Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Technical Assistance

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, 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 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 10,000 people or fewer.

Learn more about the ERA program.

Topics for Technical Assistance

This phase of technical assistance is designed to inform concept paper submissions to the ERA Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Technical assistance at this phase will consist of 2–8 hours of telephone conversations with each community as they prepare their FOA concept papers.

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. Examples 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."

Eligibility

Technical assistance is available for the following types of U.S. domestic entities: state and local governments, tribes, not-for-profit organizations, community groups, representatives from incorporated and unincorporated consortia, and academic institutions. Technical assistance is limited to projects that provide at least one of the following:

  • Improved grid performance
  • Improved resilience
  • Reduced energy burden and insecurity
  • Increased economic resilience
  • Improved environmental performance from energy generation to support public health
  • Reduced greenhouse gas impact of energy system
  • Energy access.

Apply for Technical Assistance

Complete and submit the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program Technical Assistance Application. Once your application has been submitted, you will be contacted within 5 business days to confirm receipt of your application. You will be contacted again within 10 business days to schedule a preliminary call to discuss the opportunity to receive technical assistance.

Applications for this technical assistance phase will be accepted until April 11, 2023.

Contact

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