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American Recovery and Reinvestment Coordinating Council Report
Secretary of Energy - March 24, 2009
ARRA Energy funding opportunities for Oklahoma include (1) formula funding, (2) grant opportunities and (3) financial and tax incentives. The Office of the Secretary of Energy will not receive or administer any funds associated with ARRA.
As a member of the ARRA Coordinating Council, the Secretary of Energy is collaborating with working groups to determine the proposed best use of available funds (discretionary formula), and to identify available grant opportunities and financial incentives. Collaborative partners to date include Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary of Environment, Secretary of State, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Quality and ACOG Clean Cities Program. Additionally, the Secretary of Energy is reaching out to educational and industrial constituents to explore opportunities of stimulating Oklahoma’s energy economy through ARRA investment.
Due to immediate deadline requirements, the primary focus to date has been the evaluation of the opportunities, requirements and duties associated with energy-related formula funding. The bulk of energy-related formula funding will support (1) local government energy efficiency block grants (approximately $35 million), (2) low-income residential weatherization (approximately $64 million) and (3) discretionary funding to be administered through Oklahoma’s State Energy Program (approximately $46 million). Administration of these funds, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements, will be managed by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
ARRA goals established for State Energy Program Funding include: increase energy efficiency to reduce energy costs and consumption for consumers, businesses and government; reduce reliance on imported energy; improve the reliability of electricity and fuel supply and the delivery of energy services; reduce the impacts of energy production and use on the environment.
The Department of Commerce, in cooperation with its collaborative partners, will develop appropriate processes for administration and management of State Energy Program funds. A sampling of potential Oklahoma projects include those that support increased statewide adoption of alternative fuels, enhancing building efficiencies, electric power and renewable energy (including solar, wind and demand response programs) and energy education/curriculum development.
Relevant timelines related to State Energy Program funding include: March 23, 2009 - initial application due to the U.S. Department of Energy, including Governor’s assurances as required by section 410 of ARRA (submitted); May 12, 2009 – comprehensive application due to the U.S. Department of Energy; September 30, 2010 – Congressional and Department goals for all ARRA funds
Significant competitive grant opportunities are developing for Oklahoma energy projects. Many of the details, including the actual federal solicitations, are yet to be released. Areas of immediate competitive grant opportunity include, but are not limited to:
A brief sampling of financial and tax incentives that will have a direct impact in Oklahoma include: