New State Programs to Spark Economic Development Opportunities in Energy
March 20, 2019 (DES MOINES) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Energy Center (IEC) board launched two financial assistance programs that support projects and initiatives that align with the Iowa Energy Plan and IEC’s activities. The IEC Grant Program and Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP) have been designed to facilitate energy-related economic development in Iowa.
“We’re pleased to launch the Energy Center’s grant and loan programs and encourage interested Iowans to submit innovative, impactful and diverse projects that maximize the energy-economic benefits throughout our state,” said Debi Durham, Director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority. “Energy is an important resource and key economic advantage for Iowa and these program offerings will provide new opportunities for collaboration and spark innovation,” said Durham.
The IEC Grant Program is funded by gas and electric utilities across Iowa and is open to Iowa businesses, colleges and universities and private nonprofit agencies and foundations. The program provides grants to eligible applicants for projects that provide a benefit to Iowa’s electric and natural gas utility customers. Projects must also aid in the implementation of at least one of the seven key focus areas of the Iowa Energy Plan. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $1,000,000; however, most grants awarded will be in the $150,000-to-$300,000 range. The IEC board will make at least one funding announcement per fiscal year and the application process will include both a pre-application and application phase. Pre-applications for the program are due April 19, 2019 and accepted through IowaGrants.gov.
The AERLP provides zero interest loans to eligible borrowers for alternate energy production projects, including but not limited to solar, wind, biomass and combined heat and power. The AERLP can improve the feasibility of energy projects for businesses, farmers, individuals, water and wastewater utilities and rural water and sanitary districts. Loan amounts may range from $25,000 to $1 million and cover up to 50 percent of eligible project costs. The IEC board will make funding decisions at least once per quarter and loans will be administered by IEDA. The first deadline for applications is May 31, 2019 and applications are accepted through IowaGrants.gov.
The Iowa Energy Center has historically offered financial assistance for energy-related projects. When management of, and responsibility for, the IEC transitioned to IEDA by legislative mandate in October 2017, the board began evaluating existing projects and putting together the framework for the new programs launched today. The IEC board members are governor-appointed and represent academia, state government and Iowa utilities. The list of current IEC board members is available here.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of careful and collaborative work by the Energy Center Board, IEDA staff and stakeholders to design innovative finance programs that build upon Iowa’s energy leadership and support the Energy Plan’s vision and goals,” said Tim Whipple, IEC Board Chair and General Counsel for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.
For additional information, please visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/energycenter.
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