing facility, with the view from inside of one of the spherical parts.

Wisconsin will assist companies with retrofitting their manufacturing plants to produce wind turbine components. These metal shells are key components of the 2.5-megawatt Clipper Liberty wind turbines, which are assembled in Iowa. Enlarge this image.
Credit:Clipper Windpower

For example, Wisconsin will strengthen its manufacturing sector by investing in businesses that manufacture clean energy products and components, such as wind, solar, biofuels, and advanced electrical storage systems. The state will invest in these advanced manufacturing areas and assist companies in retooling facilities or equipment to provide component parts and other critical needs for renewable energy systems and energy efficient technologies. Projects may include advanced battery manufacturing, retrofitting manufacturing facilities to produce wind turbine components, fuel conversion projects from fossil fuels to biomass, and energy efficiency improvements at pulp and paper plants. Meanwhile, Vermont will use a portion of its funding to install solar thermal energy systems on the homes of low-income families, providing solar hot water and solar heating for those families.

The funds are part of the Obama Administration's national strategy to support job growth while making a historic down payment on clean energy. The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program, giving priority to achieving national goals of energy independence while helping to stimulate local economies. For the four states, the new funds represent 40% of the State Energy Program funds available to them under the Recovery Act, following an initial 10% of the funds that were awarded to support planning activities. The second half of the funds will be released when they meet the reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. See the SEP Web site, and check the state-by-state list of funding and energy plans in the DOE press release.