On Wednesday, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a new round of grant and loan incentives for Michigan manufacturers seeking to diversify into clean energy manufacturing at the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association Wind Conference at COBO Hall. Overall, 15 million dollars has been allocated to the grant program and 5 million dollars toward a loan guarantee program. Further specifics and application information related to the award announcement are due to be released at www.michigan.gov/energyoffice
early next week. This latest round of funding is widely expected to be awarded in the same manner as the previous round, which was publicly announced on July 16, 2009.
The due date for the new round of applications has yet to be announced, but it is expected that the rules governing this application round will be functionally similar to the first application period (roughly one month to submit applications). Some of the highlights of the previous round include:
- This grant program is directed at businesses that are seeking to diversify into the high-growth clean energy sector, perform a unique high-value function, fill gaps in manufacturing of clean energy technologies, and act as an anchor for business attraction to the state of Michigan.
- The State Energy Program anticipates awarding loans, grants, or a combination thereof of up to 100 percent of eligible projects where feasible.
- Most awards for project costs will be between $2 million and $5 million.
- The period of performance for these projects will be limited to no more than 36 months, but a strong preference will be given to projects with a period of performance that is less than 24 months.
- Eligible applicants can be any business located in Michigan with 500 or fewer employees or a business of this size that relocates to Michigan by the time of the award.
- Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a 50 percent cost share of the total allowable project costs.
- The payment schedule will be up to a total of 85 percent of the total authorized budget upon the submission of the recipient’s expenditures to date. The remaining 15 percent of the grant will be made after the completion of the project.
There are two areas of focus for this program:
- The first area of interest is manufacturing renewable energy systems. Applications that are sought after under this area of interest include projects that will build or increase the production capacity of renewable energy systems. Examples of projects include wind turbine systems, solar technology, bio-energy equipment, and geothermal heating and cooling systems.
- The second area of interest is the manufacturing of components for renewable energy systems. Under this area of interest are applicants who will build or increase production capacity of manufacturing components for renewable energy systems. Examples of components include turbines, blades, solar technology, bio-energy equipment, and geothermal heating and cooling systems.
Within both areas of interest, preference will be given to recipients who have commitments from current or potential customers to buy systems or components. Applications will also need to provide a detailed description of the renewable energy manufacturing process and end products.
Monitoring and Reporting
- The recipient of this program is responsible for monitoring performance to assure the projected work is completed in the time period assigned, along with providing monthly performance reports.
- By October 30, 2011, three draft copies of the final report must be submitted for review by the State Energy Program administrator. After being reviewed for completeness, three final copies of the report need to be submitted.
- The recipient agrees that the state, upon 24-hour notice, may perform an audit and/or a monitoring review of the location for compliance to the provisions of the project.
- All procurement transactions involving the use of state funds shall be conducted in a manner that provides maximum open and free competition.
- It is required under this project that all state funds used in the procurement of materials including but not limited to iron, steel, and other manufactured goods be conducted under the Buy American provision.
If you would like to discuss the opportunities that are available as a result of the Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing Grant Program or if you have any questions regarding manufacturing within the renewable energy business sector, please contact Plante & Moran.