Broadband Line Extension Connection Program
Have residents and businesses that don’t have access to broadband? The Broadband Line Extension Connection Program application portal is now accepting applications and provides the opportunity for your community to identify unserved areas that may be eligible for a line extension grant. The Line Extension Connection Program goal is to connect residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service to service providers, and then assist in the expense of extending broadband to those locations. Residential and business locations that are unserved (lack access to speeds of at least 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload) can apply by entering their information into the Line Extension Connection portal. This will initiate their interest in receiving broadband internet service and make their location available for consideration. The Office of Broadband Development will evaluate these bids and required provider documentation and make awards to the providers whose bid proposes the lowest cost to the state for extension of the service. The Minnesota Broadband Line Extension Connection Program has been allocated $15 million in total funding. Limits per line extension are set by Minnesota law. These limits include a per line extension amount that cannot exceed $25,000, and the Office of Broadband Development must ensure the bid is a cost-effective use of state funds.
Residential Retrofits for Energy Equity: Energy Upgrades for Affordable Housing
Residential Retrofits for Energy Equity (R2E2) will provide deep technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments as well as community-based organizations to jumpstart energy upgrades for single family and multifamily affordable housing, especially in frontline communities. These retrofits will lower utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve residents’ health, create good-paying local jobs, and help mitigate racial inequity. R2E2 will kick off with training sessions in January for state, local, and community teams on scaling up building energy retrofits and leveraging the unprecedented federal funding available from COVID-19 relief programs, the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other sources. R2E2 is a partnership of the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Elevate, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and HR&A Advisors, with People’s Climate Innovation Center advising on centering equity in the project and its outcomes and on facilitating community-driven planning processes.
Minnesota Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Grant
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched its next round of Level 2 electric vehicle charging station grants using funding from the Volkswagen settlement. Applicants can receive $7,500 for a single-port station and $15,000 for dual-port stations, up to a maximum of $150,000. A 20% match must be provided for publicly accessible stations. Public entities are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Feb. 28.
Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program
The US Department of Transportation has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the RAISE grant program in 2023, with $1.5 billion in awards available for this program this round. The minimum RAISE grant award is $5 million in urban areas and $1 million in rural areas. Grants may not be greater than $25 million. Eligible applicants include states; unit of local government; a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more states; a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority; a federally recognized Indian Tribe or a consortium of such Indian Tribes; a transit agency; and a multi-state or multijurisdictional group of entities. Evaluation of the projects will be based on safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity to include tourism opportunity, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation. Additional considerations include demonstrated project readiness and cost effectiveness. Application deadline is Feb. 28.
Border-to-Border Broadband Development and Low-Density Pilot Grant Program
The Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program was established by the 2014 Legislature to assist with costly deployment projects that might not occur without public financial assistance; the Low-Density Pilot Program was created by the Legislature in 2022. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has the authority to award grants to assist broadband providers with eligible infrastructure installation costs. Broadband development projects located in unserved or underserved areas are eligible. The 2023 funding awarded to selected grantees will be approximately $67 million. The maximum individual grant amount is $5 million, and the maximum grant funding award cannot exceed 50% of the eligible total project costs. An additional $30 million was approved by the Minnesota Legislature from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act Capital Projects Fund for a Low-Density Pilot Grant Program. The maximum individual grant amount is $10 million and the grant funding award cannot exceed 75% of the eligible total project costs. Priority consideration will be given to projects that leverage funding from other community, private, and public sources. Required notification to other providers must be completed by Jan. 19 for an application to be submitted by the March 2 deadline.
Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) is issuing this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL): Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation. The activities to be funded under this FOA support the BIL, as well as a broader government-wide approach to advance building codes and support their successful implementation. The primary focus centers around updating to more efficient building energy codes that save money for American homes and businesses, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage more resilient buildings in accordance with Section 40511 of the BIL. This FOA includes one topic area broadly focused on the cost-effective implementation of updated energy codes. DOE expects to make a total of approximately $45 million of federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. DOE anticipates making approximately 10-30 awards under this FOA. DOE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $10 million. Concept paper submission deadline is Jan. 31; full application submission deadline is March 27.
Decarbonization of Water Resource Recovery Facilities Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) has released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support decarbonization of the industrial sector, which is responsible for 30% of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs), which treat wastewater from public water systems, are estimated to be directly and indirectly responsible for over 44 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions each year. This FOA will advance research and development to decarbonize our nation’s water treatment sector. The FOA includes two topic areas: 1) Decarbonization of WRRF Unit Processes; 2) Reduction overall GHG emissions from WRRFs. Concept paper submission deadline is Jan. 27; full application submission deadline is April 3.
Firefighter Recruitment, PPE, and Health Screening Assistance
The Minnesota State Fire Department Association (MSFDA) received a four-year grant for $1.4 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to start a statewide firefighter recruitment campaign. These funds will help develop a statewide informational website (www.mnfirehire.org), market the fire service, develop recruitment training for the fire service, and assist communities with their marketing efforts.
The grant provides $600,000 for personal protective equipment (PPE) and health screenings to new firefighters hired during the grant award period. Each community must be a member of the MSFDA, participate in the recruitment study, and file the proper documentation to the grant administrator. Grant applications will be accepted until all funds are distributed.
To date, 117 fire departments are participating in the reimbursement program. The MSFDA has sent out several mailers, and representatives have attended regional meetings across the state. Most regional meetings are held on a quarterly basis, and provide important information to firefighters to keep them up to date on current events, training, etc.
Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program for Rural Areas
Low-interest direct loans, grants, or a combination of the two are available to develop essential community facilities (not including private, commercial, or business undertakings) in rural areas through the Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant program. The program is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related project expenses. Rural areas, including cities, villages, townships, and federally recognized tribal lands, with no more than 20,000 residents according to the latest U.S. Census data, are eligible for this program. Applications for this program are accepted year-round.
Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program
The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program provides $10,000 in startup funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to implement the Community Heart & Soul model. Community Heart & Soul engages a motivated and dedicated group of individuals to help your town identify what matters most. The grant program is specifically designed for small cities and towns with populations of 2,500 to 30,000. Grant funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization.
Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry Safety Grants
The Safety Grant Program awards funds up to $10,000 to qualifying employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury and illness to their workers. Applications are accepted continuously and reviewed every two months.
Learn more and apply for a Safety Grant