Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Indianapolis is one of first cities to request funds through Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program

LED street lighting and traffic light projects, bike lane construction, the greening of the City County Building, and installation of green roofs and solar panels at Indy Parks facilities are among the eight areas submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) for funding consideration through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

Indianapolis is eligible to receive $8,032,300 over the next two years as part of the EECBG program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since the announcement of the formula grant eligibility earlier this year, the Office of Sustainability has gathered public input, coordinated with other municipalities in the region, and has now submitted the city's plan to the DOE.

"This funding will provide a way to jumpstart many sustainability projects throughout Indianapolis," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "We want to be sure we're maximizing the positive impact of this grant money and using it in ways that benefit our entire community. The public input we received was very helpful in terms of prioritizing upcoming projects."

The submission deadline was originally June 25, but was recently extended to August 10th. The Office of Sustainability worked to get the application in by the original deadline after learning that early submissions will be reviewed and considered first for award. The City of Indianapolis and Marion County is one of only 20 counties to submit their application on June 25. A total of 450 counties are eligible for the formula based grant funding.

The next step in the process is a DOE review of the city's proposed Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (EECS) and grant application. If both documents are deemed satisfactory, the city anticipates the release of 50 percent of the allocation within 90 days of approval. The remainder of the funding allocation is expected to be obligated after one or more progress reviews by DOE.

The city's proposed EECS consisted of eight activities, which if approved, will be completed over the next three years. The projects and corresponding requested funding allocations include:

Bike Lanes - $3,296,395
Construction of 13 miles of bike lanes on Lafayette Rd. (County Line Rd. to 10th St) and four miles of bike lanes on Shelby St. (from Madison to the future terminus of the Cultural Trail on Virginia Ave.) would not only double the amount of bike lanes available to residents, but would also create important connections between the existing downtown bike lanes, the city's existing 39 miles (and 150 planned miles) of Greenways Trails, and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Greening the City County Building (CCB) - $250,000
Based on recommendations from the Greening the CCB initiative in June 2009, the CCB will be retrocommissioned to establish an energy baseline, and additional funds will go toward implementing energy efficiency improvements.

Installation of Green Roofs and Solar Panels at Indy Parks Facilities - $232,005
This initiative will involve adding at least 10,000 square feet of green roof space and 5,000 Watts of solar power at four Indy Parks facilities currently in need of roof replacements.

City Facility Retrofits - $250,000
Identification and implementation of energy retrofit opportunities at city-owned and operated facilities, including Public Works, Parks, Fire and Police Stations, and Department of Waterworks buildings will be put into a Clean Energy Fund, managed by the city and designated to fund retrofit efforts at other facilities.

SustainIndy Green Building Fund - $500,000
This portion of the proposed allocation includes a provision of zero-interest loans and grants to support local green projects in the private and nonprofit sectors. Grants and loans will be awarded on a competitive basis with applicants applying directly to the city.

LED Street Lighting Pilot Projects - $800,000
High-efficiency LED street lighting projects will be installed at various locations where replacement street lighting is needed.

LED Traffic Signal Retrofits - $2,503,900
Currently, only 370 of the city's 1,100 intersections have LED traffic signals. This activity proposes to retrofit the remaining 730 intersections to LED.

Comprehensive Energy Plan for Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) Facilities - $200,000
The Southport and Belmont AWTs treat more than 70 billion gallons of wastewater each year. The EECS would assess feasibility and explore public-private partnerships with local industries located near the AWTs to create fuel sources that will reduce wastewater organic load and treatment cost, thereby lowering power consumption at the AWTs.

More information about the EECBG application and process is available at www.sustainindy.org.

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