Renewable Generation Funds Grants available to not-for-profits
La Plata Electric Association encouraging new renewable projects
DURANGO, Colo. – In its continued effort to support area not-for-profit organizations and encourage new renewable electricity generation projects in its service territory, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will reprise its Renewable Generation Funds Grants Program established in 2018. Not-for-profit organizations that are current members in-good-standing and based within LPEA’s service territory qualify to apply.
The application period opens July 1, and deadline is Dec. 1, 2019. Notification of awards will be made in February 2020.
“We continue to be very enthusiastic about increasing distributed, renewable generation projects in La Plata and Archuleta counties,” said Ron Meier, manager of engineering and member relations. “Cost is often a barrier for our members – especially not-for-profits. For these organizations, a grant such as this is win-win because by installing renewable generation, they will reduce their electric bills, enabling their valuable dollars to go to serving the community.”
The LPEA grant funds will be distributed from the Local Renewable Generation Fund – a separate, opt-in fund to which members can contribute and support development of renewable generation projects in the region. LPEA endeavors to put those amassed dollars back into the community for the greatest member benefit.
Limited funds will be available for this and any future grant cycles. For 2019, LPEA anticipates granting a total of $36,000. Grants could range up to $18,000, and successful applicants must secure 100 percent matching funds.
“We ask that applicants request funds for a specific project,” said Dan Harms, manager of rates, technology and energy policy. “Define the project. For example, installation of solar panels to provide electricity for a church or power a water pump at a non-profit community garden.”
All applicants must provide documentation of not-for-profit tax status, as well as proof of easement or title to the property where the renewable generation project will be installed.
Additionally, prior to acceptance and installation of any renewable project, an engineering review is required to identify the system impact at any given location. The review can be made prior to or following application submission but must be completed prior to release of the grant funds.
“All renewable projects seeking interconnection with LPEA’s grid, be they individual homes or businesses – or with this grant – must undergo an engineering review,” said Meier. “It’s purely to ensure that LPEA’s equipment and that section of our system can manage the new distributed generation load. We also want to help our members understand the nuances of producing their own electricity.”
Detailed requirements are outlined on the grant application, available for download on LPEA’s website, https://www.lpea.com/local-funding-renewable-projects. Non-profit organizations with questions regarding the grant application process are asked to contact Jeannie Bennett, 970.382.3505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about supporting LPEA’s Local Renewable Generation Fund, call 970.247.5786.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative celebrating 80 years in 2019, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 43,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.
Customers wishing to provide funding to local renewable resource generated power can select this option. Purchased blocks will be used to fund installation of solar PV panels for local educational, charitable, low-income and public safety purposes. It's an educational effort for our communities, and a step toward locally generated electricity.
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