Do we need another push to get more voices on the MN digital equity plan team?

The MN Office of Broadband Development put out a call to get communities involved in preparing a digital equity plan that will lead the state into a place for more equitable technology practices and be submitted to federal funders to help maximize flow of federal funds into the state to support the plan…

If you are interested in helping to shape Minnesota’s digital equity plan, there are three ways you can assist. For now, you can establish a Digital Connection Committee and register it with OBD by March 15, 2023. Many of these committees will be eligible to apply for a mini-grant of up to $4000—those applications are due March 3. Then, beginning April 3, you can use data to tell OBD your community or organization’s digital equity story. You can also join a committee near you and ask how to become involved. Or, once drafted, you can provide feedback on the Digital Equity Plan (approximately late August through late September). Stay up to date on the planning process by visiting OBD’s website.

They recently gave an update on how that push went…

Throughout February and March, OBD received over 90 Digital Connection Committee (DCC) registrations and 70 Assessing Digital Inclusion mini-grant applications. We are thrilled!
DCCs are Minnesota’s strategy for ensuring our state’s digital equity plan truly belongs to Minnesota. Between now and June 30, DCCs can submit data, stories, and other information about local digital inclusion strengths, needs, and goals for inclusion in the plan.
To register a DCC or to see a map (updates coming soon) of committees statewide, visit OBD’s digital inclusion webpage. DCC registrations are accepted on a rolling basis; registrations received by April 7 will be able to participate fully in contributing information for the plan. Please contact Hannah Buckland at with any questions.

They got a great response but are they getting all the voices they need?

Thanks to Jason Brazier at Literacy Minnesota for sending me two maps looking at where the local Digital Connection Committees (DCCs) are located and a map that shows digital equity (or inequity) status in each county. (The darker the color the better off the county is with digital equity.)

Map of Digital Equity (left) | Locations of Digital Connection Committees (right)

As you can see, the areas with the greatest need are in counties that do not have local DCCs, which means those communities are likely to be underrepresented. There are 14 counties (listed below) and only three of them are home to a DCC. A glance at the map and scan through the directory list and it’s clear that areas near cities and larger towns (Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester) or with local colleges (Crookston, Northfield, Mankato) have DCCs. There are DCCs that are defined by subject specialty and span a statewide geography, such as the MN Alliance Boys and Girls Club but that is different level of representation that having the local Boys and Girls Club in Cass County lead the effort.

We are missing voices!

It’s not too late to reach out to the areas and people who aren’t on the list, which is why I’ve listed the target counties below. If they can get registered in the next week, they can participate fully in contributing to the plan. So I’m reaching out to readers to reach out to colleagues, cousins and counterparts in these areas to see if there is a likely leader for this effort. Keep in mind, these are the least connected counties so picking up a phone might be more effective that Tweeting.

Finally, I’m just looking at geography and as a factor because my work focuses on geography. That’s my lens. If your daily lens is different, use it to look at existing DCCs, see who is missing and reach out to them. For example, I don’t see a group that is obviously focused on agriculture, folks with disabilities or people experiencing homelessness. You may see something else. If they aren’t in the room, the planners won’t know what they need.

  1. Aitkin County – 1 DCC
  2. Cass County
  3. Beltrami County
  4. Clearwater County
  5. Kanabec County
  6. Kittson County
  7. Lake of the Woods County
  8. Mahnomen County
  9. Mille Lacs County
  10. Morrison County
  11. Nobles County
  12. Otter Tail County – 1 DCC
  13. Pine County – 1 DCC
  14. Redwood County


OPPORTUNITY: Planner Senior State – Community Engagement and Special Project Coordinator

The Office of Broadband Development is hiring…

Working Title: Community Engagement and Special Project Coordinator
Job Class: Planner Senior State
Agency: Employment and Economic Development Department
• Job ID: 64231
• Location: St. Paul
• Full/Part Time: Full-Time
• Regular/Temporary: Unlimited
• Who May Apply: This vacancy is open for bids and for all qualified job seekers simultaneously. Bidders will
be considered through 03/31/2023.
• Date Posted: 03/25/2023
• Closing Date: 04/07/2023
• Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Employ & Econ Development Dept / Employ & Economic Dev-MAPE
• Division/Unit: Business & Community Dev / 0359 Broadband Development
• Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
• Days of Work: Monday – Friday
• Travel Required: Yes – 20% regional travel and occasional overnight travel
• Salary Range: $25.25 – $37.02 / hourly; $52,722 – $77,297 / annually
• Classified Status: Classified
• Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
• FLSA Status: Exempt – Professional
• Telework Eligible: Yes – This position may be eligible to telework up to four (4) days per week
• Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes
Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.
The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a
better Minnesota.
Job Summary
Along with access to reliable high speed broadband infrastructure, OBD seeks to ensure every Minnesotan can afford
broadband service and has a device and the digital skills needed to use the internet and engage in online digital
work, education, and health monitoring. The Community Engagement and Special Project Coordinator will report
directly to the Executive Director and support Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the
Digital Equity Program planning statewide. The purpose of this position is to manage the database management,
data entry, file preparation and drafting of documents for the two plans. This position will also provide coordination to
the Office of Broadband in community engagement, participate in community events and educational presentations,
promotion, and coordination of events with members of the OBD team.
Programs administered include the following:
1. Coordinating the planning of the Digital Equity and Broadband Equity, Access and Development Programs
2. Supporting and maximizing Minnesota entities participation in state and federally-funded broadband
infrastructure and digital equity programs
3. Digital skills, broadband adoption and use programs
4. Community engagement and involvement in the planning process
5. Promotion and education
This posting may be used to fill multiple positions.

Learn more.

OPPORTUNITY: Governor’s Task Force on Broadband seeking member applications

I’ve posted about this before – but the deadline (April 3) is coming up and it seems like there’s a push to get the word out, which means they are waiting to hear from you!

Are you interested in serving with a group to influence broadband policy in Minnesota? Do you have time to volunteer to serve on a Task Force that will make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on digital inclusion and broadband availability across the state? Do you know someone who may be a strong advocate and representative on this topic?  The Walz/Flanagan Administration will be making appointments to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband soon!


The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband was created under Executive Order 19-10 and is a multi-stakeholder body created to advise the executive and legislative branches on broadband policy, including strategies for successfully achieving the state broadband goals, comprehensive assessment of digital inclusion issues and gaps, and strategies for unlocking the benefits of universal access to broadband for all communities in Minnesota. And, the Task Force consists of fifteen members who are appointed by the Governor and have experience or interest in broadband matters. The members must represent a balance of broadband interests, including: residential and business consumers, local governments, libraries, K-12 and higher education institutions, tribal interests, healthcare, broadband providers, economic development, agriculture, rural development, workforce development, and labor interests. The Task Force meets monthly and submits an annual report no later than December 31 each year.  This appointment is through the rest of the current Governor’s Term.  To apply, see the instructions below.

To learn more or read the current Task Force’s report, please visit Broadband Task Force / Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (

For questions, contact the Office of Broadband Development at the MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development at or by calling 651-259-7610.

Applications should be submitted no later than Monday, April 3, 2023 to receive full consideration.




Governor’s Task Force On Broadband

Vacancies: 15 Seats — Member


Visit the Open Positions page.
Scroll down to find the correct Agency/Board/Council.
Choose the correct seat type, and click button that says APPLY
The system will walk you through creating an application profile.

Page 2 of the application will now allow you to attach the following documents:
• Letter of Interest
• Resume or Biography

Applicants are encouraged to use the online application as the Appointing Authority will have access to your information as soon as it is submitted.

Applications submitted via downloadable application may experience some delay in reaching the Appointing Authority.
Paper applications may be submitted by email to:

or by mail or in person to:

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155-1299

In accordance with the Minnesota Open Appointments Law, the Secretary of State acts as an administrator in publishing vacancies, receiving applications and recording appointments. Applications will be reviewed and appointments made by the appointing authorities; questions about specific vacancies and appointments should be directed to the appointing authority. Applications are kept on file for a one-year period.


OPPORTUNITY: Join the MN Broadband Task Force

I’ve posted about the opportunity before – but I’ve seen only a few folks apply. The current MN Broadband Task Force will sunset after the next meeting but the State is interested in re-starting anew later this year. They are inviting people to apply for a seat at the table now.

The Task Force meetings (mostly) monthly. The meetings have been (mostly) online since COVID. The job is to write an annual report that makes recommendations to the policymakers about how to get better broadband to everyone.

OPPORTUNITY: Seats open for next iteration of the MN Broadband Task Force

The current Minnesota Broadband Task Force holds its last meeting this month. They meet monthly and work toward creating a report that offers recommendations to policymakers about how to expand broadband access and use in Minnesota.

Looks like the Task Force is sunsetting for just a short time. In fact, what it really looks like is that they are just opening the doors to a whole new team to apply. If you’re interested in broadband, you should consider an application. I always think they could use people who are still in the thick of need better broadband in their community.

There are 15 openings. You can check out a list of people who have applied in the past, which is often interesting. You can also see the names of current board members.

OPPORTUNITY: Hubbard County promotes MN Line Extension Program funding

I know I’ve already shared this when other counties have promoted the opportunity but it’s a good reminder for everyone that the opportunity is available for a recommendation for other counties to share the info in local resources, such as the Park Rapids Enterprise

Grants are available to help county residents improve internet service.

Anyone who owns property in Hubbard County and meets the criteria for being unserved or underserved may apply for the Broadband Line Extension Program, including seasonal residents.

An unserved location is defined as a location that does not have a wired broadband service of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. …

The State Legislature has allocated $15 million to the program and the maximum grant for a property is $25,000. The application window is open now, with the first grant awards announced in May.

They help define areas with greater need…

“If you look at a broadband map from 2022, there is a swath around Lake Belle Taine and around the Akeley area that is underserved, but part of that is in the Paul Bunyan State Forest so there’s really nobody there,” Cadwell said. “There’s also a big chunk of underserved along Hwy. 34 and Hwy. 64 from Akeley to Walker with quite a few people there.

And instructions…

Individuals complete an application through DEED for grants to offset the cost of extending service to their home or business location.

Each person should enter their own address where service is not available. The form also has a signature box for the person completing the form, affirming the information provided.

According to a news release from DEED, broadband providers will then decide how to respond in the reverse auction to serve multiple addresses under this program, or possibly submit a Border-to-Border Broadband Grant application to build out the area under a larger project.

To access the Broadband Line Extension Connection program, visit

Submitting an application does not guarantee an extension of service will be given.

For more information or to request a paper application form, call the Office of Broadband Development at 651-259-7610 or email

OPPORTUNITY: Broadband survey in Renville County

This is an opportunity for folks who live in Renville County and a good example for counties that need better broadband. A survey is a good step to figuring out where you are in terms of how many people feel like they are well served and where you want to go in terms of who wants more and what they are doing with it. Renville County posts

Much of Renville County is still under-served or unserved when it comes to broadband internet connectivity.  Renville County residents and businesses are invited to take this short Broadband Survey that will be open until March 31, 2023.  The more we know, the better positioned the county will be to partner with other entities to develop broadband solutions for our region.
Each household that completes the Renville County Broadband Internet Survey will be placed into a drawing to win a Renville County tourism prize package.
CLICK HERE to take the Broadband Survey.

OPPPORTUNITY: MN Dep of Commerce looking to work with or connect tribal communities

Here is a lot of information (via email) from Minnesota Department of Commerce | Energy Division…

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is seeking to work with and facilitate connections with local and Tribal governments, utilities, businesses, communities and other entities interested in energy-related partnerships. The opportunities outlined below are offered through federal funding opportunities, including those funded by the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Recent and Expected Federal Funding Activity

The federal government issues a variety of announcements related to federal funding opportunities:  Requests for Information (RFI); Notices of Intent (NOI); and Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). More information can be found on the Commerce Federal Funding Opportunities web page or by clicking the links below. In order to facilitate a quick review of this newsletter, the subject matter of included items is recapped here; full details can be found in the body of the newsletter.

  • Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA), Administrative and Legal Requirements Document (ALRD), and Requests for Applications (RFA)
    • DOE Announces $47 Million To Develop Affordable Clean Hydrogen Technologies
    • Onsight Energy Technical Assistance Partnerships
    • DOE Announces $25.5 Million to Improve Biofuels and Bioproducts
    • $74 Million to Advance Enhanced Geothermal Systems
  •  Notices of Intent (NOI)
    • Clean Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands
    • IRA 60114 – Climate Pollution Production Grants
    • IIJA Carbon Capture Large-Scale Pilot Projects and Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects
    • Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program
  • Requests For Information (RFI)
    • Draft Application Guidance for $553.6 Million Program to Ensure the Availability of Clean, Reliable Hydroelectric Generation Capacity
  •  Prizes
    • The Equitable and Affordable Solutions to Electrification (EAS-E) Home Electrification Prize
    • Community Power Accelerator Prize
    • Energy Class Prize
    • Energizing Rural Communities Prize
  • Webinars
    • Designed to Deliver: Lessons Learned from Architects, Engineers, and Contractors in Zero-Carbon Buildings
    • Industry-Perspective Webinar on IRA Tax Implications and Market Opportunities
    • Ecosystem Services of Solar-Pollinator Habitat Webinar
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Climate Planning
    • Innovative AgriSolar Design
  • Conferences
    • DOE’s 2023 Small Business Forum & Expo
    • 2023 National Energy Codes Conference
  • Guides
    • Farmers Guide to Going Solar
    • National Requirements for Zero Energy Ready Single-Family Homes
    • New Energy Justice Mapping Tool for Schools
  • Clean Energy Tax Credit Information
    • Heat Pumps Keep Homes Warm and Bills Low this Winter
    • Geothermal Heat Pumps Tax Credit|Energy Star
    • Solar Investment Tax Credit: What Changed?
    • Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics
    • Zero Energy Ready Homes Are Coming to a Neighborhood Near You
    • Federal Solar Tax Credits for Businesses
    • Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency Residential Tax Credits
    • Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – What it Means for You

— Non-IIJA Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA)

  • DOE Announces $47 Million To Develop Affordable Clean Hydrogen Technologies
    • Concept papers due: February 24, 2023
    • Full applications due: April 28, 2023.
    • DE-FOA-0002920

This funding opportunity, which is administered by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, focuses on RD&D of key hydrogen delivery and storage technologies as well as affordable and durable fuel cell technologies. Fuel cell RD&D projects will focus particularly on applications for heavy-duty trucks, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate tailpipe emissions that are harmful to local air quality.

  •  Onsight Energy Technical Assistance Partnerships
    • Information Webinar: 2/22/2023 – 12:00 PM CT Register here
    • Letter of Intent (optional) Deadline: 2/28/2023 – 4:00 PM CT
    • Full Application Deadline: 4/21/2023 – 4:00 PM CT
    • DE-FOA-0002945

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) announced a $23 million funding opportunity that will establish a regional network of Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAPs) to help industrial facilities and other large energy users increase the adoption of onsite energy technologies. The Onsite Energy TAPs will accelerate the integration and deployment of clean energy technologies to drive U.S. industrial decarbonization, productivity, and competitiveness. This funding opportunity includes the following topic areas:Topic 1 – Regional Onsite TAPs: Funding for up to 10 entities to serve as regional Onsite Energy TAPs. Each TAP will represent a multi-state region and serve as the primary technical, market, and policy point of contact for end-users and other state and local stakeholders.Topic 2 – Onsite Energy Technical Analysis and Support Center: Funding for one national entity to serve as the Onsite Energy Technical Analysis and Support Center (TASC). The TASC will centrally coordinate technical analysis and programmatic activities of the Onsite Energy TAPs.

–IIJA Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA)

  • DOE Announces $25.5 Million to Improve Biofuels and Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25.5 million in funding to enable the sustainable use of domestic biomass and waste resources, such as agricultural residues and algae, to produce low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts.The “Reducing Agricultural Carbon Intensity and Protecting Algal Crops” funding opportunity will improve the production of environmentally sustainable feedstocks for bioenergy through two topic areas:

  1. Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices for Low-Carbon Intensity Feedstocks, and
  2. Algae Crop Protection

Recognizing that decarbonizing transportation and agriculture are inherently linked when it comes to the thoughtful production and deployment of biofuels, this funding opportunity focuses on improving climate-smart agricultural practices that reduce the carbon intensity of biomass feedstocks used for biofuel production, and cultivating and protecting algae crops, an abundant and renewable biofuel source.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a funding opportunity of up to $74 million for up to seven pilot projects that will test the efficacy and scalability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).  Through this investment, DOE hopes the research and development from the findings would demonstrate the growth and ultimate potential for geothermal energy to provide reliable, around-the-clock electricity to tens of millions of homes across the country. Applications for the BIL-funded EGS Pilot Demonstrations will be accepted over multiple rounds.

— IIJA Notice of Intent (NOI)

  • $2.5 Billion for Two Carbon Capture Programs
    • NOI
    • DOE plans to release both funding announcements in late February 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), in collaboration with the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), intends to provide up to $2.52 billion to fund two carbon capture programs needed to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity generation and industrial sectors. The Carbon Capture Large-Scale Pilots program will include $820 million for up to 10 projects focused on scaling transformational carbon capture technologies. The Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects program will include up to $1.7 billion for approximately six projects to demonstrate commercial-scale carbon capture technologies, pipeline transportation, and geologic storage infrastructure. The pilot program seeks to catalyze earlier stage technologies with great potential, while the demonstrations program will focus on technologies that will further commercialization.

— Non-IIJA Notice of Intent (NOI)

  • Clean Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands – 2023

The DOE Office of Indian Energy plans to solicit applications from Indian Tribes, which include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations (hereafter referred collectively as “Indian Tribes”), Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations to:

  1. Install clean energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for tribal building(s); or,
  2. Deploy community-scale clean energy generating system(s) or energy storage on tribal lands; or,
  3. Install integrated energy system(s) for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single or multiple essential tribal buildings during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience; or,
  4. Power unelectrified tribal buildings.
  • IRA – 60114 – Climate Pollution Production Grants
    • IRA 60114 NOI
    • Planning Grants announcement anticipated for March 2023

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program will provide grants to states, territories, tribes, air pollution control agencies, and local governments to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution.  Section 60114 of the Inflation Reduction Act provides an investment of $5 billion to support efforts by states, territories, municipalities, tribes, and groups thereof to develop and implement strong, local greenhouse gas reduction strategies. This two-staged grant program provides funding of $250 million for planning grants, and $4.6 billion for implementation grants.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) intends to issue a funding opportunity in March 2023 for up to $300 million to improve the cost, reliability, environmental impact, and climate resilience of energy systems in rural or remote areas across the country with 10,000 or fewer inhabitants. To provide equal opportunity to qualified applicants from rural and remote areas across the United States, this FOA is organized into nine geographic regions to reflect regional diversity in energy consumption and access, varying weather patterns, and climate impacts.The anticipated funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program aims to fund projects with the following three goals:

  1. Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding energy projects that lower energy cost, improve energy resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm.
  2. Demonstrate new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, new business structures and workforce models, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement best practices.
  3. Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance in rural America in order to enhance ease of replicability in similarly situated communities.

–IIJA Request for Information (RFI)

  • 40333 – Draft Application Guidance for $553.6 Million Program to Ensure the Availability of Clean, Reliable Hydroelectric Generation Capacity
    • Draft Application Guidance
      • A public webinar will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2023 that will provide the public with an opportunity to provide feedback. Registration is required. Additional feedback options are available.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued draft application guidance for a hydroelectric incentive program focused on maintaining and enhancing hydroelectric facilities to ensure generators continue to provide clean electricity, while integrating renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, improving dam safety, and reducing environmental impacts. In releasing the draft guidance, DOE is requesting feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, clean-energy advocates, and local governments and communities on eligibility, application requirements, and timing of incentive payments. Leveraging operational flexibility and energy storage capabilities, hydropower supports energy resource adequacy to ensure the availability of clean, reliable generation capacity allowing all Americans access to clean, resilient, and affordable electricity.


  • The Equitable and Affordable Solutions to Electrification (EAS-E) Home Electrification Prize
    • More Information
    • Concept Paper – Phase 1 due: March 8, 2023
    • Pilot Demonstration – Phase 2 opens October 2023 – submissions due: April 2024

Provides up to $2.4 million in prizes for innovative solutions that advance electrification retrofits of residential homes across all building types and geographies.

  • DOE Launches $10 Million Prize to Accelerate Community Solar in Underrepresented Communities

DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership launched the Community Power Accelerator Prize, a $10 million competition that will bring together investors, nonprofits, developers, community-based organizations, and technical experts to work together to finance more equitable community solar projects. The competition will support developers with technical assistance, an online platform, and a Learning Lab to build a pipeline of credit-ready projects that will connect with investors seeking to fund community solar in disadvantaged communities.

The Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools (CLASS) Prize will provide training and cash prizes to school districts working to make energy management a sustainable feature of their communities. The Prize is designed to position Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to make meaningful infrastructure improvements that will reduce utility costs, improve indoor air quality, and improve learning environments long-term. A total of $4.5 million in awards is available, including $3.75 million in cash prizes for selected LEAs to fund energy management professionals-in-training, and an additional $750,000 in technical assistance from Energy CLASS Training Network partners.

The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is launching this $15 million to challenge individuals and organizations to develop partnership plans and innovative financing strategies to help rural or remote communities improve their energy systems and make progress on advancing clean energy demonstration projects.



  • Designed to Deliver: Lessons Learned from Architects, Engineers, and Contractors in Zero-Carbon Buildings

Architects, engineers, and contractors (A/E/C) are essential in designing and delivering buildings that offer top value to clients while meeting energy and carbon goals. This discussion will highlight the A/E/C and client barriers to routine design and delivery of zero-carbon buildings, in addition to resources developed by the Better Buildings Design and Construction Allies that address the challenges.

  • Industry-Perspective Webinar on IRA Tax Implications and Market Opportunities

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition, and the National Association of Energy Service Companies will host a free webinar exploring the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax implications and market opportunities for energy efficiency and sustainable energy projects. The panelists will also discuss tax opportunities and their structures, process and timing, and potential challenges.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Climate Planning

Climate change disproportionately impacts certain communities, that is why diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial to consider when creating a climate action plan. Learn how Better Buildings partners ensure their actions respond to the needs of those most impacted by climate change and policy.

  • It’s Electric! Electrified Alternatives to Industrial Fossil Fuel Systems

Learn about the benefits and challenges in implementing electrified systems.

A roundtable discussion


  • DOE’s 2023 Small Business Forum & ExpoRegister Now!
    • Don’t miss your chance to gain exclusive access to:
    • Informative keynotes from top administration officials
    • Breakout sessions led by industry leaders and experts in the field
    • One-on-one matchmaking sessions
    • An exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services for building your business and increasing revenue
    • Countless networking opportunities

Make plans now to join other business owners and government officials to learn how to increase revenue and grow your business. Register by April 30 to take advantage of early-bird savings!

  • 2023 National Energy Codes Conference
    • 2023 National Energy Codes Conference!
    • What: 2023 National Energy Codes Conference
    • When: May 2-4, 2023
    • Where: The Palmer House, Chicago, IL
    • Who: Builders, designers, code officials, policymakers, and code stakeholders of all types!

After three years in a virtual setting, this year’s event will be held in-person in Chicago, Illinois.  With new energy code funding opportunities emerging from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act there will be no shortage of timely discussions, engaging topics, and networking opportunities.


  • The Updated Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar – a resource for farms and agricultural businesses looking to solar power their daily operations and diversify their revenue stream. Updated Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar
  • New National Requirements for Zero Energy Ready Single-Family Homes – DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program in EERE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) has released Version 2 of its national program requirements for single-family homes (ZERH V2), the most significant overhaul of DOE’s energy and environmental performance benchmarks in history. The over 12,000 zero-energy certified homes across the country are so energy efficient—often 40 to 50% more than a typical new home—they consistently offset most or all the energy they consume with renewable power. Video: What is a Zero Energy Ready Home?
  • New Energy Justice Mapping Tool for Schools – This new tool is intended to allow users to explore and produce reports for a specific school facility which include but are not limited to the following metrics: whether the school is located in a Disadvantaged Community (DAC); whether it is in a rural location (coded as 41, 42, 43); whether it is designated as a community shelter; the percentage of students who are eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals; and whether the school qualifies for Title I schoolwide programming.  Energy Justice Mapping Tool for Schools

–Clean Energy Tax Credit Information Resources

As of January 1, 2023, households buying an electric heat pump and other high efficiency equipment can claim a 30% federal tax credit of up to $2,000. In addition to federal tax credits, this guide summarizes other new programs that will make heat pumps even more affordable and accessible to consumers.

As of January 1, 2023, households buying a geothermal heat pump can claim a federal tax credit of up to 30%.

The Inflation Reduction Act expanded the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics through a provision known as the Investment Tax Credit. Learn about the biggest changes and what they mean for Americans who install rooftop solar.

This guide provides an overview of the federal investment tax credit for those interested in residential solar photovoltaics.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alejandro Moreno discusses new efforts to help subsidize construction of Zero Energy Ready Homes.

Read about two solar tax credits available for businesses and other entities, such as nonprofits and local and tribal governments, that purchase solar energy systems.

Search for incentives by geography, technology, eligible sector, program type, and more.

–Federal Tax Credits Under the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 created and updated several energy-related tax credits and deductions that may affect federal tax returns for individuals and businesses. For details — including tax credits for clean vehicles, energy efficiency, and other provisions — see Credits and Deductions Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on the IRS website.

–For Stakeholders Planning on Applying Directly to the U.S. Government for Funding

NOTE: Due to the high demand of UEI requests and SAM registrations, entity legal business name and address validations are taking longer than expected to process. Entities should start the UEI and SAM registration/update process immediately as the processing time to complete a registration/update currently may take weeks to months. This includes address and expired registration updates. If entities have technical difficulties with the UEI validation or SAM registration process they should utilize the HELP feature on will work entity service tickets in the order in which they are received and asks that entities not create multiple service tickets for the same request or technical issue. Additional entity validation resources can be found here: GSAFSD Tier 0 Knowledge Base – Validating your Entity.

The MN Commerce Department is your partner for federal energy-specific funding opportunities

Interested in partnering with the Department of Commerce around funding opportunities? Have questions? Send an email, detailing the program, your organization and contact information to IIJA Initiatives Project Manager, Kellye Rose: up for future email updates from the Department of Commerce.
Subscribe here

Follow up from Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota from Bree Maki

Last week, the Office of Broadband Development hosted Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota. Today, with permission, I’m sharing the follow up note attendees received from Bree Maki, Executive Director of the Office of Broadband Development…

Greetings,Thank you so much for joining us on January 25, 2023 for the Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota event.  We hope that you found the day worth your time and enjoyed meeting new partners and connecting with old friends.  Minnesota has a long history of working together to achieve broadband access and we look forward to continuing this work with our Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity plans.  We are so thankful for all of our co-hosts – National Telecommunications & Information Administration, Association of Minnesota Counties, League of Minnesota Cities, and the Minnesota Association of Townships.  This event could not have been as robust without the talented, knowledgeable, and willing panelists, speakers, moderators, and staff that worked so hard to make it a success.

Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Plan

While we don’t anticipate knowing how much BEAD funding the state will receive until June 30th, we are working to develop the required Five Year Action Plan which is due July 12, 2023. The Five Year Plan will address Minnesota’s goals and objectives and inform the subsequent Initial and Final Proposals for BEAD funding. While many of the requirements for the BEAD Plan will be based on Minnesota’s existing statutory goals, established Border to Border Broadband Infrastructure Grant program, and priority uses outlined in the NTIA Notice of Funding Opportunity, we will be engaging with our partners to help inform and guide our work and fill in any areas where we have the discretion to enhance efforts regarding infrastructure deployment. With that in mind, if you would like to meet and discuss ideas for how we can improve the Border to Border grant program or the work of our office, or if there are barriers that need to be addressed to ensure programmatic success, please reach out to us at to schedule a meeting.

Digital Equity Plan

This winter and spring, we are excited to begin crafting Minnesota’s Digital Equity Plan. The DE Plan—which is different from the BEAD 5-Year plan, even as they will overlap—will address barriers people experience when trying to afford internet service, acquire an internet-enabled device, and develop digital skills. To ensure the plan is truly Minnesota’s plan, we encourage local participation in Digital Connection Committees (briefly and previously dubbed “digital inclusion planning teams”).  A wide variety of entities—including political subdivisions, non-profits, anchor institutions, faith-based organizations, MN-based businesses, and more—can form Digital Connection Committees. Committees receive planning updates from OBD while gathering information about local digital inclusion strengths and needs for inclusion in the DE Plan. Committees’ participation is voluntary; the workload is flexible based on Committee capacity. To support Digital Connection Committees, OBD will provide resources, templates, and general guidance. OBD is also offering non-competitive mini-grants to eligible Committees. A brief application is required, due March 3 at 3:00 p.m. Central. For more information or to register a Committee, please see the attached handout, visit OBD’s digital inclusion webpage, or contact Hannah Buckland, Digital Equity Program Lead, at

Again, thank you for your support and interest in assisting the Office of Broadband Development in this important work.

OPPORTUNITY: AARP Community Challenge grant applications are open

The Institute for Local Self Reliance reports

AARP has announced it is accepting applications for its seventh annual Community Challenge grant program, a funding source for nonprofit organizations and governmental entities to apply for “quick-action” projects that make communities more livable and have the potential to seed long-term change.

Previous grant awards were given for a wide-range of initiatives, including a 2021 project that provided Wi-Fi, smart home devices, a computer lab and digital literacy programming for older adults in a public housing development in Jersey City, NJ; and a 2019 program to help bridge the digital divide and social isolation by funding a hotspot lending program that distributed 60 hotspot devices.

This year, two new grant award categories have been established in addition to the Flagship Grants awarded in previous years. The two new grant categories are Capacity-Building Microgrants and Demonstration Grants.

Applications are due by March 15. Grant award winners will be announced on June 28 for projects that must be completed by November 30.

OPPORTUNITY: Become a Leading Edge Fellow at ILSR

The Institute for Local Self Reliance is looking for interesting help…

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) as a host organization for a Leading Edge Fellowship for the second time. The application window has opened for recent PhDs in the humanities to apply for a two-year, full-time fellowship to be a Tribal Broadband Policy Analyst. The fellow will continue and contribute to foundational work by ILSR on Internet access in Indian Country while gaining experience in the regular portfolio of research and policy activities by the Community Broadband Networks initiative at ILSR.

Read about the requirements and learn more about the fellowship here. Then, apply here! The deadline is March 15, 2023 at 9:00pm EDT.

Do you have a broadband story to tell? Give it to the FCC

The FCC is looking for stories to help them with their efforts to prevent digital discrimination. If you have a story, please share it with the FCC- and you’re welcome to send to me as well and perhaps I could share it here too…

The FCC’s Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination today announced it is offering consumers an opportunity to share their stories and experiences in obtaining broadband internet access. Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel established the Task Force to serve as a cross-agency effort focused on creating rules and policies to combat digital discrimination and to promote equal access to broadband access across the country, regardless of zip code, income level, ethnicity, race, religion, or national origin. …

In furtherance of the goals to create a framework for addressing digital discrimination and the FCC’s ongoing efforts to identify and address harms experienced by historically excluded and marginalized communities, this new form provides a way for consumers to share their broadband access experiences. Stories shared by consumers will help to inform the work of the Task Force. For more information about the Task Force’s work, visit the Task Force’s webpage. Interested stakeholders also can use this webpage to request meetings with the Task Force.

Review Your Broadband Map to Improve Border-to-Border Access: from Office of Broadband Development

This is a guest post of sorts from By Bree Maki, Executive Director of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development…

Recently, Governor Tim Walz announced that internet providers will receive nearly $100 million in funding to expand broadband coverage to more Minnesotans.  This largest-ever grant round is estimated to extend new high-speed internet connections to more than 33,000 Minnesota homes and businesses in 48 counties.

At the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development, we’re working hard to get broadband to more Minnesotans who need it. Now, we need your help to make that a reality.

As part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, $65 billion in funding is available to states for broadband. We’re excited to implement the bill’s programs, but much of our funding relies on a new mapping project from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to show where broadband is and is not available.

The FCC is accepting challenges to their new map right now, and we encourage all Minnesotans to review the map to see if the broadband speeds shown to be available at their address are correct. Local review of the broadband maps is important, as residents know best if the mapping information is accurate. Minnesotans can go to to review their map and provide feedback.

To review the map, type in your address. Your home should appear on the map along with a list of services that providers claim to have available for purchase at your location. If your location is missing or inaccurately reflected on the map, you can submit a location challenge to correct it. If the information about the service provided is incorrect, you can file an availability challenge. Detailed video instructions on how to file a challenge can be found at

Our goal is border-to-border broadband coverage across Minnesota. Future federal funding will be allotted based on the number of locations in Minnesota that do not have broadband services available right now. To ensure valid challenges are incorporated into the map before federal funding allocations are made, Minnesotans have until Jan. 13, 2023 to submit feedback.

This year, between 240,000 and 291,000 households in Minnesota lacked access to high-speed broadband. So much of what we do happens online, which is why we want to ensure all Minnesotans have access to high-speed internet.

All Minnesotans deserve equal access to high-speed broadband. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of Broadband at 651-259-7610 or

OPPORTUNITY: Apply for the 2023 Intelligent Community Awards

From the Intelligent Community Forum…

Nominations are currently open for the 2023 Intelligent Community Awards program. Click here to access the questionnaire for your chance to join the Smart21 Commuities of 2023! Data submitted for awards consideration remains valid for three cycles.
The Intelligent Community Awards Program will name its 25th Intelligent Community of the Year at the 2023 ICF Global Summit in October 2023.
ICF publishes research based on the data provided by communities like yours around the world. The goal is to provide cities, towns and regions of all sizes with evidence-based guidance on achieving economic, social and cultural growth in the challenging digital age

Carver County MN encourages residents to report inaccuracies on FCC broadband map

Carver County is asking local residents to check their addresses on FCC map…

Carver County residents lacking access to high-speed internet service need to check the accuracy of Federal Communications Commission maps to ensure future Federal funding of broadband projects to the County.

The Federal government has pledged between $40-60 billion in funding nationwide, basing its award formula on current maps. Those maps, County officials discovered, often aren’t accurate in terms of County locations without high-speed service or mistaken about the actual service and speeds available to customers.

County residents and business should visit the FCC website, where they can check the FCC’s information regarding high-speed internet availability and listed providers. If the information proves inaccurate, users should use the accompanying form to report the inaccurate information to the FCC. Providing accurate information bolsters the County’s chances at receiving more Federal dollars to support current broadband projects through more accurate maps.

“Making sure the FCC’s maps contain accurate information for Carver County helps ensure we receive our fair share of Federal funding in support of all County locations having high-speed internet access,” said Gayle Degler, Carver County Board of Commissioner’s chair and District 1 representative.

“We know the importance of high-speed internet access for all our residences and businesses for work-from-home opportunities, educational needs, and small business support,” said Commissioner John P. Fahey, who represents District 5, covering the majority of the western portion of the County, which are primarily rural. “Having this access in our smaller communities and Townships gives people greater choices in where to live, where to locate small businesses, and encourages growth across the County.”

These submissions are due by Jan. 13, 2023. The Federal program’s allocations are scheduled to begin disbursement in 2023 and beyond. The County likely would use any funding in similar fashion as its Connect Up Carver Initiative by partnering with private service providers to bring the actual access to residents and businesses, leveraging the County’s CarverLink network.