Energy and Environment announces $600,000 in program grants

Funding will support education, low-income communities, and energy security

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman announced Wednesday more than $600,000 in U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program (SEO) grants will support Kentucky education, reduce the energy burden in low-income communities, and improve energy security.

The federal program provides annual funding to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste.

“Even as we are doing everything that we can to protect the ones we love during the Coronavirus, these grants will enable Kentuckian’s to make better choices that will save them money and lead to a more sustainable energy future,” Gov. Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear launched the Healthy at Work initiative in late April to guide the smart, safe and gradual reopening of the state’s economy. The initiative sets out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy.

Nine Kentucky organizations will contract with the EEC to deliver energy programs funded through the State Energy Program. Projects will begin later this year, pending contract legislative review and approval.

“We are pleased to announce these new initiatives that provide long-term benefits to the citizens of Kentucky,” said Sec. Goodman.  “Affordable electricity is a primary driver of our economy and essential for the wellbeing of everyone.  Now more than ever in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to ensure continuing affordability and resilience of Kentucky’s energy resources, and to invest in energy education that integrates new technologies and practices in areas that support our infrastructure and families.”

The organizations and projects that have received SEP grant awards are:

  • University of Kentucky Center For Applied Energy Research, $182,000, to develop the second-year Electric Vehicle STEM project in middle schools across Kentucky.
  • National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, $75,000, to support Kentucky’s schools through student energy team training, teacher workshops, student energy awards.
  • Bluegrass Greensource, $70,000, to support energy efficiency education in under-served populations, preschool energy curriculum, Green Lab for preschool learners, and science fair student assistance.
  • Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), $50,000, to support the energy efficiency audits for addiction recovery centers, non-profits, and small businesses in the Appalachian region.
  • Habitat for Humanity, $67,000, to support low-income families through energy efficiency measures including ENERGY star appliance upgrades, Home Energy Rater certification for construction specialists, and Structural Insulated Panel training
  • Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), $67,000, will conduct a Regional Microgrid Study to support resilience efforts across the Commonwealth.
  • Bracken County Regional Energy Resilience Survey $25,000, to explore the intersection of energy vulnerabilities at critical facilities at the local level.
  • American Concrete Institute Kentucky Chapter for education on Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) for Resiliency Training initiative.
  • Home Development Alliance, $15,000, to provide Home Energy Rating for energy efficiency, and ENERGY STAR Heating and Ventilation Equipment rebates in underserved communities.

The EEC will also conduct a feasibility study to determine if reclaimed mine lands are suitable for renewable energy projects and develop a data-site portal for use by renewable energy developers and economic development.

For more information about programs of the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy, contact Kenya Stump, executive director Office of Energy Policy.