Frequently Asked Questions: Building Capacity with the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program
Who can apply to the Capacity Building Stream?
Canadian legal entities (such as for-profit and not-for-profit), provincial, territorial, regional or municipal government organizations, and Indigenous communities or organizations.
Are international Capacity Building projects eligible to apply?
No. Only Canadian applicants are eligible to apply for funding of projects that support communities’ ability to develop future renewable energy and grid modernization projects in Canada.
Is Indigenous ownership or participation a requirement of the Capacity Building stream?
No, Indigenous ownership or participation is not a mandatory requirement under the SREPs Capacity Building stream. However, proposals will be evaluated by an expert review committee based on how well they meet the program objectives, one of which is increasing Indigenous Peoples’ leadership and participation in, ownership of, and benefits from renewable energy projects. In situations where a proposal indicates a partnership with an Indigenous Organization or community, the supporting documentation is required.
Does SREPs Capacity Building have a regional allocation component?
No. SREPs Capacity Building is a merit-based program and there is no project quota allocated to each region. As such, projects will be evaluated based on the assessment criteria described in the “How will proposals be assessed?” section of the Applicant Guide and the Proposal Template.
How much funding is available for each project?
The program can fund up to 100% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $5 million for each project. Applicants can combine other sources of government funding (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal), up to 100% of total project costs.
The program anticipates that the requested funding for a project will vary based on its size, scope, timeline and funding obtained from other partners. Program funding for projects will be available until the program end date of March 31, 2025.
What can be funded by the Capacity Building Stream? What cannot be funded?
When is funding allocated to the project?
Are there funds set aside to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners?
Indigenous-led projects are eligible and encouraged to submit proposals to the SREPs Capacity Building stream for support of pre-deployment activities. In support of the program’s objective to increase Indigenous Peoples’ leadership and ownership of, participation in, and benefits from renewable energy projects, the SREPs Deployment stream has reserved a minimum of $100 million for funding Indigenous-led projects.
What does the Capacity Building stream fund? What does it not fund?
SREPs Capacity Building may fund equipment associated with capacity building activities (e.g., research, training, mentorship) but not capital expenditures. The SREPs Deployment streams are a continuous intake process and should be considered as the mechanism to fund the acquisition of construction equipment and assets to support the deployment of renewable energy and grid modernization projects.
Can a project or applicant receive funding from both SREPs Deployment and Capacity Building streams?
Yes. Receiving funding through the Capacity Building stream does not prevent an Applicant from applying to the Deployment stream (or vice versa) but the objectives, eligible activities and timelines are different.
- The Capacity Building stream focuses on funding the people behind future renewable energy projects through knowledge building and sharing, studies as well as equity, diversity and inclusion activities. Projects will be selected through a merit-based ranked process. The first call for proposals is now closed, a second call for proposals is expected in the future.
The Deployment stream targets construction ready renewable energy and grid modernization projects and will be accepting applications through a continuous intake process until all funds are committed or by the program end date of March 31, 2025, whichever comes first.
If you are submitting a Capacity Building proposal to pursue an initiative that is complimentary to your SREPs Deployment application (i.e. equity, diversity and inclusion related), both submissions may be considered. If you are unsure which stream to apply for, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program proposal process, timeline, and assessment
How do I submit a proposal?
- Request a proposal template by emailing the program mailbox: email@example.com subject line “SREPs Capacity Building: Request for Proposal template.”
- Submit the completed proposal as a Word file and as a signed PDF (digitally signed or photograph of the signature page) to the program email above. Support letters from participating communities and organizations are strongly encouraged.
- An automatic reply will inform you that your submission has been received. If you do not receive an automatic message, please send a separate email to the program mailbox.
- The deadline for submitting a proposal under each round of requests for proposals will be indicated on the program website and in the proposal template. The program may follow-up if a submitted application has missing or incomplete information.
- All applicants will receive a funding decision by email. Please refer to Supplementary Information for service standards and notification timelines.
If support is needed while completing the proposal process, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can a single proposal be submitted on behalf of multiple applicants? Can a single proposal cover multiple locations and/or projects? Can the same applicant submit multiple proposals?
Yes. All of these scenarios are eligible activities under the SREPs Capacity Building stream. Proposals under this stream will be selected through a merit based ranked review process. Applicants should consider the following when applying:
- A single proposal can cover multiple locations and/or projects
- Applicants should use their discretion when they submit their proposal as either a group or separate proposals
- NRCan will review multiple proposals from the same applicant(s). However, multiple projects that are related to, or build off, each other, should be submitted as one proposal.
Where applicable, partnerships between multiple communities or between the community and other groups, as well as supporting letters from other participating communities and organizations are strongly encouraged under the Program. Please note, the contribution agreement will be signed with only one entity. Therefore, it may be beneficial to begin discussions early to confirm who the lead partner will be.
When will the negotiation of contribution agreements take place?
The call for proposals closed on November 5, 2021. Following that, an expert committee will assess the proposals. Applicants will receive a funding decision by early 2022, followed by a due diligence phase then negotiation of a contribution agreement.
How will proposals be assessed?
An expert review committee will assess the proposals. Consideration may be given to regional distribution of projects, reach and impact of the proposed project and the potential to support future renewable energy projects or increased electricity system reliability. Additionally, the program will give preference to community-driven initiatives and Indigenous-led projects.
The following mandatory assessment criteria will be used to evaluate each proposal:
- How well the project meets program objectives;
- The ability of the organization to deliver the project, based on the proposed project team and its individual and collective experience and expertise;
- Achievable timelines and milestones that are clearly articulated;
- The likelihood for uptake and adoption of the results of the project in other organizations, communities or regions;
- The project’s technical, social, economic, and environmental merits; and
- Verifiable expenditure estimates for the project and its management.
Eligible project and technology types
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
The Capacity Building funding stream of the program aims to invest in a community’s ability to develop future renewable energy and grid modernization projects in Canada. Projects must meet one or more of the following program objectives:
- Enhance equity, diversity and inclusion in the electricity and renewable energy sector in Canada;
- Increase Indigenous Peoples’ leadership and participation in, ownership of, and benefits from renewable energy projects;
- Generate economic and social benefits related to the electricity and renewable energy sector for underrepresented groups or communities;
- Lead to more renewable energy projects, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased electricity system reliability.
What types of underrepresented groups does my project need to address in order to be eligible as an equity, diversity and inclusion project?
This program aims to advance the involvement of underrepresented groups in the energy sector, including but not limited to Indigenous peoples, women, gender diverse people, 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, racialized communities, youth, and persons with disabilities.
Equity, diversity and inclusion projects under the SREPs Capacity Building stream can address one or more underrepresented groups as part of their targeted programming; however, we encourage projects to apply an intersectional approach.
Eligible projects advancing equity, diversity and inclusion can address a specific need to advance underrepresented groups in the clean energy transition. If the project provides a clear rationale as to why the activities focus on diversity or inclusion, the project is eligible.
My proposal is linked to a renewable energy deployment project, what technologies are eligible?
SREPs Capacity Building proposals do not need to be linked to a specific deployment project. Even so, technical projects funded under the Capacity Building stream should be in scope with the SREPs Program at large. For further guidance on the smart renewable and grid modernization technologies in scope, please refer to Section 6.3 of the Deployment stream Applicant Guide.
I am unsure if my project is eligible. Whom can I speak to for guidance?
For questions, clarifications, or concerns regarding project eligibility and the proposal process, please email email@example.com with a brief summary of your project. We will do our best to provide you with guidance on how to move forward.
If I missed this opportunity to apply, will there be other opportunities to apply to the Capacity Building Stream?
Yes, there will be another call for proposals so applicants can have the opportunity to apply for multi-year funding. Given the four-year timeline for SREPs, we anticipate a second call for proposals in the near future.
Contact the SREPs Program if you still have questions or require further clarification on the topics listed above.
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