Grant round is closed. Applications were due May 15.

Refrigerant emission reduction grants: Questions and answers

Applicants with questions regarding this RFP must email questions to grants.pca@state.mn.us, subject line: “Emission reduction RFP Question”.

Questions and answers will be posted here frequently during the application period.

Q1: Is my project eligible?
A1: Eligible projects are those that identify opportunities for High Global Warming Potential (HGWP) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction and encourage reduction practices at facilities in Minnesota through leak detection, monitoring and repair, system retirement and retrofitting, green refrigerant technology, environmentally friendly refrigerants, and sale and recycling. Projects that repair current systems, retrofit existing systems, or install new systems that use alternative refrigerants may apply.

Q2: Am I still eligible for a grant if I have received a previous grant?
A2: Yes, you remain eligible. However, if the MPCA has previously funded a similar project, the applicant should clearly show how the new project differs from that of the previously MPCA-funded project(s).

Q3: Is my business eligible?
A3: Consultants, professional and trade associations, organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and governmental units are eligible to apply.

Applicants must have a proven working relationship with the industry, equipment, refrigerant, or process the project is targeting, have the ability to identify opportunities for HGWP GHG reductions, build on efforts that have already been made, provide direct support to implement changes, and calculate environmental outcomes and cost-effectiveness for project implementation.

Q4: What is the match requirement?
A4: No match is required. However, applicants who provide a match will rank higher during the application review process.

Q5: Does everyone who applies for this grant need to submit the “Affidavit of Non-collusion” with the application materials?
A5: Yes. If this is not provided, MPCA staff will contact the applicant to supply this. If the applicant does not supply this the application will be deemed ineligible.

Q6: Is there additional funding available for projects that exceed the award amount?
A6: The MPCA encourages these projects to consider the low-interest Small Business Loan program (www.pca.state.mn.us/smallbizloan). This program is available year-round.

Q7: We are refrigeration service provider and wanted to follow up with a couple questions in regards to the refrigerant emission reduction grant. If we have a few customers that are looking at doing refrigerant conversions for their existing refrigeration systems from an HGWP to a lower GWP refrigerant. Would this be a qualifying project? Also would upgraded the control system for a refrigeration system that includes a refrigerant leak detection system be qualifying project? Finally, would a preventative maintenance program that is put in place which includes monthly or quarterly refrigerant leak checking be a qualifying project?
A7: Refer to Q1 on this page and/or pages 2-3, Section 4 in the RFP for project eligibility.

Q8: Reading the RFP a couple of times, I just want to make certain that our grocery store qualifies to apply for a grant for our improvement project. We recently purchased an old grocery store in Greenbush, MN that was at risk of closing down. The store is in need of significant refrigeration improvements with coolers and freezers dating from the 60s to early 80s. We've even identified a compressor that dates back to 1962 which is still in operation. Many, if not all the compressors are using HGWP GHG refrigerants and this RFP presents us a unique opportunity to upgrade equipment and reduce emissions.
A8: No, this type of project would not be eligible for this RFP. Please see 4.a Eligible projects in the RFP. Eligible projects are those that “provide technical assistance to multiple businesses or organizations interested in reducing HGWP GHG emissions at their facilities.”

Q9: We are considering applying for the Refrigerant Emission Reduction grant, and it appears as though the application is focused on consultants and vendors who will be targeting and assisting other entities with their efforts to reduce emissions. We are a public school district, and our focus is to replace our own HVAC units that use R-22 refrigerant with new units that use refrigerants with lower global warming potential.  We would not be assisting others with similar projects, only doing our own.  Since some of the application questions ask for our technical ability to create reduction solutions and asks for lists of partners and other entities we might target, I’m wondering if this program is meant for entities like ours. Would a public school district looking to replace its own R-22 units with units that use modern, environmentally-friendly refrigerants, and not looking to assist other entities in their reduction efforts, be an eligible project?  If so, how do we answer those questions that relate to assisting other entities?
A9: Refer to Q8 on this page and/or pages 2-3, Sections 3 and 4 in the RFP for applicant and project eligibility.

Q10: We assist many ice rinks in Minnesota in the design if ice rink ice systems.  Many of these systems are R-22 (HCFC) based systems.  Would this grant apply to the replacement of the R-22 equipment with a non HCFC system like R-134a, ammonia, etc?  If so, when does the work have to be complete by?  Does it apply to work that is currently under construction this year?
A10: Eligible projects are those that identify opportunities for HGWP GHG reduction and encourage reduction practices at facilities in Minnesota. This may include the repair of current systems, retrofit of existing systems, or installation of new systems which use alternative refrigerants with a lower global warming potential may apply. Grant project must be complete by June 30, 2021. Grant funds cannot be used toward equipment purchased or project tasks already in progress. As outlined under Ineligible costs on page 4 in the RFP: “Any expenses incurred before the contract is fully executed including applicant’s expense for preparing the eligibility and cost applications or any expenses incurred during work plan application and final workplan development” are ineligible costs.

Q11: Would we be eligible if we are replacing 70 heat pumps that have R 22 in them now?
A11: Refer to Q8 on this page and/or pages 2-3, Sections 3 and 4 in the RFP for applicant and project eligibility.

Q12: Would an educational program that helps provide resources and information to facilities who could reduce their emissions would be an eligible project?
A12: Eligible projects may include those that identify opportunities for HGWP GHG reduction and encourage reduction practices at facilities in Minnesota as outlined in Section 4 of the RFP.

Q13: I have been reviewing the criteria for applying for the refrigeration emission reduction grants offered by the MPCA.  We currently have a project where we are replacing R-22 equipment that has bid and will be under construction this summer.  The criteria in the application has instructions for bidding.  If we meet the bidding criteria, will we still be allowed to apply for this application or does the application need to be submitted pre-bid?
A13: Refer to Q10 on this page.

Q14: Our refrigeration uses Tetrafluoroethane. Just confirming that we do not qualify for this grant opportunity.
A14: Refer to Q1 on this page and/or pages 2-3, Sections 3 and 4 in the RFP for project and applicant eligibility.