The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program seeks to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. The ERA program will leverage DOE’s expertise and experience in resilient energy solutions to modernize electric generation facilities, address disproportionately high electricity costs, and support new economic opportunities in rural and remote communities.
The ERA program received $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provides financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions that are replicable and scalable. ERA aims to fund community-driven energy projects with three specific goals:
- 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
- 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
- Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance throughout rural America
Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations
Grant, Cooperative Agreement, or Other
Industry Partners and other For-profit Entities; Utilities; Institutions of Higher Education; State and Local Governments; Community Based Organizations and other Non-profit Entities; Tribal; Environmental Groups; and Cities, Towns, or Unincorporated Areas with populations of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.
Period of Availability:
$200,000,000 appropriated annually for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 (to remain available until expended)
- Overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems;
- Siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines;
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas;
- Providing or modernizing electric generation facilities;
- Developing microgrids; and
- Increasing energy efficiency.
Funding Opportunity Announcement:
- Download the Funding Opportunity Announcement
- Review the Community Benefits Plan Guidance
- View the Funding Notice webpage
- Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement Press Release
- Register to attend the Funding Opportunity Announcement Informational Webinar
- Access the Technical Assistance webpage
- View the previously issued Request for Information and read the Press Release
- Learn more about the $15m Energizing Rural Communities Prize
- Register to attend the Energizing Rural Communities Prize webinar
- Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program Funding Opportunity Announcement. Concept papers are due by April 14, 2023. Full applications are due by June 28, 2023.
- Energizing Rural Communities Prize applications are due by May 24, 2023.
Access the Rural or Remote Area Geospatial Dashboard tool and watch the video tutorial of the geospatial dashboard.
OCED held three public workshops to hear directly from state, local and Tribal governments, utilities, private sector project developers, and others in rural and remote communities on the energy challenges and types of projects that can improve their energy systems as part of the development of the ERA program.
Follow the links below to view the video recordings from OCED’s ERA Virtual Workshop:
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