The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a $500 million infrastructure grant program to support the installation of microgrids, energy storage, backup power, and other advanced energy solutions. $446.4 million will be available through a national competition, with a cap of $50 million per project.
Through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program, the agency is looking for infrastructure projects that lessen risk for disaster, reduce disaster losses and immediate threats to public health and safety, and aid in rapid recovery efforts.
Applicants for the grants may include states, local communities, tribal governments, and territories. Grants can be used for capacity building activities, management costs, and tangible assets to enhance resilience. Grant recipients must share the costs – generally 75% federal and 25% applicant. The portion from grant winners can be cash, in-kind or donated services, or necessary materials, as well as equipment. Impoverished or vulnerable communities and remote populations are eligible for a reduced or even eliminated cost share, depending on certain criteria.
To win funding, the initiatives must be cost-effective (under FEMA’s cost-benefit scoring) and designed to increase resilience and reduce risk of injuries, loss of life, and damage and destruction of property – especially for critical services and facilities. FEMA is particularly focused on community lifelines – “fundamental services in the community that, when stabilized, enable all other aspects of society to function” – representing 15% of evaluation scoring. 10% scoring weight is assigned to “nature-based solutions,” such as flood mitigation programs which include objectives like wetland restoration.
This year’s application period opens September 30th. There are a number of resources available to help applicants apply for the funding, such as webinars being held in late August and early September. More information on the BRIC program and resources are available here.