Published July 27, 2021
As a member of the Metro CERTs Steering Committee, I am excited to share that CERTs has launched their calls for 2021 grant proposals. CERTs will be accepting applications across the state, organized into seven regions. There is plenty of time to get your applications in; the due date is October 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM.
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS) is seeking grant applications for community-focused clean energy projects. Grants typically range between $2,000-$5,000 and can be used for labor and minor materials and supplies. The funds cannot be used to buy equipment. Each region has $20,000 to award. If you have an idea for an energy project and need some funding to get it started, this could be your chance. This could also be an opportunity to think of an idea!
So, you might be wondering, what counts as a community-based clean energy project? Community-based means the project should serve or benefit the community. It is not intended to be used for projects that strictly benefit an individual or business. Clean energy projects can fall under several categories such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy storage. If you are not sure if your idea would be a good fit, reach out to the CERTs staff member in your region listed below. They are happy to talk about ideas and answer your questions.
- Northwest: Shannan Stassen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-281-8693
- Northeast: Colby Abazs, email@example.com, 218-353-1448
- Central: Melissa Birch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-866-2338
- West Central: Jacob Selseth, email@example.com, 612-801-7955
- METRO: Diana McKeown, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-278-7158
- Southwest: Jason Walker, email@example.com, 507-836-1642
- Southeast: Chris Meyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 507-454-2691
Since 2006, CERTs has awarded over $1.3 million to 393 projects. Some examples of recent projects have included LED lighting in community facilities, labor to install Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, community engagement work, development of school curriculum, a STEAM camp for middle school students, and planning for introducing EV’s to municipal fleets. These are just a few examples, visit the CERTs Seed grant website with a list of projects for inspiration.
CERTs encourages participation and involvement by historically underserved populations. Within the Request For Proposal (RFP), “CERTs defines underserved populations as energy burdened communities—those who spend more than 5% of their income on energy costs—and other groups historically excluded from energy decisions and opportunities. This includes (but is not limited to) Black, Indigenous and People of Color, immigrants, low income, disabled, women, LGBTQ+ communities, and geographically isolated communities.” The RFP outlines all of the review criteria and preferences. Some individual regions have additional criteria and preferences.
We hope you will consider this opportunity and spread the word to groups and organizations that could benefit from these grants.
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