On September 7, 2010, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced in the New Jersey Register that it is seeking approval from the US Department of Energy for $18,000,000 in grant money, which is to be funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the State Energy Program (SEP), to administer to private, public and non-profit entities on a competitive basis for the development, design and construction of high efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) projects.

To be eligible for funding under this program, known as the Clean Energy Solutions American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Combined Heat and Power Program, an applicant must demonstrate, among other things, that the proposed CHP project is designed to achieve thermal efficiency levels of at least 65 percent and will have an electric generating capacity of greater than one megawatt (MW).  For facilities with a proposed generating capacity of greater than 20 MW, the thermal efficiency level requirement is 70 percent.  An applicant must also show that a proposed project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase sources of renewable energy, create or maintain jobs and/or reduce energy consumption and satisfy all time line and other requirements.

Under the Clean Energy Solutions ARRA CHP Program, the EDA will dispense funds based on a formula of $450 for each kilowatt (kW) of installed generating capacity.  A successful applicant may receive as much as $5,000,000 for each generating plant included in the award; provided, however, that the total amount of State and federal incentives for a project shall not exceed 50 percent of total project costs.  Recipients under this program may use grant monies for project-specific, fixed asset purchases for new CHP installations or upgrades to existing CHP facilities.  However, funds may not be used to pay for such items as construction, research, feasibility studies, architectural or engineering services or administrative costs related to a CHP project.

The time to apply for grant money under the Clean Energy Solutions ARRA CHP Program is now!  The EDA launched the program on September 13, 2010, and will continue to take applications for funding only until the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on October 4, 2010.  Application forms and more detailed information about the program can be found online here at the EDA’s website.  Applicants will require the assistance of a professional engineer licensed in the State of New Jersey to complete and certify to the technical section of the application and should consult with legal counsel, as well, in light of the complexity of program requirements.