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  • Writer's pictureRon Magby

Department of Energy Issues $10 Million for Improved Large-Scale Renewable Energy Permitting Processes

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has taken a significant step toward streamlining the permitting process for large-scale renewable energy facilities. With up to $22 million allocated, the DOE aims to enhance planning, siting, and permitting processes across the nation. Specifically, the Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program will receive $10 million to support state-based projects that provide expertise, training, and technical resources to local governments and communities.


Key Points:

  1. Purpose of the Program:

  • The R-STEP program focuses on improving planning, siting, and permitting for large-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects.

  • These projects are essential for achieving the goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035, with solar and wind energy expected to make up a record-breaking 94% of new electric-generating capabilities this year.

  1. State-Based Collaboratives:

  • Six state-based collaboratives will receive funding to develop and expand initiatives that assist local governments and communities.

  • These collaboratives will evaluate stakeholder needs and create educational materials and technical assistance programs.

  • By engaging communities, these efforts aim to unlock opportunities for community wealth-building, workforce development, increased grid resilience, and electricity bill savings.

  1. Selected Collaboratives:

  • Indiana: Led by Purdue University Extension, this collaborative will serve as a technical resource and community engagement hub for renewable energy planning and evaluation.

  • Iowa: Led by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, this collaborative will develop educational resources for city- and county-level officials planning renewable energy and energy storage facilities.

  1. Community Benefits and Clean Energy Expansion:

  • The DOE recognizes that deploying clean energy requires meaningful community engagement.

  • By providing capacity and knowledge, the collaboratives empower local leaders to tailor clean energy deployment to their unique needs.

  1. Tribal Energy Financing Program:

  • The DOE also announced a conditional commitment of up to $72.8 million for the Viejas Microgrid project on Tribal lands in California.

  • This project will combine a 15-MW solar PV system with a 38-MWh battery long-duration energy storage system, benefiting the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians.

The DOE’s investment in improved permitting processes will accelerate the transition to clean energy, benefit communities, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Department of Energy

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