Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Technical Assistance

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), NREL provides no-cost technical assistance to communities and organizations interested in energy improvements in rural or remote areas.

The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program was created as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide $1 billion over 5 years to support energy projects that will improve the resilience, safety, reliability, availability, and environmental performance of energy systems in rural or remote areas with populations of not more than 10,000 inhabitants.

Learn more about the ERA program and sign up for updates about future opportunities.

Apply for Technical Assistance

The ERA program issued two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to award projects that increase energy affordability and promote climate resilience:

  • DE-FOA-0003045 supports an anticipated federal grant of $500,000 to $5 million per project. Only applicants who submitted pre-applications and were then invited to submit a full application will be eligible to receive technical assistance to support the development of full applications.
  • DE-FOA-0002970 supports an anticipated federal cost share of $5 million to $100 million per project. This FOA application process is now closed. Additional technical assistance will be offered to awardees after selections are made.

OCED is funding technical assistance to support applications to both FOAs. NREL and other national laboratories will provide the technical assistance.

Technical assistance consists of up to 8 hours of support to each applicant, at no cost to applicants.

Technical assistance to support full applications for ERA's grant program (DE-FOA-0003045) is available to applicants who submitted a pre-application and were invited to submit a full application. 

Complete and submit the Full Application for Technical Assistance by Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

Application Deadlines for DE-FOA-0003045

Friday, June 30, 2023: Pre-Application Technical Assistance (Closed)

Thursday, July 13, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET: Pre-Application Submission on OCED eXCHANGE (Closed)

Friday, Oct. 6, 2023: Full Application Technical Assistance

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET: Full Application Submission on OCED eXCHANGE

All dates are subject to change. Please refer to DE-FOA-0003045 on OCED eXCHANGE to confirm all deadlines.

The FOA application process is now closed. Additional technical assistance will be offered to awardees after selections are made. 

Topics for Technical Assistance

Topics for technical assistance will vary based on specific project needs and requests. The following list is therefore not exhaustive but provides examples of what technical assistance may include. If you are interested in assistance that is not included in the list, you are encouraged to submit a technical assistance application, and NREL will determine if your request can be fulfilled. Example technical assistance topics include:

  • Describing the technology and/or systems to be developed, construction activities, and infrastructure development
  • Describing a preliminary development plan and timeline
  • Detailing the qualifications, experience, and capabilities of the proposed project team
  • Developing the Community Benefits Plan.

Technical assistance is available to advise applicants during the ERA FOA application process, but applicants are responsible for completing and submitting their own applications.


For questions about the technical assistance application, contact the ERA technical assistance program.