SEFI Grant Program

The State of Michigan’s two State Energy Financing Institutions (SEFI) offers grants for clean energy deployment projects that support the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan.

Overview

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) have been designated as State Energy Financing Institutions (SEFIs) by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO). The State of Michigan’s two SEFIs offers grants for clean energy deployment projects that support the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan via its two SEFIs in order to allow projects to leverage DOE LPO funding.

With their new SEFI status, EGLE and MEDC can unlock DOE LPO funding for projects that do not meet LPO’s “innovation requirement.” SEFIs must provide a meaningful contribution to these projects in order for them to access LPO loans and loan guarantees. In doing so, EGLE and MEDC seek to accelerate deployment of large-scale ($100 million+), commercially viable projects and technologies that will help the state achieve its carbon neutrality goals while also spurring economic development and high-quality jobs throughout the state.

State of Michigan SEFI Program Priorities

The MI Healthy Climate Plan and 2023 clean energy laws have the following targets and estimates, which reflect the priorities of this program:

  1. EV charger installation: 100,000 chargers by 2030
  2. Energy storage deployment: 2500 MW by 2030
  3. Heat pump conversions: 200,000 buildings
  4. Retrofits: more than 2 million buildings at a 30% efficiency by 2030
  5. Clean energy: 100% clean by 2040 and 50% renewable by 2030.
  6. Energy burden: reduce energy burden to no greater than 6% of income for low-income communities.
  7. Environmental Justice: ensure that at least 40% of benefits of climate-related funding reach disadvantaged communities.
  8. New or expanded projects supporting the domestic clean energy supply chain.

Applications with the clearest and most direct contributions towards these goals will receive priority.

SEFI Contribution

Michigan SEFI support will primarily be provided in the form of a grant, and in an amount that will be determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the project and as determined in consultation with DOE LPO to ensure fulfillment of the standard for “meaningful support.” For projects that include company expansion or location in Michigan, other MEDC incentives may also be available that meet the requirements of the SEFI contribution.

The grant(s) awarded from this program will be contingent upon reaching financial close on the DOE LPO application. Upon MEDC and EGLE review of applications on a rolling basis, projects will receive a conditional commitment letter from a Michigan SEFI. Disbursement of funds will not occur prior to reaching financial close with the DOE LPO.

Eligible Applicants

Any projects physically located in Michigan are eligible to apply. MEDC and EGLE will consider projects that span outside the boundaries of the State of Michigan, provided that such projects demonstrate material benefits to the state and clearly demonstrate how they contribute to achieving the program priorities. For purposes of this Call for Applications, the following types of entities are eligible to apply:

  • For-profit entities,
  • Non-profit entities,
  • Tribal and local governments, and
  • Other entities pursuing projects eligible for DOE LPO financing.

To determine projects’ eligibility with regard to DOE LPO requirements, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the following resources and engage in free pre-application consultations with the DOE LPO before responding to this Call for Applications:

Projects that are ineligible for DOE LPO Title 17 funding are ineligible for SEFI support.

Assessment Criteria

Project Scope & Objectives

Proposals will be evaluated based on the scope of work, its merit, and the quality of information submitted. The proposal problem statement, goals and objectives, and timeline are of special interest and must align with the aforementioned program priorities.

Project Feasibility

Proposals will be evaluated on their likelihood of successfully reaching financial close for a DOE LPO loan, and feasibility to achieve the purpose, outcomes, and tasks required by this Call for Applications.

Project Impact

Applications will be evaluated on their anticipated short and long-term impacts on the clean energy and decarbonization goals outlined in the program priorities. Additionally, applications will be evaluated upon the economic development and jobs impacts in the State of Michigan.

Experience of Organization/Project Team

Proposals will be evaluated on the experience and track record of the organization and project team in carrying out related projects.

Program Priorities

Proposals will be evaluated on the incorporation of the State of Michigan SEFI Program priorities. The MI Healthy Climate Plan and 2023 clean energy laws have the following targets and estimates, which reflect the priorities of this program:

  • EV charger installation: 100,000 chargers by 2030
  • Energy storage deployment: 2500 MW by 2030
  • Heat pump conversions: 200,000 buildings
  • Retrofits: more than 2 million buildings at a 30% efficiency by 2030
  • Clean energy: 100% clean by 2040 and 50% renewable by 2030.
  • Energy burden: reduce energy burden to no greater than 6% of income for low-income communities.
  • Environmental Justice: ensure that at least 40% of benefits of climate-related funding reach disadvantaged communities.
  • New or expanded projects supporting the domestic clean energy supply chain

Applications with the clearest and most direct contributions towards these goals will receive priority.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Proposals will be evaluated on whether the applicant participates in a program certification such as minority-owned businesses, Veteran-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, and/or businesses owned by economically disadvantaged populations as defined by federal or state government.

Environmental Justice

Proposals will be evaluated on whether the proposed program takes place in or benefits an Environmental Justice Community based on the EGLE MiEJScreen and Environmental Protection Agency’s EJScreen tools.

Application Submission

The State is accepting project applications on a rolling basis, starting on May 17, 2024. Applications must contain complete information that is responsive to the required application information found here. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please email complete application information to sefi@michigan.org.

Upon submission of an application, the applicant consents to MEDC, EGLE, and DOE LPO sharing information contained in the application.

Questions

Please send questions about this Call for Applications to sefi@michigan.org. Responses to questions may be made publicly available; however, the submitter's information will not be disclosed.