Dane County established the Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Fund (the Fund) in 2018 and assigned administration of the Fund to the Office of Energy & Climate Change.
The Office of Energy & Climate Change worked with stakeholders to establish the purpose of the Fund, consistent with state and county policy. OECC determined that initiatives receiving grants from the Fund should address at least one of the following:
- Maximize energy-related economic development benefits.
- Promote advancements in energy use and generation in the most just and equitable ways.
- Create jobs and increase economic productivity in Dane County.
- Advance cutting-edge energy technologies and programs that can be replicated in other counties in Wisconsin and across the nation.
In April 2020, the Office of Energy & Climate Change issued Dane County’s first countywide, economy-wide climate action plan (CAP).
OECC's primary priority relative to the Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Fund is to make progress on the outcomes identified in the CAP.
Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Projects
In late 2020 OECC solicited applications for research and small demonstration projects that would accelerate progress on specific CAP priorities. (Learn more about the 2020 Grant Priorities.)
An Advisory Panel reviewed the submitted applications and OECC has committed to fund the projects to:
- Pilot the energy facilitator model:
- Latino Academy of Workforce Development, working with Sustain Dane and Elevate Energy, will expand their Bilingual Leadership Academy to include training in energy efficiency and sustainability to assess the viability of Academy graduates serving as facilitators, as envisioned in the CAP. OECC provided a $18,970 grant with LAWD and its partners providing $40,550 of match funding.
- Expand consumer access to solar energy:
- RENEW Wisconsin will expand their successful MadiSUN solar energy group buy program to all of Dane County with a special emphasis on engaging households that have not participated before in solar energy efforts. OECC provided a $5,000 grant with RENEW Wisconsin providing $4,300 of match funding.
- Accelerate electrification:
- Elevate Energy, partnering with Sustain Dane, will do a segmentation analysis of electrification opportunities in the existing housing stock where the heating fuel is not natural gas. OECC provided a $10,940 grant with Elevate providing $18,840 of match funding.
- Slipstream will assess electrification opportunities in residential new construction through outreach and engagement of builders and other key stakeholders. OECC provided a $14,706 grant and Slipstream provided $1,439 of match funding.
- Advance climate-health-equity efforts:
- Catholic Multicultural Center will host a number of community events to engage residents on climate issues and solicit community input into climate priorities with a focus on equity considerations. OECC provided a $2,248 grant with CMC providing $625 of match.
- YWCA, partnering with Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison and Sustain Dane, will explore transportation challenges for Dane County residents, leveraging the YW Transit to collect insights. OECC provided a $22,855 grant and YWCA and its partners provided $6,245 of match.
- Encourage telecommuting options:
- Sustain Dane, working with Greater Madison MPO, will explore local telecommuting policies and practices to create resources for local businesses. OECC provided a $14,940 grant with Sustain Dane and its partners providing $4,320 of match.
In 2020 the Office of Energy & Climate Change aimed to provide grants to eligible applicants for initiatives that would make progress one or more of the outcomes identified in the Climate Action Plan. We expected most projects would be scoping efforts that would refine CAP recommendations into a program or policy plan that is ready to implement. Also eligible were initiatives that combine some level of service delivery or engagement coincident with the development of a related project scope, especially if those efforts provide some continuum of progress in a specific area.
See below for the 2020 priority initiatives. The number in italics after the recommendation refers to where you will find the discussion of this priority in the CAP. We seek efforts focused on:
- Launching the energy facilitator initiative outlined in the CAP with an emphasis on targeting one or more underserved populations (such as minority-owned businesses, rural households or households where English is not the first language) (81-84)
- Expanding consumer access to solar power countywide, with an emphasis on populations (e.g., renters, frontline communities) that typically have more barriers to solar power (108)
- Identifying and reducing energy usage in high energy use intensity commercial buildings across Dane County (87)
- Accelerating the electrification of single- or multi-family homes in Dane County with an emphasis on homes heated with propane and fuel oil and/or with an emphasis on new construction (68)
- Accelerating Dane County dairy farm participation in manure digesters (119)
- Advancing progress on a climate-health-equity challenge in the county (36-42)
- Encouraging the Dane County business community to institutionalize long-term support for telecommuting as a way to reduce vehicle miles traveled (n/a)
- Accelerating electric vehicle adoption in the county with an emphasis on addressing equity (94-99)
- Quantifying the carbon sequestration opportunities associated with one or more agricultural or land use practices (116-122)
These priorities are NOT in a ranked order of importance. All of the items listed above are priorities.
To learn more about the 2020 Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Fund process, download the 2020 grant application materials.
Future Grant Funding
We anticipate another round of grant funding in the second half of 2021.
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