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Competitive Grants Boost Innovative Energy Projects in Georgia

31 January 2010 3 Comments

Innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Georgia are receiving $10 million in competitive grant funds through the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Competitive Grant Program administered by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA).  The program, which was launched in July 2009, is funding 16 projects as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy are both key components of Georgia’s State Energy Strategy,” said GEFA Executive Director Phil Foil.  “The projects we’re funding today will help encourage energy savings and the adoption of renewable energy throughout the state.”

As a result of the ARRA, the state of Georgia received $82,495,000 in economic stimulus funds for the State Energy Program (SEP).  The funding was allocated to GEFA’s Division of Energy Resources to encourage the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Georgia.  Of the total amount of SEP funding available, GEFA allocated $10 million to create four competitive grant programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs – renewable energy ($4,000,000); commercial energy efficiency ($2,000,000); industrial energy efficiency ($2,000,000); and residential energy efficiency ($2,000,000).  130 applications were submitted to GEFA in September 2009.

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Competitive Grant Program is the third program to award SEP ARRA funding.  In December 2009, GEFA announced $4.5 million in rebate funds for solar energy projects in Georgia.  In September 2009, Governor Perdue announced the approval of 135 energy efficiency projects for state facilities totaling $63.1 million.

Governor Perdue has committed all state agencies to reduce energy consumption per square foot in state facilities 15 percent below FY2007 levels by 2020.  The projects funded through the SEP will help the state meet the Governor’s Energy Challenge, which is a voluntary program encouraging businesses, individuals, not-for-profits, schools, and local governments to meet the state’s goal and to reduce their energy consumption 15 percent.  Meeting this goal will reduce Georgia’s dependence on traditional energy sources, support the economy, and improve the environment.

For more information regarding the energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities available through GEFA, please visit www.gefa.org.  The recipients of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Competitive Grants are provided below.

Renewable Energy Grant Program

BFI Waste Systems of North America, LLC – Awarded $2,000,000 to construct a Solar Energy Cover (SEC) at the Hickory Ridge Landfill, located near the junction of I-675 and I-285 in DeKalb County.  The SEC is a large scale, one megawatt solar power system.

Electric Cities of Georgia – Awarded $460,933 to build a series of solar energy production units at various municipal facilities throughout Georgia and one wind energy system in Calhoun, Georgia.  The program will install five kilowatt photovoltaic units, solar thermal water heating systems, and a four kilowatt wind energy system.

Hannah Solar, LLC – Awarded $250,000 to install 59 kilowatts of solar power, a 1.2 kilowatt wind turbine, and a solar thermal collector for domestic hot water at the Clark’s Grove Earthcraft community in Covington, Georgia.

Lanier Technical College – Awarded $503,000 to install four different types of solar photovoltaic systems and one solar hot water system at each of four separate Lanier Technical College campuses for a total of 22 separate solar installations.

Radiance Energies – Awarded $786,067 to install solar photovoltaic systems for seven non-profits across the state.  The systems cover a vast geographic reach and will serve to benefit local communities and to educate thousands of people annually about the benefits of renewable energy.

Commercial Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Appalachian Community Enterprises Inc. – Awarded $700,000 to provide small businesses in North Georgia, including metro Atlanta, with education, technical assistance and funding for energy efficiency strategies.

Georgia Interfaith Power and Light – Awarded $400,000 to educate a statewide network of faith communities on energy efficient practices, including energy efficient goods and services, and to conduct energy efficiency retrofits of facilities.€

Illumitron International Inc. – Awarded $450,000 to help transform the commercial real estate market to focus on operational cost savings through energy efficient LED lighting, and to speed the deployment of LED lighting technologies.

Outlaw Consulting Inc. – Awarded $450,000 to conduct lighting retrofit projects at convenience stores throughout the state.  The program includes the establishment of a revolving fund to finance projects chosen in an annual competitive process administered in partnership with the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores for at least three years.€

Industrial Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Association of Energy Engineers – Awarded $400,000 to provide Certified Energy Manager training to members of Georgia’s industrial community over a two-year period.€

Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Awarded $900,000 to expand the Georgia Environmental Partnership (DNR Sustainability Division, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia) and to partner with Oglethorpe Power (OPC) and the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) to build energy assessment capacity within the state’s 38 Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs).

International Paper – Awarded $700,000 to install energy efficient manufacturing equipment at facilities in Augusta and Savannah to reduce energy usage and to help increase the company’s competitiveness.

Residential Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Electric Cities of Georgia – Awarded $500,000 to assist member utilities with the development and operation of residential energy efficiency programs to reduce residential customer energy usage and to promote energy efficiency in the residential market throughout the state.€

Estes Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. – Awarded $500,000 to provide energy efficiency improvements to residential homes with a focus on low-to-middle income, elderly and disabled homeowners.

Oglethorpe Power Corporation – Awarded $500,000 to create and/or expand energy efficiency programs available to the residential sector served by each participating EMC.

Southface Energy Institute – Awarded $500,000 to conduct energy efficient design training sessions for builders, trade contractors, real estate agents and appraisers throughout the state.

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