The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program expands the decision-making capacity and expertise of state and local governments around large-scale renewable energy planning, siting, and permitting.  

Round Two Now Open for Applications

On April 17, 2024, DOE opened applications for the Round Two of the R-STEP program. This funding and technical assistance opportunity will award up to $2 million each to approximately six to seven state-based collaboratives funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

Round One Selections announced

On March 25, 2024, DOE announced six state-based collaboratives that will receive a combined $10 million as well as technical assistance under round one of R-STEP. Learn about the selected collaboratives.

Vision

By supporting state-level programs that serve as a resource to their local areas, R-STEP helps communities better plan for and meaningfully engage in the development of large-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects. This effort accelerates renewable energy deployment by supporting the establishment of more predictable, community-oriented, and science-based siting processes for renewable energy developers and permitting authorities.

Deploying these projects in a way that is informed by meaningful community engagement can unlock opportunities for community wealth-building, workforce development, increased grid resilience, and electricity bill savings, especially in rural or underserved communities. Through these collaboratives, state-based entities will act as trusted messengers to provide the capacity and knowledge needed for rapid, equitable expansion of clean energy.

R-STEP will grow as a go-to resource for convening, information sharing, and supporting the expansion of state-based renewable energy planning, siting, and permitting programs.

What is Siting?

Renewable energy siting refers to a complex series of decision-making processes and actions that determine the location and design of new wind, solar, storage, or other renewable energy facilities.

State and local governments have critical roles in facilitating and approving large-scale renewable energy facilities but may not always have the resources, time, or expertise to proactively plan for future deployment of these facilities or to address siting barriers.

Learn more about large-scale renewable energy siting.

Round 2 Opportunity

Learn more about the R-STEP Round 2 opportunity and how to apply. Applications are due on June 13, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET.

State-Based Collaboratives Selected for Awards in Round 1

Award amounts, specific objectives, and collaborative partners are subject to change pending negotiations.

State: Indiana

  • Lead organization: Purdue University Extension
  • Award amount: $1.9 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will serve as a technical resource and community engagement hub to assist Indiana communities with renewable energy planning, evaluation, and decision-making.
  • Partners: Indiana Office of Energy Development, Association of Indiana Counties, Ball State University, Center for Energy Education, Center for Infrastructure & Economic Development, Clean Grid Alliance, EDP Renewables, IN-ACRE, American Planning Association, Indiana University Public Policy Institute, JMW Co, Myerson Consulting, The Nature Conservancy

State: Iowa

  • Lead organization: Iowa State University Extension
  • Award amount: $1.7 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will develop and disseminate educational resources for city- and county-level officials planning for renewable energy and energy storage facilities. The collaborative will also translate materials to Spanish and provide facilitation services to Iowa communities.
  • Partners: Iowa Energy Office, Electric Power Research Center at Iowa State University, Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Environmental Council, Great Plains Institute

State: Michigan

  • Lead organization: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
  • Award amount: $2 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will establish a one-stop-shop for resources and experts in the field of renewable energy siting and provide no-cost technical assistance to Michigan communities.
  • Partners: University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute, Michigan State University Extension, 5 Lakes Energy, Michigan Association of Planning

State: Mississippi

  • Lead organization: Mississippi Energy & Natural Resources Division
  • Award amount: $2 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will develop a large-scale solar energy development playbook and training course and provide technical assistance in collaboration with the Mississippi planning and development districts.
  • Partners: Mississippi Energy Institute, Green & Healthy Homes Initiatives, Central MS Planning & Development District, Mississippi Public Service Commission, Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

States: North Carolina and South Carolina

  • Lead organization: North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center
  • Award amount: $2 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will create an online technical assistance and education hub to respond to specific concerns and needs from communities, local governments, landowners, and developers in North and South Carolina 
  • Partners: Center for Energy Education, South Carolina Energy Office, Southeastern Wind Coalition.

State: Wisconsin

  • Lead organization: University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
  • Award amount: $1 million over 3 years
  • Approach and key objectives: This collaborative will engage stakeholders and expand education and facilitation services to rural communities in the state to achieve coordinated, equitable, inclusive, and transparent processes for renewable energy and battery storage facility siting
  • Partners: Wisconsin Public Service Commission, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Land & Water, UW-Madison, Office of Sustainability, Oneida Nation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Towns Association, Apex Clean Energy.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicant will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time. DOE award amounts are subject to change pending negotiations.

The RSTEP funding and technical assistance opportunity is managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and is made possible through the innovative Partnership Intermediary Agreement set up by the DOE Office of Technology Transitions.

Questions about the R-STEP funding and technical assistance opportunity can be submitted to info@energywerx.org.