Northeastern States Offering Funds for Renewable Energy Projects

May 31, 2006

The northeastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania continue to demonstrate their strong financial support for renewable energy, collectively offering more than $13 million in funds in recent weeks. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is offering up to $2 million in grants for renewable energy projects that are at least 10 kilowatts in size and located at commercial, industrial, institutional, or public facilities. The grants could go toward either feasibility studies or design and construction. Applications are due on August 17th. The New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA) is offering $1.3 million for solar photovoltaic projects on municipal buildings, and proposals are due on August 15th. NYSERDA currently has a wide range of energy-related funding opportunities. And Pennsylvania is offering $10 million for clean energy projects through two programs: the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and the Energy Harvest Grant Program. Proposals for both programs are due on July 14th. See the MTC and NYSERDA notices, the full list of NYSERDA funding opportunities, and the press release from Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell.

The situation is somewhat different in Connecticut, where the state's utilities are trying to establish long-term power purchase agreements for at least 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable power by July 2008. The state requires the renewable power providers to have received funding from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), so the CCEF is currently offering grants of at least $50,000 for renewable energy projects located in the state that are from 1 to 30 MW in size. In this round of funding, the CCEF aims to develop contracts for 81 to 85 MW of renewable power. Proposals are due by July 17th. See the CCEF request for proposals.

This latest round of funding is indicative of a larger trend in state support for renewable energy projects, according to a new report from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Clean Energy States Alliance. Since 1998, state clean energy funds have committed nearly $400 million to 234 utility-scale renewable energy projects totaling 2,249 MW of capacity, according to the report. Of the 2,249 MW of new renewable capacity currently supported, 1,116 MW have been built to date, leaving 1,133 MW still in the development pipeline. See the report on the LBNL Web site.