Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program
Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), and ENERGYWERX
To support the creation of new, or the expansion of existing, state-based programs or initiatives that improve renewable energy siting processes at the state and local levels.
Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements
Eligible activities include but are not limited to: 1) engaging with local governments and communities to identify renewable energy siting and planning priorities, 2) hiring and subcontracting to expand technical capacity and leverage experts in the region or state, 3) developing state-specific resources that could improve siting practices and outcomes for local communities and the renewable energy industry, and 4) conducting trainings and workshops with local governments to improve technical understanding of renewable energy siting.
Large-scale renewable energy facilities are essential to decarbonize the grid and have a high potential to help reduce the emissions in communities where these facilities are located. This program is focused on helping State and local governments embrace critical roles in facilitating and approving large-scale renewable energy facilities even when they may not always have the resources, time, or expertise to plan proactively for future deployment of large-scale renewable energy facilities or to address siting barriers.
Collaboratives should consist of cross-disciplinary teams with an understanding of local community needs and a variety of expertise relevant to planning for and siting large-scale renewable energy facilities. Collaboratives could include but are not limited to state energy offices, Governors’ offices, Extension offices, universities, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and other organizations. DOE also recommends that teams include organizations familiar with the needs of local communities in the state, organizations with experience providing educational or technical assistance services to local communities on technical subjects, and organizations with technical expertise on renewable energy siting topics (e.g., environmental impacts, tax policies, land use, zoning ordinance development).
DOE highly encourages state energy offices (or equivalent state agencies) to participate or lead applications. Please note that DOE will not select more than one application from a single state. There are no restrictions on regional or multi-state Collaboratives. However, applicants should carefully consider and discuss the challenges associated with the variability in permitting processes, community needs, and deployment targets between the states of interest.
Renewable energy siting refers to a complex series of decision-making processes and actions that determine the location and design of new wind, solar, storage, or other renewable energy facilities.