[image-caption title="NRECA%20is%20offering%20a%20quick%20list%20of%20resources%20for%20electric%20co-ops%20pursuing%20the%20unprecedented%20amount%20of%20federal%20funds%20from%20the%202021%20infrastructure%20law.%20(Photo%20By%3A%20Pedernales%20Electric%20Cooperative)" description="%20" image="%2Fnews%2FPublishingImages%2FJustin%20Lundgaard%20pedernales.jpg" /]
With billions of dollars in grants and dozens of new or expanded programs flowing from the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure law, the opportunity for electric cooperatives to add services and improve their systems is unprecedented.
But the sheer number of funding sources with varying deadlines and unique rules means the process of identifying and applying for grants can be daunting.
Here are six steps your co-op can take now to make sure you don’t miss out on grant opportunities.
1. Register with the U.S. General Services Administration at SAM.gov to enable your co-op to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier necessary to apply for all funding programs.
2. Check NRECA’s Infrastructure Resource Hub regularly for the latest information on rules, policies, applications and deadlines for funding opportunities.
3. Register for free monthly NRECA webinars that will discuss funding opportunities and provide a forum for questions. Upcoming sessions are Oct. 19 and Nov. 16.
4. Compile a list of projects at your co-op that may qualify for new federal funding.
5. Collect information that would be required for a grant proposal, including organizational and demographic data about your co-op and its membership.
6. Start a policy plan for diversity, equity and inclusion or update your co-op’s existing policy.