Introducing the Swiftwater Conservation Grant

Apex Clean Energy is proud to introduce the Swiftwater Solar Conservation Grant. The Apex Conservation Grant (ACG) Program aims to benefit local communities by providing project funding to non-profit organizations working to enhance and conserve natural communities that provide habitat for plants and wildlife. In support of our core value of sustainability, the ACG program seeks to award funding to a local, regional, and national non-profit organization that is ready to execute a meaningful project focused on waterbodies conservation and enhancement, forested habitat restoration and management, and/or other environmental remediation or improvement related to these.

Swiftwater Solar is a proposed 80-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility located in Pocono Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. The project is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 13,000 homes and it is anticipated to come online by 2022.

The Swiftwater Solar Conservation Grant will award up to $120,000 in implementation funding to the organization(s) that proposes the strongest project(s) to protect, restore, and manage regional waterbody and forested habitat for native wildlife and plats; improve local water quality; and/or conserve or enhance existing wetland and natural habitats that will provide the greatest net benefit for ecological conservation. Projects may include reforestation and forest management, watershed protection, water quality improvement, or a combination of these.

Applying for the Swiftwater Conservation Grant

The ACG program is a unique offering implemented according to the following process:

  • Apex Clean Energy announces project grant and invites interested parties to submit a Letter of Interest.
  • ACG committee selects up to five finalists to submit a complete application.
  • After the application closing date, the ACG committee selects grant recipient.
  • Grant recipient announced.
  • About 60 days prior to start of construction of Swiftwater Solar, applicant submits “Pre-construction Update.”
  • Funds awarded when construction of Swiftwater begins.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to win the Swiftwater Conservation Grant, applicants must meet the following guidelines:

  • Applicant must be a registered 501(c)3 organization or other qualified not-for-profit in good standing with the IRS;
  • Applicant must have a documented track record of successfully performing on-the-ground conservation projects;
  • Applicant must be able to detail any existing local, state, or federal grant program that is applicable to the ACG and has readily available funds;
  • Grant application must propose a wildlife/habitat conservation field projects (ACGs will not fund projects that primarily consist of scientific studies, general education, organizational overhead, or other organizational or project indirect costs. Proposed project budgets may designate no more than 8% of total funds requested for staff salaries and/or overhead, as long as those expenses can be directly tied to implementation of the grant);
  • Grant recipients must be prepared to comply with reporting and documentation requirements;
  • Applicant must be able to give grantor confidence that it will be able to implement an ACG project at any time within a 1 to 4-year period; and
  • Applicants may propose projects that incorporate collaboration with taxing bodies or other private entities.

Project Requirements

The Swiftwater Conservation Grant will support projects that:

  • Demonstrate that ACG funds will be matched on a 1:1 basis by applicant (cash or in-kind);
  • Provide, enhance, or conserve forested habitat for native wildlife; improve or protect water quality in the regional watershed, or similar conservation and ecological enhancement; and
  • Are located in Pennsylvania or within the vicinity of Monroe County.

Instructions for submission of Letter of Interest

Organizations interested in being invited to submit a complete Swiftwater Solar Conservation Grant application should submit a Letter of Interest containing the following information:

  • Organization name;
  • Organization primary point of contact and contact information;
  • Proof of 501(c)3 (or other qualified not-for-profit) status in good standing with the IRS;
  • Brief (250 word) description of proposed project and how it addresses the Swiftwater Conservation Grant goals;
  • Metrics that can be used to assess project success;
  • Brief “project work history,” showing organization’s successful completion of similar projects in the past;
  • Possible contributing entities for required match;
  • High-level organizational budget; and
  • High-level, itemized budget anticipated for proposed project.

Letters of Interest should be mailed or emailed, along with any required documents, to:

Swiftwater Conservation Grant Program
Attn: Madeleine Ray
310 4th St. NE, Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902

[email protected]

Letters of interest received by Friday, January 29th, 2021 will be given priority consideration. The final deadline for letters of interest is Friday, February 26th, 2021.

Please contact Madeleine Ray with any questions. She may be reached by email at [email protected].