MADISON – The Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) announced today that it received 108 applications requesting more than $24 million for the 2021 Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP). The PSC will award $7 million for energy-related projects that will reduce energy consumption, increase clean energy and transportation technologies, bolster preparedness and resiliency in the energy system, and incorporate comprehensive energy planning.
“We’re seeing an unprecedented interest in these grants and a real desire to participate in the clean energy economy. Energy innovation projects—just like those that will be funded through these grants—are an important component in transitioning our state’s energy future,” said PSC Commissioner Tyler Huebner. “By investing in these ideas and turning them into reality, local economies will grow, in-state jobs will be created, and Wisconsinites will benefit from greater energy efficiency and a cleaner environment.”
Applications were made available on October 23, 2020, 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. Over $24 million in grant requests would leverage an additional $40 million in eligible energy activities here in Wisconsin. Grants applications were due on January 22, 2021, and you can find a list of all applicants here.
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 the 2021 grant program budget by $2 million, bringing the total to $7 million, and also broadened the eligibility qualifications. 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 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. The PSC is expected to announce recipients of the funds by the spring of 2021.