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The Challenge: Submit a DOE IIJA Grant Application On Time and Budget

Our client, a large Midwest U.S. electric and gas utility, was interested in capitalizing on the significant funding opportunities presented by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which passed in November of 2021. The IIJA appropriated $62 billion to the Department of Energy (DOE) designed to modernize and upgrade U.S. infrastructure.

The policy targets a broad set of objectives that focus on building a clean and equitable energy economy. The DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was released in November 2022, which outlined instructions for interested parties to submit project proposals that achieve the program goals to:

  • transform electric system resilience,
  • catalyze and leverage private capital for impactful technology deployment,
  • advance community benefits

ScottMadden consultants were engaged to help our client develop and submit their grant application to fund a transformative grid reliability and resiliency investment to underground hundreds of miles of aging overhead distribution circuits. We were brought in to:

  • help our client navigate the complex and challenging set of grant application requirements outlined by DOE,
  • create a compelling narrative to explain how the proposed program benefits disadvantaged communities,
  • develop the strongest possible application to highlight how the project achieves the goals of the IIJA.

The Process

  • The ScottMadden team of experienced utility consultants initially reviewed the FOA and developed a detailed compliance matrix to identify the application’s various overlapping technical and legal requirements.
  • Our initial efforts prioritized long lead time application components, including the development of a comprehensive community benefits plan and pursuing letters of support from stakeholders and community representatives to demonstrate how the proposed project will result in meaningful community and labor engagement, create quality jobs, minimize environmental impact, and ensure that at least 40 percent of benefits flow to disadvantaged communities (i.e., Justice40).
  • Our team of consultants then led the collection and documentation of data and information to fulfill each component of the grant application, coordinating across multiple utility groups, leveraging daily team stand-up meetings and various working group sessions to facilitate feedback and subject matter expert review.
  • Over approximately a two-month project, ScottMadden helped develop and prepare the DOE IIJA Grant Application for submittal, including a detailed technical report, stakeholder engagement strategy and community benefits plan, and a report on historical resilience investments.

The Results

  • ScottMadden drafted and finalized the application to ensure alignment with FOA requirements and successfully submitted the grant proposal on time and budget.
  • We also provided the client team with a comprehensive set of tools and information to prepare for award negotiations and to understand post-award reporting and compliance requirements.
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