WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) today announced up to $3.5 million in federal funding available to help local communities across the country create a roadmap toward repurposing existing energy assets. The Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets initiative will assist communities where a significant portion of their local economy has historically been supported by energy assets, such as coal, oil, and/or natural gas power facilities and accompanying equipment and infrastructure. The initiative will help these communities build technical capacity and develop a workforce necessary to help revitalize energy systems, address environmental impacts, and tackle challenges associated with energy assets that have been retired, or are slated for retirement. This effort advances FECM’s mission of minimizing environmental and climate impacts of energy systems and industrial processes while working to achieve net-zero emissions across our economy and the broader DOE mission of ensuring efficient transformation of the energy system while prioritizing labor and community engagement.

“As we work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand deployment of clean energy technology and infrastructure, it’s imperative that we provide support to our nation’s energy communities to ensure they maximize economic, social, and environmental opportunities,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “Through this initiative, DOE will help our communities retain their local skilled workforces and productively leverage and repurpose the value of their existing infrastructure.”

The retirement of energy assets means that energy transmission and distribution infrastructure, electrical interconnection equipment, site and permitting licenses, and other related infrastructure may be available for alternative uses. At the same time, these communities must find opportunities to replace lost revenues and provide jobs for highly specialized workers. The Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets initiative will provide these communities with access to planning and other resources they need to develop a roadmap for a clean energy future—giving them the chance to be active participants in crafting their own economic future.

The Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets initiative is managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with DOE, a collaboration made possible through an innovative Partnership Intermediary Agreement set up by DOE's Office of Technology Transitions. This agreement enables ENERGYWERX to broaden DOE’s engagement with innovative organizations and non-traditional partners, facilitating the rapid development, scaling, and deployment of clean energy solutions.

DOE intends to open the program for submissions in early September 2023. Visit the ENERGYWERX website to sign up for an informational webinar to be held on September 7, 2023 at 2:00-3:00 pm ET. Subsequent updates and announcements for the Capacity Building for Repurposing Energy Assets initiative will be posted on the website. Questions about the initiative can be submitted to info@energywerx.org.  

FECM minimizes environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial processes while working to achieve net-zero emissions across our economy. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory website.