Madison – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) announced today the next round of recipients for the Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP). The PSC awarded $7 million for 32 projects that reduce energy consumption, increase the use of renewable energy and transportation technologies, bolster preparedness and resiliency in the energy system, and ensure steps are taken to create comprehensive energy plans. Applications for this grant cycle were due on January 22, 2021, in which 108 applications were submitted requesting more than $24.4 million in total funding.
“This grant funding makes investments in innovative projects and technology that will help the State of Wisconsin reach its goal to be carbon-free by 2050,” said Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “I am excited about these projects because Wisconsin residents will see the benefits of these projects through the creation of new jobs, economic development opportunities, and the transition to cleaner energy.”
The awarded projects range in size from $5,152 to $1 million. Of the 32 funded projects, 15 projects were for renewable systems, 9 projects fund energy efficiency improvements, 6 projects were for planning, and 2 projects were for clean transportation. This grant cycle also invests more than $2.3 million in 12 projects with a battery storage component, which brings online over 1,100 kW (or 1.1 MW) of battery storage. The state funds will be matched by $7,915,675 in funding provided or secured by the awardees.
“For the second time in a row, we saw an overwhelming response of applications submitted for our Energy Innovation Grant Program. This speaks to the desire and potential for innovative projects here in Wisconsin that encourage an economy built on clean and renewable energy,” said PSC Commissioner Tyler Huebner. “By opening this year’s grant opportunity to more businesses and organizations, we were able to reach communities often not included for funding opportunities.”
Due to the number of applications received during the 2018 EIGP, in which 100 applications were submitted and 31 projects were funded for a total of $4,994,727, the PSC increased this grant cycle by $2 million, bringing the total to $7 million, and also broadened the eligibility qualifications. Applications were made available for Wisconsin manufacturers, cities, villages, towns, counties, K-12 school districts, tribes, municipal water and wastewater utilities, municipal electric utilities, municipal natural gas utilities, University of Wisconsin System campuses and facilities, Wisconsin Technical College System, public or nonprofit hospitals, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
“I’m excited about supporting private sector innovation from people who know their own business,” said PSC Commissioner Ellen Nowak. “Today we drove innovation in core Wisconsin industries that will save energy and make Wisconsin industry more competitive.”
The PSC’s Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) held two informational webinars engaging nearly 200 participants to help the public apply for funding and inform applicants of the grant changes. During application evaluation, the PSC considered, among other factors, the energy savings, additional funds leveraged and economic impact, equitable distribution of projects and benefits, innovation, and improvement of Wisconsin’s energy resiliency.
Click here for a list of the grant recipients.
Click here for more information about the Energy Innovation Grant Program.