Tallahassee, Florida [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) received more than 180 grant proposals during the past month for the. Part of the 2006 Florida Energy Act, the grant program is designed to stimulate capital investment in the state and promote and enhance the statewide utilization of renewable energy technologies.“Through the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program, Florida is encouraging investment in alternative energy, which can help reduce demand for foreign fuels, promote energy diversity, reduce pollution and promote economic growth,” said DEP Deputy Secretary Mike Sole. “We are encouraged that a variety of organizations are taking this opportunity to pursue grant funding for renewable energy technologies, and look forward to exploring the ideas presented in the grant proposals.” DEP received 183 grant proposals seeking nearly $215 million in grant funding and providing more than $505 million in cost share for renewable energy projects. The proposals, which include technologies such as bioenergy, solar and hydrogen, will now be evaluated by the state based on cost share percentage, economic development potential, energy efficiency and how well the project fosters public awareness of renewable energy technologies. Through the 2006 Florida Energy Act, the Florida Legislature appropriated $15 million for the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program, with at least $5 million to support bioenergy projects and $10 million for projects that generate or utilize other renewable energy resources, including hydrogen, biomass, solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, ocean energy, waste heat and hydroelectric power. Grants will be awarded January 2007 at a maximum of $2.5 million per project.