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President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Empowers the Department of Energy to Deliver for Rural America

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver billions to rural communities across the country to create economic opportunity. Supporting Americans living in rural areas remains a top priority for the Biden Administration, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivers on the President’s promises to provide high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good-paying jobs in every small town and rural community. As part of this effort, the Biden Administration is also committed to working with communities to help them access federal resources and improving transparency and trust in the federal government.

The Department of Energy will lead the effort on rural energy. Rural and remote communities often face a lack of energy access, prohibitively high energy costs, economic transition from traditional fossil energy to other sources, and other issues that are specific to low-population areas, The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides specific programs to address many of these issues, in some cases with call-outs for rural areas as priority recipients. This fact sheet provides information for rural communities about the available resources under the infrastructure law, where to apply, and/or how find more information.

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Investing in Rural Transportation

Notable BIL programs include:

  • Electric Vehicles. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which will provide technical assistance to support the efficient and equitable deployment of electric vehicle Charging and other related programs. This office will be a key resource for local communities (see
  • Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and 2nd Life Apps - $200 million. BIL provides $200 million in cooperative agreements with eligible recipients: (1) Institutions of higher education; (2) National Laboratories; (3) Nonprofit and for-profit private entities; (4) State and local governments; and (5) Consortia of entities. This effort supports research, development, and demonstration of electric vehicle battery recycling and second-life applications for vehicle batteries. More information is available on the Department of Energy’s website, as well as in the notice of intent published in February.
  • DOT Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure Toolkit (with technical support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office): DOT has released an online toolkit that provides a free, one-stop resource to help rural stakeholders scope, plan, and fund EV charging infrastructure. The toolkit includes technical resources from the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office on electric vehicle basics, considerations for developing electric vehicle infrastructure, connecting with local Clean Cities coalitions to facilitate infrastructure deployment, and locating existing electric vehicle infrastructure. The toolkit is currently available at

In addition, DOE has several other existing programs to support rural communities:

  • DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office, New Mobility Services in Rural America: Through projects awarded as part of the Vehicle Technologies Office’s (VTO) ongoing body of funding opportunities, the VTO Technology Integration Program is working with several rural communities across the country to conduct pilot demonstrations of new mobility technologies, such as electric vehicles for carsharing and first-last mile microtransit. These projects are broadening the transportation choices for rural areas to provide affordable and efficient access to these services with solutions responsive to local needs. Ongoing projects for these rural and underserved communities are providing carsharing services with electric vehicles, electric shuttle bus demonstrations, and low speed microtransit that serves local destinations as well as connecting the community to transit services to a nearby urban center. The Vehicle Technologies Office is located in our Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office; funding opportunities and timelines are listed at
  • DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office, Electric Vehicle Charging Community Partner Projects: Through projects awarded as part of the Vehicle Technologies Office’s (VTO) regular funding opportunities, the VTO Technology Integration Program is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure through community-based public-private partnerships that prioritize underserved communities. These projects are encouraging strong local partnerships that will support increased consumer and business use of electric vehicles. Projects are developing locally-based partnerships in rural Appalachia and for tribal communities in the Midwest, among others. The Vehicle Technologies Office is located in our Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office; funding opportunities and timelines are listed at
  • DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office, Assistance for Rural County Transition to New Transportation Fuels: Through a project awarded as part of the Vehicle Technologies Office’s (VTO) regular funding opportunities, the VTO Technology Integration Program is developing models for facilitating the uptake of new transportation fuel choices in rural underserved communities. The project is developing key lessons learned and information resources on a wide range of alternative transportation fuels, including electricity, to facilitate replication of successful alternative fuel deployments in rural areas nationwide.

Supporting Rural Energy, Environments, and Climates

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment in clean energy infrastructure in American history. It will modernize our power grid by building and upgrading thousands of miles of resilient transmission lines to reduce outages and energy costs and facilitate the expansion of clean energy. It will invest in energy efficiency and clean energy improvements in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities to make them cleaner and more affordable. And it will fund new programs to support the development, demonstration, and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies to accelerate our transition to a zero-emission economy, while also creating good paying jobs and investing in manufacturing in communities across the country. DOE’s programs under BIL are widely available to both urban and rural communities, with some having more relevance in rural (e.g., tribal, mining, remote and islanded) communities.

  • Delivering Clean Power - $21.3 billion. . In January 2022, the Department of Energy launched a new “Building a Better Grid Initiative” to accelerate the deployment of new transmission lines that will connect Americans to cleaner, cheaper electricity, while improving the resilience and reliability of the grid. This initiative will leverage the ~$16.5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to reliably deliver clean, affordable power to more Americans, improving resilience of our grid infrastructure, and helping achieve the President’s goal of 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. In addition, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $6 billion for a Civil Nuclear Credit Program that will provide financial support to existing nuclear reactors that are at risk of closing and being replaced by higher-emitting power resources, and more than $700 million for upgrades to our existing hydropower fleet that will improve efficiency, maintain safety, and reduce environmental impacts. Key eligible recipients for much of this funding are states, tribes, communities, and utilities, including utilities that operate under regulatory supervision by local governments and State commission. Key rural-focused provisions under this set of activities:
    • Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and TA Program: Leveraging $250 million in funding for this provision, DOE, in coordination with the DHS Secretary, FERC, NERC, and the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) will create a new DOE Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program to support eligible entities to protect against, respond to, and recover from cyber threats.  The purpose of program is to deploy cyber technologies for electric utility systems, prioritizing critical facilities, and increase participation in cyber threat information sharing programs. DOE is seeking a waiver or reduction of cost share given this is a technical assistance effort.
    • Infrastructure planning for micro and small modular nuclear reactors: BIL authorizes assistance for feasibility studies for siting advanced reactors for the purpose of identifying suitable locations for the deployment of micro-reactors, small modular reactors, and advanced nuclear reactors in isolated communities.  This BIL program does not have any funding associated with it.
  • Clean Energy Demonstrations - $21.5 billion. In December 2021, the Department of Energy established a new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to oversee the $21.5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for clean energy demonstration projects for innovative technologies like clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, advanced nuclear reactors, and more. Some of these programs are detailed in more depth below. Demonstration projects test the effectiveness of innovative technologies in real-world conditions at scale, often leveraging public-private partnerships to pave the way towards commercialization and widespread deployment. Much of this funding will go to large projects that can be significant engines of local and regional economic development and job creation. Key rural-focused provisions under this set of activities:
    • Energy Improvement in Rural and Remote Areas: Administered through the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $1B to carry out activities to improve the resilience, safety, reliability, and availability of energy and provide environmental protection from adverse impacts of energy generation in rural and remote communities with populations of 10,000 or less. Eligible projects may include: (A) Overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems; (B) siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines; (C) reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas; (D) providing or modernizing electric generation facilities; (E) developing microgrids; and (F) increasing energy efficiency. DOE anticipates emphasizing grid reliability and resiliency for the funding, and will conduct stakeholder engagement over the next few months to inform the structure of the program.
  • Clean Energy on Mine Lands (Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations): The $500M in funding for this BIL provision will lead to the deployment of up to five clean energy projects on mine lands. The projects will provide an opportunity for mining communities to benefit from the next generation of energy development. Currently, DOE is leveraging national lab expertise to evaluate the challenges and opportunities for clean energy deployment on mine land. In parallel, DOE is designing programming to actively engage all relevant stakeholders, including rural communities; determine how projects can be identified and deployed to maximize local benefits, such as local job creation; and create data, tools, and cases studies to increase the impact of this program beyond the five demonstration projects.
  • Energy Efficiency and Weatherization Retrofits for Homes, Building, and Communities - $6.5 billion: The BIL invests an additional $6.5 billion to support weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements to reduce energy costs for American families, businesses, schools, and communities, improve comfort and health, and cut carbon and air pollution, which disproportionately harms lower-income communities and communities of color. These investments will also help state local, and Tribal governments develop and implement their own clean energy and energy efficiency programs that will create jobs in their communities. Much of this funding will flow through existing State Energy Offices, local governments, or weatherization and housing agencies.
  • Funding for Clean Energy Manufacturing and Workforce Development - $8.6 billion. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments in clean energy technology supply chains for technologies like batteries will allow America to make the energy technologies of the future right here at home, boosting our competitiveness within a global clean energy market expected to reach $23 trillion by the end of the decade. These investments will create good jobs up and down the supply chain—especially manufacturing jobs and skills-matched opportunities for fossil fuel workers. Department of Energy’s funding will go primarily to clean energy manufacturing facilities across the country. These funds include a $750 million program specifically focused on census tracts with closed coal mines and plants, which have a significant overlap with rural and remote communities.
  • Maintaining & Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives - $553.6 million. The BIL’s Maintaining & Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives Program is designed to support and enhance existing hydropower facilities through Grid Resilience, Dam Safety, and Environmental Improvements. While not explicitly for rural communities, hydropower existing facilities in rural communities may be eligible. Incentive payments shall not exceed 30% of the costs of the applicable capital, improvement, and not more than $5M will be provided to any facility in any Fiscal Year. Non-federal facilities must be FERC licensed and placed in service before enactment of this section and be in compliance with all applicable Federal, Tribal, and State requirements; or would be brought into compliance as a result of the capital improvements.
  • Hydroelectric Production Incentives - $125 million. Under Section 242 of EPAct 2005, the Secretary of Energy may provide incentive payments to a qualified hydroelectric facility for up to a 10-year period to support the expansion of hydropower energy development at existing dams and impoundments. The Energy Act of 2020 expanded to include marine energy, existing conduits, and areas of “inadequate electric service” as additional qualifiers. The BIL additionally made several changes, which could impact rural and remote hydropower developers, and included $125M for such purposes. The law provides incentive payments for electric energy generated and sold by a qualified hydroelectric facility during the incentive period, to the owner or authorized operator of such a facility. Incentive payments for qualified facilities are based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated in calendar year which Department of Energy determines, at a rate of 1.8 cents/kWh with a total ceiling of $1M per facility. Incentive payments are provided based on both construction times, as well as being determined as a qualified facility. More information on the program, including open solicitations can be found here on the Section 242 website.

In addition, DOE has several other existing programs to support rural communities:

  • Community Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Organic Wastes Program.  DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office will offer multiple awards totaling up to $5M of non-BIL funds to support the development of community-centered solutions, business plans and experimental demonstrations for resource and energy recovery from organic waste streams, such as food waste, municipal wastewater sludges, animal manure, and fats, oils, and greases.  To ensure community involvement that can extend beyond the life of the projects, only community led, or associated organizations are eligible to be prime recipients on the projects selected. The call for proposals will be posted on EERE Exchange at
  • First Generation (Gen-1) Corn Ethanol Emission Reductions Program. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office will offer funding totaling $10M for multiple projects that analyze and demonstrate strategies to lower GHG emissions and Carbon Intensity (CI) within existing the Gen-1 corn ethanol industry (mostly located in rural America).  Technologies such as low-carbon agricultural practices, switching to renewable process heat and power (i.e., renewable natural gas, or biomass), utilization of process produced CO2, and new productivity or conversion efficiency measures in ethanol facilities have the potential to reduce GHG emissions to net zero. For more information visit EERE Exchange at
  • Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project. The Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) works alongside remote, island, and islanded communities seeking to transform their energy systems and increase energy resilience through strategic energy planning and the implementation of solutions that address their specific challenges. ETIPP defines remote, island, or islanded communities as follows: remote communities are isolated from population centers and as a result, have limited access to centralized energy systems; island communities are isolated from the mainland by waterways; and islanded communities are not grid-tied to large transmission-scale power systems and as a result, experience frequent issues with power quality or reliability. ETIPP provides technical assistance opportunities for remote, island, and islanded communities. Selected communities receive support for a project scoping phase (approximately one to two months), followed by 12- to 18-month-long energy planning and analysis projects. By participating in ETIPP, communities can expect to receive substantial in-kind support from the ETIPP national labs in the form of technical expertise on energy analysis, planning and implementation, and general ETIPP program guidance and education from the ETIPP regional partners. Selected communities will not receive direct funding as part of the ETIPP program. Interested applicants can learn more about the application process on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's ETIPP Technical Assistance Application page.
  • Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED). EERE-Wind Energy Technologies Office’s Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) initiative awarded $6M in FY20 to support rural electric utilities and the communities they serve with 1) assessing the benefits and opportunities for distributed wind (DW) on their grids, 2) reducing technical risks, 3) and identifying and addressing the knowledge and resource needs to facilitate the adoption of DW. WETO plans to build on these efforts in FY22 by making available up to $4M to further de-risk the adoption of DW in rural communities. Successful project teams will identify replicable DW solutions, inform permitting and interconnection processes, and develop ownership and business models that maximize the local economic and power system benefits. Work will include network creation, research, development, and design of pilot (or user demonstration) projects that are broadly applicable and repeatable.
  • Battery Supply Chain Workforce Program. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office just announced a $5 million Battery Supply Chain Workforce Program, which will bring together companies in the emerging battery manufacturing and recycling space with key industrial labor unions and other workforce training systems to ensure a coherent approach to worker training for jobs in this industry. These jobs will likely focus in areas with existing industrial infrastructure, including across Appalachia and the Rust Belt.  
  • Office of Indian Energy. The Office of Indian Energy uses a three-pronged approach to support 574 federally recognized tribes, over 200 Alaska Native Village Corporations, and 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, harness their vast and undeveloped resources through: 1) financial assistance; 2), technical assistance; and, 3) education and capacity building. Since 2010, the Office of Indian Energy has invested over $114 million in more than 200 tribal energy projects. Current and ongoing funding opportunities are available on the Office of Indian Energy website.
    • Many tribes are in rural areas of the U.S. and one of the most striking challenges is that many Native communities face is higher than national average costs for electricity.
    • IE has provided cost share reductions to 27 tribal grantees entities to ease the financial burden of COVID-19 and implemented a cost of electricity factor into our merit review process to address in disparities in electricity costs.
    • Additionally, Section 8013 of the Energy Act of 2020 excluded Indian Energy from the 50% cost share requirement previously required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and provides Secretarial authority to reduce such “applicable cost share” to not less than 10% in the event the applicable cost share exceeds that percentage.