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Energy & Sustainability Washington Update — April 2024

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law & Inflation Reduction Act Opportunities

Visit our Energy Funding Matrix for a roundup of various federal clean energy funding and financing opportunities. We update the matrix on a biweekly basis and welcome any inquiries about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, along with other relevant federal opportunities, may impact your business or organization. 

Industrial Decarbonization Gets Boost in New DOE Funding Opportunity 

Continuing the Biden administration’s push toward reducing industrial emissions and advancing clean energy manufacturing, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Manufacturing Energy Supply Chains (MESC) issued a second funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Advanced Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program. Unlike the first round of funding through the program, this new opportunity includes industrial decarbonization. Awards made through this latest round can be used to:

  • re-equip, expand, or establish a manufacturing or recycling facility for the production or recycling of advanced energy technologies (including clean electricity, industrial decarbonization, clean transportation, clean fuels, etc.) and low carbon materials; or
  • re-equip an industrial manufacturing facility with equipment designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of that facility.

Interested parties must submit concept papers of no more than three pages by April 8, 2024. Full applications are due no later than June 24, 2024.

Read more about this exciting new opportunity in the ML Strategies Insights Center

DOE Announces Second Round of Defense Production Act Funding for Electric Heat Pumps 

MESC also recently announced a $24 million funding opportunity for workforce training programs focused on clean energy jobs that do not require a four-year degree. The opportunity, which expands the existing Industrial Assessment Centers network, is geared toward labor unions (including labor-management training programs), community colleges (including Minority Serving Institutions), trade schools, and their employer partners — as well as networks and associations of these entities. However, the solicitation also states that project partners and subrecipients would include “Employer partners, including corporations; small, medium, and large manufacturers.” 

Optional concept papers are due March 28, 2024, with full applications due on May 16, 2024. 

DOE Solar & Wind Offices to Fund Interconnection of Renewable Energy into the Grid 

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) at DOE recently announced a $10 million funding opportunity to develop new analytical tools and approaches that will accelerate the reliable interconnection of renewable energy into the electrical grid. The Solar and Wind Interconnection for Future Transmission (SWIFTR) funding opportunity has two topic areas: 

Topic Area 1: Improved Efficiency of Electromagnetic Transient (EMT) Simulations for Interconnection Studies of Inverter-Based Resources (IBR) 
  • Projects in this topic area will create or improve software tools for EMT simulations, which produce detailed, accurate predictions of how new IBRs, such as solar, wind, and energy storage systems, will affect the operation and reliability of the existing grid. Projects will determine when detailed EMT studies are needed and make these studies faster and more reliable to speed up the approval of interconnection requests. 
  • DOE expects to fund between one and five projects at $1 million to $2 million each. 
Topic Area 2: Dynamic Stability-Enhanced Network Assessment Tools
  • Projects in this topic area will fund grid operators to develop tools to provide interconnection stakeholders with data on transmission system characteristics such as stability, voltage, and grid strength while securing sensitive energy infrastructure information. Projects will establish the type of information required by stakeholders to effectively operate grids with large amounts of renewable energy, and test and evaluate those tools on a real transmission system.
  • DOE expects to fund one to five projects at $1 million to $2.5 million each.

Concept papers are due April 17, 2024, and full applications are due June 28, 2024. 

New Vehicle Pollution Standards Aimed at Boosting Electric Vehicles 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced final national pollution standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032 and beyond. Intended to boost the adoption of electric vehicles by American consumers, the rule sets EV sales targets at 50 percent by 2030, a revision from an earlier proposed rule that set the target at 67 percent. EPA says the new standards “will avoid more than 7 billion tons of carbon emissions and provide nearly $100 billion of annual net benefits to society, including $13 billion of annual public health benefits due to improved air quality, and $62 billion in reduced annual fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs for drivers.”

Click HERE to learn more about the new standards. 

New National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy 

The Biden Administration’s Joint Office of Energy & Transportation, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, recently issued a new National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy setting “an actionable vision and comprehensive approach to accelerating the deployment of a world-class, zero-emission freight network across the United States by 2040.” The strategy focuses on advancing the deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (ZE-MHDV) fueling infrastructure by targeting public investment to amplify private sector momentum, focus on utility and regulatory energy planning, align industry activity, and mobilize communities for clean transportation.


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R. Neal Martin

ML Strategies - Senior Director of Government Relations

R. Neal Martin is a Senior Director of Government Relations at ML Strategies. He focuses on transportation, infrastructure, clean energy, trade, and federal appropriations, leveraging his many years of experience in government and government relations.