What types of “grid upgrade” projects are considered valid uses for the EGUP Funds?
Many states and utilities are struggling with the amount of “upgrade” work needed to support all the new and expanded uses for electricity as the preferred power source. In discussion with the utilities in our state, a majority of the grid upgrades requested by businesses for additional capacity are for polyphase upgrades of lines and equipment for a specific manufacturing site in the state. Depending on the location and the size of the project, the “direct assignment costs” (those costs borne by the business) can run into the millions of dollars. This EGUP program is an opportunity to mitigate some of that burden through direct grants from MTI. In addition to polyphase upgrades, some businesses are installing electric storage equipment and systems that store and then makes addition power available during peak manufacturing times. These are valid uses of EGUP funds as well and will be reviewed and scored on a competitive basis with other projects.
What are the eligibility requirements in order to receive funding?
- You have made significant progress obtaining all requisite permitting, including engagement with local electricity provider(s) or contractors to execute the proposed grid upgrades.
- You can demonstrate significant cash investments to match requested EGUP funding.
- All requested EGUP funds will be expended before March 31, 2026. Acceptable uses for the funding can be found in the FAQs below.
- You can demonstrate the resources and expertise required to successfully implement the proposed project and a track record of success with similar projects.
- You are able and willing to comply with MTI’s annual reporting requirements.
- Your business is in good standing with all relevant Federal and State agencies.
- Your organization has a Unique Entity Identification (UEID) number. For more information about UEID numbers and how to obtain one for free, see our FAQs or click here.
How much funding is available and when can awardees expect funding?
- MTI expects that approximately $6.5M in funding will be available for EGUP. The maximum grant award will not exceed $4M. MTI reserves the right to change this amount based on the number and the quality of the applications. MTI reserves the right to withhold some funding if the projects/applications submitted do not meet minimum scoring levels.
- We anticipate award announcements will be made by the end of December 2023. Awardees must work with MTI to execute an award agreement before any funds can be distributed. MTI reserves the right to develop a funding disbursement schedule based on project milestones. MTI expects that initial payments will be distributed by Q2-2024.
How much funding can a company request?
We expect a significant number of applications, and the total funding requested will most likely exceed the $6.5M available. Our goal is to ensure that funding is awarded to the strongest proposals as judged by the EGUP review committee. Award size will be determined by:
- Total number of applications received that meet all eligibility criteria.
- Quality/scoring of proposed plans and the projected economic impact for Maine.
How will the applications be evaluated and scored?
Each application will be evaluated and scored by a panel of experts which will include staff and consultants with relevant experience. All reviewers sign confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements and will not be conflicted on any application that they review and score. MTI will manage the process and host the application and review process. All correspondence and updates will come directly from the MTI Team.
How long must an organization have been in existence to be eligible?
An eligible organization must be able to meet the other eligibility criteria and have a project that mitigates damage due to the pandemic (capacity increases, FTE increases, etc) for damages incurred during the period from March 3, 2021 through December 31, 2024 as long as the award funds for the obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 are expended by March 2026.
Will prior MTI awards impact eligibility?
This program is a stand-alone initiative and prior MTI award(s) or declinations will not impact eligibility for EGUP funding.
How much detail should I include in my EGUP application?
The purpose of this funding is to support electricity grid upgrades in Maine. The plan you submit with your application should provide details of how the funds will be used to achieve those goals, and the positive impact it will make on your business and the community in Maine.
If I have Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks and Word documents already created to support my project/plan, can they be uploaded to the MTI portal as part of my application?
- If plans have already been created using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, those files can be included and referenced in your Application Word document responses. Simply cut and paste the wording, Excel files or PowerPoint slides directly into the application Word document. You cannot upload these files as separate documents.
What options — other than MTI — are available to receive federal funding?
- Many other state, regional, and municipal organizations are also administering federal funding for pandemic recovery. More information about these other funding opportunities in the state can be found on the ME Jobs and Recovery Plan (MJRP) website at https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/. In addition to the MJRP and depending on your project and industry, funding may be available from the new Bipartisan Infrastructure law. More information can be found at maine.gov.bil
What is the deadline for the application?
The deadline for submitting MTI’s EGUP applications is 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.
When will awards be announced and when will funds be available?
MTI plans to announce awards before the end of December 2023. MTI will then require an award contract with each company selected for EGUP funding. MTI reserves the right to tranche out award funds over time, and initial payments will be made after award contracts are signed, likely in early 2024.
What are the reporting requirements from MTI?
This program is supported by federal government funds and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Maine has specific reporting requirements back to the federal government on a quarterly basis regarding how the funds were used and the status of the projects. We need the cooperation of the applicant to get this data for our reports. We anticipate a brief survey will be sent to each awardee asking for updates on the project and KPI performance metrics vs plan every 6 months. We expect these will be fairly simple online surveys that can be completed in 5-10 minutes. The economic impact surveys we have developed for the other ARPA programs we managed were very short and generated outstanding compliance. Failure to comply with reporting requirements will be considered a breach of contract and may result in forfeiting the award grant.
Will I need to sign a contract with MTI if I receive an award?
How much support will MTI provide to prospective applicants developing their proposals?
We recognize there may be parts of this application that require some assistance. We will conduct two open Zoom meetings to provide guidance and answer questions for all applicants. These meetings will be recorded. If a question is very specific to a business, we may ask to move you into a Zoom breakout room where you can receive individual assistance, or we can schedule a call later at a mutually convenient time.
We have also created an email which will be monitored by MTI staff to answer questions regarding EGUP. We hope to answer all questions within one business day. That email address is: [email protected]. Please use this email if you have any questions or issues with submitting an application.
What are some examples of allowable expenses as it relates to capital and expense, depreciation, and gains and losses on disposed equipment?
- The federal government has provided guidelines for the use of the funds for all ARPA programs. Those guidelines can be found on the following links for Equipment and capital expenditures, depreciation and disposal.
- Federal Register Vol. 87, No. 18, page 4389 – 4393. (2022-00292.pdf (govinfo.gov))
- 2CFR200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures (eCFR :: 2 CFR 200.439 — Equipment and other capital expenditures.)
- 2CFR200.436 Depreciation (eCFR :: 2 CFR 200.436 — Depreciation.)
- 2CFR200.443 Gains and losses on disposition of depreciable assets (eCFR :: 2 CFR 200.443 — Gains and losses on disposition of depreciable assets.)
What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
Funds must be used to implement your plan and directly address negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Types of expenses which would NOT be allowed include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Goods and Services for Personal Use
- Fines, Penalties, Damages and other Settlements
Will companies with a significant Maine presence, but out-of-state ownership, be eligible?
Companies that have a project/program which meets the program objectives and are within Maine heritage industries or manufacturing are welcome to apply for funding. However, it is expected that the project will be implemented in Maine and that the company will build a significant presence in the state as the program is implemented and commercialized. A company which is headquartered outside of Maine must be registered to be eligible to do business in the state through the Secretary of State’s Office.
How do I get or find my Unique Entity ID (UEID) number and is there any cost to me to obtain a UEID number?
On April 4, 2022, the unique entity identifier used across the federal government changed from the DUNS Number to the Unique Entity ID number generated by SAM.gov. The Unique Entity ID (UEID) number is required and free to obtain. We will need to report all awards to the federal government and include the UEID number for that account.
- The Unique Entity ID number is a 12-character alphanumeric ID assigned to an entity by SAM.gov.
- As part of this transition, the DUNS Number has been removed from SAM.gov.
- Entity registration, searching, and data entry in SAM.gov now require use of the new Unique Entity ID number.
- Existing registered entities can find their Unique Entity ID number by following the steps here.
- New entities can get their Unique Entity ID number at SAM.gov and, if required, complete an entity registration.
- The SAM.gov website has a video and a list of FAQs. (Videos can be found halfway down the SAM.gov page.)
- Please note – the registration process allows you to obtain just a Unique Entity ID (UEID) number or also to register your business so that you can bid on government contracts. The video indicates that you need to register your entity to get federal awards. The award you are applying for through EGUP is NOT a direct federal award. Unless you plan to bid on government contracts most applicants for the EGUP program only need to sign up for the UEID number. (Easier and faster.)
- If you have attempted to register your UEID number with SAM.gov but have received a message stating your request requires further review, you can still proceed with MTI’s online application for EGUP. Click here to learn more. However, please note that we cannot make any award payment if the UEID number has not been given to the organization from SAM.gov.
How can I learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB)?
- MTI has undertaken a deliberate effort to better understand how to implement DEIB practices in its own operations and how to foster greater DEIB practices within the Maine entrepreneurial ecosystem and, more specifically, in the companies that it funds. Companies that embrace these concepts to guide their culture will prove to be some of the most successful in the state. Programs developed by organizations targeted to support entrepreneurism in companies with minority and ethnically diverse owners will be favorably viewed by the reviewers.
- Click here to learn more.
What are the components of “Quality Jobs” and is education and focus on this effort an important component of any program?
- MTI is committed to helping companies create high-quality positions. This is not an easy process, and it takes resources and dedication on the part of the leadership. However, the impact to the company and eventually to the workforce in Maine will be profound.
- As part of EGUP, we will be asking applicants to think about the components of a quality position and indicate if they have incorporated any aspects of a quality job definition into their company culture and processes. For further details, click here.