The United States Department of Energy plans to award grants totaling US$ 16.3 million to 162 energy projects in 43 states and the District of Columbia by September of 2004 as part of its State Energy Program Special Projects competitive grants.Washington, D.C. – August 12, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Energy efficiency is an important part of President Bush’s National Energy Policy,” said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. “These important projects will greatly help in achieving the energy efficiency goals our administration has set.” State energy offices applying for the grants should use funds to improve the energy efficiency of schools, homes and other buildings; promote energy-efficient industrial technologies; and support renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. Some projects should create opportunities for distributed energy resources. Clean Cities Projects A total of 66 programs intended to support alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and alternative fuels will be chosen to split a grant of US$ 5.43 million. Many of the programs should promote the acquisition of commercially-available AFVs, the development of an AFV infrastructure, the acquisition of AFV school buses, the reduction of idling by heavy-duty vehicles through the introduction of energy efficient technologies and energy saving approaches, and support Clean Cities coalition activities. Federal Energy Management Program A total of five projects for sustainable design and construction will be chosen to split a grant of $399,741. Projects should promote and facilitate sustainable design and construction, energy efficient operations and maintenance, distributed and renewable energy, renewable energy purchases, and renewable power on federal sites. Solar Technology Program A total of three projects for solar energy use on revitalized industrial and commercial sites, known as brownfield sites, will be chosen to split a grant of $250,000. Projects should deploy solar energy technologies in a manner consistent with local economic development activities and relevant local, state and federal environmental regulations. State Wind Energy Support A total of five projects for the exploration of wind energy will be chosen to split a grant of $380,651. Projects should seek information on U.S. wind resources at levels above the standard tower measurement of 60 meters (m). States approved for wind energy should propose to place anemometers on existing towers of 100 m or taller for one year using duplicate anemometers at each location to avoid tower shadow. Wind measurements will be taken at three different heights over the year, and proposals are sought in areas suitable for potential wind development where wind shear is expected to be a significant factor. Biomass A total of seven projects for biomass initiatives will be chosen to split a grant of $500,000. Projects should be concentrated on cost-sharing to foster significant advances of biomass-based technologies and products through a variety of techniques, including: outreach and information transfer to consumers, farmers, and industry; and development of innovative state or local incentives to facilitate increased market penetration of bio-based products and biomass-based technologies.