US government offers funds to improve siting, permitting for renewables

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From pv magazine USA

The DoE has announced that six state-based collaborative organizations will receive a combined $10 million through its R-STEP program. 

R-STEP expands decision-making capacity for state and local governments around large-scale renewable energy planning, siting, and permitting. The program will also provide technical assistance to the organizations. The DoE said it will also open another $12 million under the R-STEP program. 

“This effort accelerates renewable energy deployment by supporting the establishment of more predictable, community-oriented, and science-based siting processes for renewable energy developers and permitting authorities,” the DoE said in a press release. 

Community opposition to large-scale solar development has been a growing issue for US developers, creating the opportunity for the R-STEP program to ensure that local communities are reaping benefits from land development. 

The program is designed to support meaningful community engagement to unlock opportunities for workforce development, community wealth-building, better grid resilience, and electricity bill savings, particularly in rural areas. 

The selected states are Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, the Carolinas, and Wisconsin. Local universities will administer the programs, which will receive between $1 million to $2 million for a three-year period. 

The RSTEP funding and technical assistance opportunity is managed by Energywerx, in partnership with the DoE Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). 

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