PSC: Accepting applications for the 2020 Energy Innovation Grant Program

MADISON – The Public Service Commission’s Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) issued the Application Instructions for the 2020 Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP). The Commission will be awarding $7 million to grantees for energy-related projects by Spring 2021.  

The Energy Innovation grants provide funding for innovative energy projects that reduce energy consumption, increase clean energy and transportation technologies, bolster preparedness and resiliency in the energy system, and incorporate comprehensive energy planning. During application evaluation, the Commission will consider, 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. Applications for this grant cycle are due on January 22, 2021.  

“Too many of our local businesses, governments, and organizations lack the financial resources to turn their innovative energy solutions into reality. These grants help bridge that funding gap and make sure that a good idea can get the funding that it needs,” said Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Energy efficiency and innovative ideas about how we power our state are critical components toward achieving our state’s goal to have all electricity consumed in the state be carbon-free by 2050. As we have seen in the past, when we invest in energy innovation, Wisconsin residents benefit the most, whether through paying less in taxes, creating jobs or benefitting from cleaner energy.” 

Due to the overwhelming number of applications received during the last grant cycle, the Commission increased the total amount of funding allocated for this year’s grant cycle by $2 million and broadened the eligibility qualifications. Grants are now available for Wisconsin manufacturers, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, and like entities (MUSH Market): 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.  

In 2018, 100 applications were submitted, with the sum of grant requests totaling more than $31 million. A total of 31 applicants were eventually selected for funding with $4,994,727 granted, making this a highly competitive state grant program. 

For more information on the 2020 Energy Innovation Grant program, the PSC will host a webinar on Thursday, November 19 at 9:30 a.m. You can register here. You can also visit the OEI website here for instructions on how to apply.