Resilient Virginia’s three-part Spring 2021 Resiliency Academy series presented new options for communities to help finance resiliency initiatives. Topics focused on funding for flood-prone communities, funding for resilient buildings and energy, and funding for economic recovery, jobs, and justice.
The first workshop in the 2021 series featured two major funding programs for communities with flooding issues.
Russell Baxter, Deputy Director of Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), outlined the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund. The fund was established to provide support for regions and localities across Virginia to reduce the impacts of flooding, including flooding driven by climate change. It will prioritize projects that are in concert with local, state, and federal floodplain management standards, local resilience plans, and the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.
Debbie Messmer, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Financial Management Bureau, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), explained the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs. BRIC and FMA grant programs support states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards.
The second workshop in the 2021 series featured information and resources on making our buildings and energy systems more resilient to climate change and other disruptions.
Dan Farrell, Associate Director of Energy Efficiency, DHCD Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency (HIEE) Program will give an overview of how HIEE will bring millions of dollars from RGGI to broaden the state’s funding power to support expanded low-income home repair and weatherization programs.
Abby Johnson, LEED AP O&M, Executive Director, Virginia PACE Authority, will provide updates on C-PACE, already being utilized in a number of localities for commercial building energy improvements, and now expanded in recent legislation to support resiliency improvements.
Cliona Robb, Esq., Director, Thompson McMullan, P.C., Board Chairperson, VA-Renewable Energy Alliance and chairperson of the Virginia Solar and Energy Storage Authority will provide updates to new state policies promoting battery storage development by utilities as one of the paths toward decarbonization goals.
Nam Nguyen, Associate Director, Virginia Energy Management Program, VA Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME), will review the significant state policy and financial incentive changes that promote renewable development at utility scale and through distributed systems.
The third workshop in the 2021 series featured an overview of funding opportunities for advancing job creation, economic recovery, and social and environmental justice in the state and nationwide.
Carl B. Knoblock, District Director, Virginia Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, will present on the recovery assistance available for small businesses through several programs, as well as solar credits and tax credits for small businesses.
Jennifer Morgan, GO Virginia Region 6 Economic Development Coordinator, will present on the Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Economy Initiative that was recently awarded a $2.9 million grant to foster innovation and growth in the Hampton Roads and Middle Peninsula areas. A collaboration with several development organizations and Old Dominion University, this initiative will work to diversify the economy of the region while supporting business start-ups that help address coastal flooding challenges.
Robyn Lee, GO Virginia Region 1 Program Manager, will present on the nearly $500,000 received by the Energy Storage and Electrification Manufacturing Jobs Project, which will support the realignment of four family-owned businesses in Southwest Virginia away from their coal-centric manufacturing focus toward opportunities in energy storage and renewable energy.
James Young, Interagency Recovery Coordination Lead, Recovery Division, FEMA Region 3 and Wynne Kwan, AICP, LEED AP (BD+C), Community Planning & Capacity Building Coordinator, Recovery Division, FEMA Region 3, will provide information on the FEMA Region 3 Resource Report that aggregates federal grants and other funding programs available to state and local governments for COVID recovery.