The US energy system has always required land — from coal mines to oil rigs to natural gas pads. Unquestionably, the energy transition will need land to host solar panels, wind farms, and other clean energy facilities. The good news is that brownfields of all types — including closed landfills, underutilized industrial areas, and even abandoned mines — can be part of the solution if developed safely, strategically, and in accordance with environmental regulations. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has partnered with Kansas State University’s (KSU) Technical Assistance to Brownfields program to launch the first-ever accelerator for brightfields projects. Simply put, brightfields are clean energy projects on brownfields. This program includes technical assistance, educational workshops, tools, and other resources to help local governments, site-owners, and non-profits make smart and sustainable choices about the reuse and revitalization of brownfield sites and prepare for funding, financing, and procurement for clean energy. We will help communities understand and leverage the federal incentives that encourage clean energy projects on brownfields and in low-income communities and productively engage with their utilities.
For questions about the Brightfields Accelerator or to request free technical assistance on brightfields, contact Matthew Popkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or your KSU TAB Regional Coordinator.
Fall 2023 Workshop Series: Preparing for EPA Brownfields Grants with Clean Energy Reuse in Mind
As part of RMI and KSU TAB’s Brightfields Accelerator, RMI is hosting a pragmatic workshop series to help communities prepare for EPA Brownfields Grants with Clean Energy Reuse in Mind and understand other funding and financing options for clean energy reuses. This series of up to 4 virtual workshops aims to equip grant applicants, communities, and site owners with strategies for incorporating clean energy reuse into EPA brownfields grants application. Participants will all learn about funding and financing options for clean energy projects.
Objectives & Expectations:
By participating in this workshop series, you can expect to:
- Develop strategies to integrate potential brightfields sites into EPA brownfields grants applications to enhance application strength and competitiveness;
- Understand federal and state funding opportunities suitable for brightfields reuse;
- Leverage the collaborative expertise of both RMI and KSU TAB to receive feedback and guidance on draft EPA brownfields grant applications; and,
- Share insights, challenges, and progress with other participants to foster a collaborative learning environment and incorporate best practices.
The cohort is best suited for participants in charge of grant writing, brownfields programs, public works, sustainability, or economic development. While it's beneficial to have one or more sites in mind for assessment, cleanup, and/or reuse, it's not a requirement for participation.
To participate in this workshop series, you must:
- Be a public or non-profit entity/site owner
- Be located within EPA Regions 5, 6, 7 or 8 (Map of EPA Region)
- Be able to dedicate at least one staff member to this workshop series as each workshop builds on prior workshops (hired contractors/consultants for a public/non-profit entity are allowed);
- Be interested in repurposing one or more of your sites for clean energy.
Workshop Overview & Schedule:
Workshop 1: Introduction to Brownfields & Brightfields: Opportunities and Challenges
Held: October 03, 2023
- To provide participants with a foundational understanding of transformation of brownfields into brightfields, and the importance of securing EPA brownfields grants for such projects.
- To introduce the services and support that we'll be covering in the cohort, including from RMI and KSU.
- "Introduction to Brownfields & Brightfields" – Video Recording (Passcode: Brightfields#2023)
- "Introduction to Brownfields & Brightfields" Slide Deck
- Brightfields Site Selection Checklist
- Landfill Solar report: “The Future of Landfills is Bright” by RMI
- Blog about federal incentives for brightfields by RMI
Workshop 2: Strategically Integrating Brightfields into EPA Brownfields Grants
Held: October 25, 2023
- To educate participants with strategic ways to include clean energy reuse in EPA brownfields grants.
- To train participants on how to use certain tools to evaluate site potential for reuse.
- To assist participants in effectively integrating brightfields sites into their applications and to familiarize them with the review process.
- "Strategically Integrating Brightfields into EPA Brownfields Grants" – Video Recording (Passcode: #Brightfields2023)
- "Strategically Integrating Brightfields into EPA Brownfields Grants" Slide Deck
- Summary of the tools we discussed in Workshop #2
Workshop 3: From Theory to Application: Practical Tips & Peer Feedback
Held: November 08, 2023
- To address site and/or community-specific questions regarding application preparation and/or site analysis.
- To provide an opportunity for expert and participant feedback on draft applications.
Workshop 4: Understanding Funding and Financing Opportunities for Brightfields
Date: December 19, 2023 3:00pm CT
- To guide participants through the array of available funding opportunities in addition to EPA Brownfields Grants.
While each workshop will be recorded, RMI and KSU strongly encourage all participants to try to attend each workshop live for optimal learning.