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How To Get Renewable Energy Grant Money from the U.S. Government

How does one go about applying for the new government program that allows a solar, wind project or other specified energy property to receive a cash grant from the U.S. Treasury in lieu of a 30% tax credit? -- Michael W., Hartford, CT.

Michael, I’m glad you asked.  As someone who recently completed this process, I can tell that there are multiple steps but the process works.

The entire application is online.  First, you go to the United States Department of the Treasury's Application Submission Page for payments in lieu of tax credits for specified energy property.  These payments are authorized by Section 1603 of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's tax title signed into law on February 17, 2009.  

Once you are on the site, you need to check out the guidance section by clicking the link under the first two paragraphs. For the guidance document, Terms and Conditions, and sample application form, go here.

Here in the guidance section, you will find a complete example of a submission and all of the other material you will need to go ahead.

It is especially important to make sure to then scroll to the bottom of the page to the Important Reminder section. Here you will need to apply for a CCR – a Central Contractor Registration. You must get a CCR number there before you will be allowed to proceed with your application. To apply, you’ll need your DUNS number, your Tax Identification Number (TIN) and various other pieces of information about your business.

Once you have been assigned your CCR, you return to the original submission page, here.

At this point you can pick a username and password from the submission page and proceed to fill in the submission document.  You will need:

  • Complete details of the project,
  • Full accounting as to all expenses and
  • A number of other items, which are described in the document

Bear in mind that there is a lot of requested information to fill in, but it is well worth it. If you take it one step at a time you will be fine.

The Obama administration and the U.S. Treasury have, in my opinion, made the government proud. They actually came up with an excellent idea – Cash instead of tax credits – and implemented it quickly and ahead of schedule!

In fact, they promise that after the application has been accepted as complete that they will review the document and pay the grant within 60 days.  Sounds fast, doesn’t it? But I am here to tell you the good news. We applied for such a grant for our building, a 550-kW PV system at 60 Shelter Rock in Danbury CT on the first day that the government was accepting applications and we received our grant in the first round of grants via wire transfer in approximately 10 days from start to finish!

I think that my project is a good real world example of the type of new ideas and leadership that the new administration is encouraging to help the renewable energy industry prosper and grow.

If you have a renewable energy project and you’d like some help applying for a grant, feel free to contact me.

Good luck!

Mr. Lynch has worked, for 32 years as a Wall Street security analyst, an independent security analyst and private investor in small emerging technology companies. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this field. He was the contributing editor for 17 years to the Photovoltaic Insider Report, the leading publication in PV that was directed at industrial subscribers, such as major energy companies, utilities and governments around the world. He is currently a private investor and has from time to time been a financial/technology consultant to a number of companies. He can be reached via e-mail at: SOLARJPL@aol.com. Please visit his website for the promotion of solar energy – www.sunseries.net or his new solar powered building at www.60shelterrock.com

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