The United States Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) has announced a new grant program.

The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program will provide financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions in rural and remote areas that can be replicated and scaled.

The goals of the program are to:

1. Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding replicable energy projects that lower energy costs, improve energy access and resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm.

2. Demonstrate new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, business structures that promote economic resilience, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement best practices.

3. Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance in rural America.

Program Details

The ERA program provides a $1B commitment over five years to improving the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities with 10,000 people or fewer. A total of $300M will be made available during this funding portion. Projects eligible for funding may qualify in one of two categories:

  • Community-Scale Projects with costs between $5-10M which use one or more clean energy technologies that advance resilience and provide other benefits to one or more rural or remote area. Examples include microgrid designs that enable cost-competitive deployment to a broad-set of rural communities; small hydropower systems providing community benefits; hybrid configurations of distributed energy resources that remain operable during weather events.
  • Large-Scale Projects with costs between $10-100M that benefit multiple communities, either through a single installation that benefits multiple rural or remote communities or through a series of installations with similar or complementary characteristics across multiple communities. Examples include solar and/or wind farms, with or without energy storage, in multiple locations that share a common staff; or single-site projects such as utility-scale solar and/or wind farms with battery storage or biomass reactor projects using locally available biomass.

Key Dates

TVPPA members who are interested in learning more about the ERA program should mark your calendars with these important dates.

  • March 17 – Members interested in utilizing Meguire Whitney’s grant writing services must sign a grant-writing contract by March 17. For more information, contact Joy Grewatz at Meguire Whitney. (You can also find additional grantwriting services on the TVPPA Federal Funding Opportunities page behind our member login.)
  • March 29 – The DOE will host an informational webinar at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT.
  • April 14 – Concept paper due to DOE OCED by 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT.
    This step is mandatory if you plan to apply.
  • June 28 – Final application deadline, 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT.

For More Information

To download additional information about this grant program, learn about other federal funding programs or find a list of grantwriters, please visit TVPPA’s Federal Funding Opportunities page behind our member login at Click on the member login at the top right of our home page then choose Federal Funding Opportunities from the menu.

Also of Note

In recognition that many creative energy solutions happen at a smaller scale and do not require a complex application process, OCED is planning to announce a simplified approach, distinct from this announcement, for those applicants with qualifying projects seeking less than $5 million in federal funding. This announcement will take place in the next 60 days.