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GOVERNOR CRIST WELCOMES GRANT PROPOSALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGIES


GOVERNOR CRIST WELCOMES GRANT PROPOSALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGIES

October 13, 2008

Contact:

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE
850-488-5394

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist today invited companies and organizations to submit grant proposals for the Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Grant Program. The program is designed to stimulate capital investment in Florida and promote and enhance the statewide utilization of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. The State of Florida will award $15 million in grant funding to eligible projects, with at least $8 million for bioenergy projects. The Governor's announcement comes as Florida joins the federal government and other states to observe October as Energy Awareness Month. This year's theme is Working to Secure a Clean Energy Future.

"Florida continues to develop as a green technology hub, and we are becoming a major marketplace for advanced energy technologies," said Governor Charlie Crist. "As we recognize Energy Awareness Month, I am excited to offer this incentive to encourage companies to invest in Florida's energy future, strengthen our economy and help us meet our goals to reduce greenhouse gases."

Originally established in the 2006 Florida Energy Act, the grant program was designed to advance the growing establishment of renewable energy technologies in the state. Governor Crist and the 2008 Legislature amended the program to include energy-efficient technologies. The targeted grants will utilize technologies such as hydrogen, biomass, solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, ocean energy, waste heat and hydroelectric power, as well as energy efficiency and conservation.

Grant proposals are evaluated based on various criteria, including cost share percentage, economic development potential, energy efficiency and how the project fosters public awareness of renewable energy technologies. Grants will be awarded at a maximum of $2.5 million per project. Eligible applicants include Florida municipalities and county governments, established for-profit companies licensed to do business in Florida, universities and colleges in the state, utilities located and operating within Florida, not-for-profit organizations and state agencies.

"Investing in next-generation energy technologies helps stimulate economic development, promote energy security and diversity, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions," said Jeremy Susac, Executive Director of the Florida Energy & Climate Commission and the Governor's Energy Office. "When it comes to renewables, Florida is open for business, and we encourage companies and organizations to take advantage of this opportunity for grant funding for innovative energy technologies."

Over the last two years, Florida has provided more than $52 million in grant funding to encourage investment in the state as well as promote and enhance the use of alternative and renewable energy technologies. In the program's first year, Fiscal Year 2006-07, the state awarded $15 million in grant funding to eight organizations; another $12.5 million in grant funding was awarded in 2007-08. In addition, $25 million in grants also were awarded during Fiscal Year 2007-08 through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Farm to Fuel program to stimulate investment in projects that produce bioenergy from Florida-grown crops or biomass.

Designed to help stimulate development of energy technologies, the grants further Governor Crist's commitment to diversify the state's energy sources, spur economic growth and promote energy conservation and efficiency. In June, the Governor signed House Bill 7135, a comprehensive energy and economic development package aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as encouraging investment in alternative and renewable energy technologies.

This comprehensive legislation will help secure Florida's energy future and encourage economic development in clean technologies by authorizing the development of a cap-and-trade regulatory program, which gives businesses flexibility in meeting greenhouse gas reduction standards; creating a renewable fuel standard and a renewable portfolio standard; and providing grants and incentives to promote and enhance the use of alternative and renewable energy technologies. In addition, House Bill 7135 creates the Florida Energy & Climate Commission, a central office for state energy and climate change programs and policies to help diversify energy sources and encourage economic development in alternative and renewable energy technologies.

For more information, please visit MyFloridaClimate.com. For more information on the grant program, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/energyact/grants.htm. The grant application deadline is November 20, 2008.