Clean Energy Future Fund

The Clean Energy Future Fund was launched in April 2020 and supports the implementation of innovative clean energy projects in Western Australia.
Clean Energy Future Fund banner

The Clean Energy Future Fund was launched in April 2020 and supports the implementation of innovative clean energy projects in Western Australia which offer high public value through contributing to one or more of the following outcomes:

  • significant, cost-effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below projected (or baseline) emissions as a direct result of the clean energy project
  • design, deployment, testing or demonstration of innovative clean energy projects likely to deliver community benefits or lead to broad adoption and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Fund is focused on projects near the investment-ready stage so that our funding can secure tangible emissions reductions, and applications with a strong potential for wider adoption.

Round two is now open

Applications for round two funding opened on 25 January 2021 and will close on Thursday, 22 April 2021. The fund has $16 million available.

Changes to eligibility and project funding mean that:

  • local government organisations are now eligible to apply
  • the maximum funding for projects has increased to $4 million.

See the how to apply section below.

Ministerial priorities

The Minister for Environment and Minister for Energy determine priorities for the fund. The current Ministerial priorities are:

  • Innovative clean energy projects in regional and remote Western Australia.
  • Regional and remote Western Australia means projects that are at the fringe of, or are not connected to, the South West Interconnected System or the North West Interconnected System.
  • Clean energy projects that improve the security and resilience of networked electricity supply in line with the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap.
  • Clean energy projects that support decarbonisation of existing industry and the development of new, low-emissions industries in Western Australia.
  • 'Shovel ready’ clean energy projects that will reduce emissions and create jobs in Western Australia.
  • Projects that will enhance energy efficiency and materially reduce emissions from the built environment or manufacturing.
  • Clean energy projects that support the replacement of diesel with renewable energy.

How to apply

Potential applicants should review the applicant guidelines then complete the application form. The following resources are provided to support your application:

Please direct any questions to ceff@dwer.wa.gov.au. Relevant questions, along with answers, will be listed in the questions and answers section for all potential applicants to see. Please subscribe below to be notified when new answers are posted.

Please allow enough time to submit your application as large attachments may take longer to be received via email. Submissions are deemed to be received at the time they are received by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Applications received after 22 April 2021 will not be accepted.

Online information session

An online presentation covering the eligibility and merit criteria, the Ministerial priorities and the application and assessment process was given on 30 March 2021. 

Here is the slide pack and a video recording of the presentation.

Round one outcome

Round one applications closed on 13 July 2020. The successful applicants from round one were announced in this media statement.

Questions and answers

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If you have questions regarding the grant program, you can direct them to ceff@dwer.wa.gov.au. For fairness reasons, all questions and responses that provide additional information to applicants will be published here. Questions may be edited for clarity or to protect the identity of the sender. If you have subscribed for email updates, you will be notified of new answers posted. If you haven’t subscribed, you should check back regularly.

 

Question Answer
1. Can I submit more than one application? Yes, more than one application may be submitted.
2. How do I complete the financial model if I am applying for funding for a pilot project, with a commercial-scale project to follow?

The expenditure, funding sources and milestones for the pilot must be clearly separated from those for the future project. The easiest way to achieve this is to complete a financial model for the pilot and another separate model for the future project showing the potential benefits.

The financial model template may be modified if necessary. Please indicate the changes made to the template if you have done so. Where an application is accompanied by your own modelling, please indicate clearly in the application form where the answers to each question are.
3. Can we apply for funding for front-end engineering design? Yes. Section 5 of the Applicant guidelines includes essential non-equipment expenditure including design, professional services as eligible expenditure.
4. Are projects that produce energy in the form of fuel (hydrogen, ammonia, biogas, etc.) eligible?

Yes. Applications should provide evidence that there is a market or use for the product(s).

For applications relating to renewable hydrogen, applicants may also wish to contact the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s Renewable Hydrogen Unit.
5. Are projects to replace other fossil fuels with natural gas eligible? Yes. Projects proposing replacement of diesel or coal with gas are likely to have a lower merit score and be less aligned with Ministerial priorities than those replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.

6. Are all Ministerial priorities equally weighted? 

My project does not meet the Ministerial priorities. Can I still apply? 

There is no weighting attached to the Ministerial priorities. Ministerial priorities provide guidance to applicants on areas for which project proposals would be welcomed.

Applications are not required to meet Ministerial priorities in order to be eligible for consideration.
7. Which projects are excluded by the stationary energy requirement?

The definition of a clean energy project is a project that deploys or applies a technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the production or use of stationary energy.

Stationary energy excludes the use of energy for the purpose of transportation.

Energy use for transport purposes is defined as any of the following:

a) transport by vehicles registered for road use

b) rail transport

c) marine navigation

d) air transport.

This is consistent with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008.
8. Is there a map or definition of which areas are considered fringe of grid? There is not a strict definition. Generally, the fringe of the grid is considered to be at or close to the edge of the distribution network, where there is a low density of customers (which can sometimes be well within the South West Interconnected System) or where location is causing reliability, quality, electrical loss, or cost issues. The grid refers to the state’s two largest electricity networks, the South West Interconnected System and North West Interconnected System.
9. What are the roles and requirements of the lead applicant and any other consortium members? Are there any mandatory requirements of each?

The lead applicant is generally the entity which will own the assets while they are developed under the proposal and which will sign the funding agreement and be responsible for meeting the recipient obligations.

Other consortium members may provide capital, resources, expertise or other assistance. 

10. Is a local government entity eligible to apply for a streetlight project where the streetlight asset is owned and operated by Western Power, but the local government entity is liable for the costs to operate, maintain and replace the asset? Yes. In this instance, the applicant has a significant ongoing interest in the asset and the proposal submitted would be eligible for further assessment against merit criteria. More generally, there are no strict eligibility criteria in relation to ownership of assets and each case is assessed on its merit.

11. Where a project significantly increases the load on a grid and it can be demonstrated that the resulting incremental grid capacity growth is predominantly by renewable energy, can the incremental carbon intensity of the grid growth be used in the funding application?

Projects should use the emissions intensity for the power they plan to purchase. For grid-sourced power where there is no direct relationship with a power producer, the published emissions intensity for that grid can be used.

Where your additional demand is large enough that new generation capacity will need to be created, it is expected that your application would indicate plans to source this generation capacity. You should use the modelled emissions intensity of that new generation regardless of whether that power is to be supplied via the grid.

12. Are control or grid management systems for electric vehicle charging excluded as transport?

A clean energy project is defined as one that deploys or applies a technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the production or use of stationary energy.  This excludes the use of energy for the purpose of transportation.

Transport-related technologies (such as charging control or grid management systems) that provide decarbonisation benefits to the electricity grid may apply based on those benefits.

13. If a project receives income from selling emissions reduction credits, can the same emissions reduction be counted for merit in the CEFF assessment? Yes. The CEFF financial model template provides for any credits to be recognised in project revenue. Since the fund aims to support clean energy projects that will not proceed without CEFF support, it would be expected that carbon credit revenue would not be sufficient to make the project viable.
14. Will grant expenditure require external audits? Yes. The standard funding agreement requires the annual report (which contains a financial report) to be audited by a professionally accredited external auditor.
15. How soon will I receive my milestone grant payment after I have submitted my milestone completion report? The department will pay invoices within 30 days of receiving satisfactory evidence of milestone completion and expenditure.
16. I am planning to submit a project for a group of councils under a regional council. Do you require organisation capacity evidence and insurances for our regional council, and the local governments we are submitting the application for? Organisational capacity should be evidenced for whichever organisation(s) will perform the project tasks. Where these organisations are not the applicant, evidence of their commitment to participate should be provided. Evidence of insurances should be from the party which carries the relevant risk.
17. Can you start the project once you have submitted the application (design, site works)?

Committing significant funds to a project before the CEFF funding outcome is known would be likely to undermine the justification for government funding.

In addition, any costs committed before signing the funding agreement for the project are not eligible.
18. My project involves working with a Government of Western Australia Trading Enterprise, which will provide in-kind support, such as access to facilities, equipment and expertise.
Does this count as Western Australian State Government funding in assessing the 25 per cent maximum funding rule?

No. The 25 per cent rule is designed to limit the State Government’s financial exposure to a specific project, so other funders must also assess it as fundable before it can proceed. Where the in-kind contribution is specific to and necessary for the project and not simply a substitute for funding, it is treated as separate to this financial exposure.

 

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Page reviewed 16 April 2021