(1) The Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Grants Program is established within the commission to provide renewable energy matching grants for demonstration, commercialization, research, and development projects relating to renewable energy technologies and innovative technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency for vehicles and commercial buildings.
(2) Matching grants for projects described in subsection (1) may be made to any of the following:
(a) Municipalities and county governments.
(b) Established for-profit companies licensed to do business in the state.
(c) Universities and colleges in the state.
(d) Utilities located and operating within the state.
(e) Not-for-profit organizations.
(f) Other qualified persons, as determined by the commission.
(3) The commission may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to provide for application requirements, provide for ranking of applications, and administer the awarding of grants under this program. (4) Factors the commission shall consider in awarding grants include, but are not limited to:
(a) The availability of matching funds or other in-kind contributions applied to the total project from an applicant. The commission shall give greater preference to projects that provide such matching funds or other in-kind contributions.
(b) The degree to which the project stimulates in-state capital investment and economic development in metropolitan and rural areas, including the creation of jobs and the future development of a commercial market for renewable energy technologies.
(c) The extent to which the proposed project has been demonstrated to be technically feasible based on pilot project demonstrations, laboratory testing, scientific modeling, or engineering or chemical theory that supports the proposal.
(d) The degree to which the project incorporates an innovative new technology or an innovative application of an existing technology.
(e) The degree to which a project generates thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy by means of a renewable energy resource that has substantial long-term production potential.
(f) The degree to which a project demonstrates efficient use of energy and material resources.
(g) The degree to which the project fosters overall understanding and appreciation of renewable energy technologies.
(h) The ability to administer a complete project.
(i) Project duration and timeline for expenditures.
(j) The geographic area in which the project is to be conducted in relation to other projects.
(k) The degree of public visibility and interaction.
(5) The commission shall solicit the expertise of state agencies, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and state universities, and may solicit the expertise of other public and private entities it deems appropriate, in evaluating project proposals. State agencies shall cooperate with the commission and provide such assistance as requested.
(6) The commission shall coordinate and actively consult with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services during the review and approval process of grants relating to bioenergy projects for renewable energy technology. Factors for consideration in awarding grants may include, but are not limited to, the degree to which:
(a) The project stimulates in-state capital investment and economic development in metropolitan and rural areas, including the creation of jobs and the future development of a commercial market for bioenergy.
(b) The project produces bioenergy from Florida-grown crops or biomass.
(c) The project demonstrates efficient use of energy and material resources.
(d) The project fosters overall understanding and appreciation of bioenergy technologies.
(e) Matching funds and in-kind contributions from an applicant are available.
(f) The project duration and the timeline for expenditures are acceptable.
(g) The project has a reasonable assurance of enhancing the value of agricultural products or will expand agribusiness in the state.
(h) Preliminary market and feasibility research has been conducted by the applicant or others and shows there is a reasonable assurance of a potential market.
(7) Each grant application shall be accompanied by an affidavit from the applicant attesting to the accuracy of the statements contained in the application.