Awards Snapshots

EDA Nuclear Closure Communities (NCC) Funding

*This page will be updated with new information as more grant awards are announced.

In May 2020, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced funding for its Nuclear Closure Communities (NCC) program. This effort has allocated $13.5 million in FY2020 and $16.5 million in FY2021 through EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program. The goal of this funding is to support communities and regions that are home to nuclear power plants as they build diverse, resilient economies and also prepare or respond to the economic and social impacts of plant closure. These competitive resources are available to build capacity and support communities and regions in a variety of ways, no matter if the plant is currently in operation, has announced closure, or is already shuttered.  According to the NCC Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), “EDA assists regions that have been impacted, or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted, by [nuclear power plant] closure(s).”  If your region is home to a nuclear power plant, you are eligible to receive free technical assistance through the Technical Assistance for Nuclear Communities Program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and staffed by Smart Growth America, the Nuclear Decommissioning Collaborative, the NADO Research Foundation, and the Center for Creative Land Recycling.

Below are brief snapshots of the awards that EDA has announced to date as part of the NCC program. 

These grants support a mix of projects including funding for writing recovery plans and feasibility studies, physical infrastructure improvements projects, nuclear research and development, and much more. 

Industrial Skills Training Center Expansion Project

Lake County Community College District, OH

  • Cost Share: $4,178,454 (federal) / $3,083,5050 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

Manufacturing has long been an economic engine across Northeast Ohio. Through an investment from EDA, the region will build on that legacy and bolster the next generation of skilled workforce in advanced manufacturing. This investment is also vital in building economic resilience, as the region faced uncertainty about the future of the Perry Nuclear Generating Station. 

Twenty miles East of Cleveland in Kirtland, Ohio, the aptly named Lakeland Community College is located in Lake County along Lake Erie. The Lake County Community College District was awarded a $4.2 million EDA grant to renovate and significantly upgrade the Industrial Skills Training Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the Community College.

Through a strategic planning process, the College developed goals to transform its manufacturing training programs to update equipment and increase the number of faculty specializing in advanced manufacturing. Capital improvements to the skills training center will upgrade new equipment and expand programming in welding an CNC machinery, while exploring additional programming in the future, such as construction management and associate-level engineering.

This workforce investment has received an outpouring of support from local employers and is also aligned with the Lake County Comprehensive Development Strategy (CEDS). The federal investment will be matched with $3.1 million in local funds and expected to create 300 jobs, retain 243 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment.

Agriculture Education Facility Construction Project

Illinois Valley Community College, IL

  • Cost Share: $3,500,000 (federal) / $1,112,084 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

North Central Illinois is home to a cluster of nuclear generation stations that make a significant economic impact to local communities. The area served by Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) is home to two stations, which collectively employ 1,600 residents and contribute $47 million in property tax revenues annually. Two other plants within proximity and commuting range to IVCC employ an additional 1,690 residents.   

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector – including food production, transportation, and bioenergy technologies – also represents a vital and growing industry cluster in the region. To diversify the economy and workforce to be resilient to any future changes in operation or employment at the local nuclear plants, IVCC and community leaders sought to invest in workforce development in the agriculture industry. 

IVCC (in partnership with the North Central Illinois Council of Governments) was awarded a $3.5 million EDA grant to construct a state-of-the art 6,838-square-foot agriculture laboratory and education center on campus in Oglesby, Illinois. Matched by $1.1 million in IVCC funds, this investment responds to local area needs by training and upskilling residents for agriculture-related employment, with the goal of also sparking the development of new technologies and future-forward, sustainable, and efficient practices. This investment will build on the college’s existing agricultural programming and facilities, including a 150-acre working farm, and is expected create 100 jobs, retain 15 jobs, and generate $500,000 in private investment.

Water Transmission Line Installation Project

City of Blair, NE

  • Cost Share: $1,521,739 (federal) / $1,970,656 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Denver

Blair, Nebraska (pop. 8,000) is located on the Missouri River in Washington County, 26 miles from Omaha.  In between downtown and the river lies one of the community’s largest economic engines—a massive corn milling and value-added agriculture industrial campus.  A $1 billion economic generator, this property is owned and operated by Cargill, but is also home to several additional international biotech and bioprocessing enterprises, all developing new technologies and plant-based products, ranging from sweeteners to fuels and beyond.  To accommodate and bolster the continued growth and expansion of the biocampus, Blair was awarded a $1.5 million EDA grant project to invest in the construction of new water line infrastructure.  

Targeted to break ground in spring of 2023, this investment is expected to create 115 jobs and generate $345 million in private investment. This job creation and economic investment will help the city of Blair and Washington County recapture jobs lost and economic impact from the closure of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant.  Located just a few miles downriver from the biocampus, the Fort Calhoun power plant was closed in 2016 and has begun the decommissioning process.  The city of Blair is contributing nearly $2 million as matching funds, while the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) will provide regional planning and capacity support to this project.

Resiliency and Diversification Strategy

Grundy County Economic Development Council, IL

  • Cost Share: $480,000 (federal) / $120,000 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

At the time the Grundy Economic Development Council (GEDC) and its partners applied to EDA to fund a resiliency and diversification strategy, the Dresden Generating Station was scheduled to shut down in November 2021. However, a few months prior to that deadline, the actions of the Illinois state legislature and governor extended the plant’s timeline as part of a larger effort to meet the state’s long-term emissions goals. Though the economic and energy landscape had changed between the time the proposal was submitted and when it was awarded, Grundy County’s strategy remains as important as ever to well-position the region for the future.  

The award from EDA will enable GEDC and its partners, the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Illinois Council of Governments (serving as grant administrator), to pro-actively undertake a robust community-wide effort to pursue resilience and diversification opportunities. Though Dresden remains in service for now, this work will explore ways to plan for its eventual closure, as well as the loss of any other major employer in the area. The plant is a major economic driver in Grundy County, employing around 800 staff and supporting the community with almost $25 million in annual property taxes.  

This two-year project, supported in part with match funding from the Grundy County Board, will take a multi-pronged approach. It will include engaging local residents and business owners in community-wide conversations, conducting an economic analysis of the impact of the plant, developing strategies to support resiliency, and exploring issues related to decommissioning, including the potential future use of the land, cooling lakes, and closure impacts on the nearby Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers. The research will highlight how to leverage other businesses and opportunities and define the plant’s impact on jobs, payroll, small businesses, hotels, and local hospital. Finally, this effort will also include a broadband analysis to better understand how it can be used to support economic development and business growth in the area. 

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Derry Township Municipal Authority, PA

  • Cost Share: $3,500,000 (federal) / $5,000,000 (approximate match)
  • Grant Announced: August 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

Though Unit 2 at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station was permanently closed following the historic meltdown in 1979, neighboring Unit 1 remained in operation for 40 more years.  Upon its closure in September 2019, 600 jobs at the facility were lost, a major economic and social shock for both Derry Township and Londonderry Township, home to around 25,000 and 5,000 residents, respectively. Recently, as part of an effort to support economic development, business attraction, and overall diversification, the Derry Township Municipal Authority successfully prepared an application and was awarded funding from EDA to support key upgrades to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant. These upgrades include new aeration tanks, the conversion of oxidation ditches, new sludge pumps, a new ultraviolet disinfection facility, upgrades to the influent pump station, and much more. This effort is expected to create 1,500 jobs and lead to $260 million in private impact. Additionally, EDA’s investment, coupled with funding through a local bond, will help keep costs down for ratepayers in the community.    

The upgrades will happen at a time when many transformative economic development projects are in motion in the region along State Route 230. These include construction of a 775,000 square foot UPS distribution hub, it’s fourth largest in the country; the expansion of a nearby Hershey Creamery production plant; and the addition of six warehouses totaling over 4 million square feet. A mixed-use community is also planned for the area which will include commercial and retail space in addition to 900 housing units consisting of townhomes, apartments, and single-family homes.  The upgrades to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant will provide the essential infrastructure to handle the increase in sewer capacity demand and ensure these projects can successfully come to fruition.

Business Park Development Project

City of Kewaunee, WI

  • Cost Share: $1,953,231 (federal) / $488,308 (match)
  • Grant Announced: April 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Wisconsin, the Kewaunee Power Station began operation in 1974. Closure in 2013 due to operating costs and other financial considerations led to major economic impacts on the surrounding communities, located about 30 miles from Green Bay. With the encouragement and support of the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission, the City of Kewaunee applied for and received Nuclear Closure Communities funding to develop water, sewer, and road infrastructure for a future business park. Bay Lakes RPC, a multi-service organization serving an 8-county region, had written a business park study years prior that Kewaunee would go on to use in support of its application to EDA.  

The grant will provide for initial infrastructure improvements on 34 acres of city-owned farmland located on the north side of Kewaunee that will eventually be transformed into a business park.  This project is part of the community’s larger efforts to promote economic development and diversification, grow existing businesses and attract new ones, and position the area for additional investment. It is estimated that this portion of the project will create 31 jobs and leverage $2.7 million in this small city of 3,000 residents.

Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology Park (SMART Park)

Midwest Energy & Communications, MI

  • Cost Share: $6,000,000 (federal) / $5,968,863 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

Today, property sitting adjacent to Midwest Energy & Communications’ headquarters in Cassopolis, MI is home to rows and rows of corn. That isn’t too uncommon in this part of the state, considered to be the “Seed Corn Capital of the World.” However, with the support of this EDA grant, that land will soon be transformed into the Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology Park, better known as the SMART Park. Though located in a heavily agricultural region, Cassopolis is also 45 miles away from Palisades Power Plant, scheduled to close in 2022. That closure will have a major impact on the region’s workforce, tax base, and economic future.

In an effort to strengthen and diversify the area’s economy, Midwest Energy & Communications, a rural electric cooperative and broadband service provider, applied for EDA Nuclear Closure Communities (NCC) funding to support development of the SMART Park on the land located next to its offices. Once completed, the SMART Park will sit on over 230 acres and is anticipated to be home to a mix of advanced manufacturing companies, including those in the solar, fiber optics, and data-hosting industries. The Park will also include access to rail via the Canadian National Railway that runs along the property. In the summer of 2021, Hydro Aluminum Metals signed a letter of intent to build an aluminum recycling facility at the SMART Park and other businesses are expected to do the same as the project continues to move towards the construction phase.

Specifically, this EDA grant will assist with establishing key infrastructure for the SMART Park, including building a 9-inch concrete road, water and sewer lines to service the facilities, a water tower, and state-of-the-art stormwater management system. This phase of the project is anticipated to be completed by December 2022. The project is expected to create nearly 250 jobs and $14 million in private investment.

Fiber Optic Cable Installation Project

City of El Paso de Robles, Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo County, CA

  • Cost Share: $2,829,958 (federal) / $707,489 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Seattle

For years, a lack of affordable broadband access has hindered commercial growth and activity in Paso Robles, California. With the announcement of the closing of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and the impacts of COVID-19, the need to expand broadband in this community has become even more urgent. To address these challenges, the city has been awarded a $2.8 million grant to install fiber optic cable to expand broadband access and increase reliability. This project will support the installation of approximately 11,500 feet of new fiber optic cable in the city’s existing underground conduit and the installation of 52,500 feet of additional fiber optic cable in a new underground conduit to support the needs of the local business community and the many households with home businesses or individuals working from home. This new, approximately 12 miles of broadband cable will benefit small businesses in Paso Robles and lead to a stronger, more resilient local economy for all.

Once completed, the project will create employment opportunities in sustainable industries for the region’s workforce and advance economic resiliency in an area affected by the closure of the nuclear power plant. The project will support business attraction and retention in areas such as specialized manufacturing to support the local agriculture and viticulture industries, ag-tech development, and tech companies or telecommuters relocating from larger cities and seeking high-speed internet access from home. The project will also facilitate distance learning, workforce development training, and tele- medicine connectivity. Paso Robles estimates that this investment will help create 90 jobs and serve approximately 2,500 businesses and over 10,000 jobs. This initial part of a potential multi-phase project is estimated to be complete by December 2022.

Entrepreneurship Center Feasibility Study

Town of Plymouth-Plymouth County, MA

  • Cost Share: $200,000 (federal) / $54,844 (match)
  • Grant Announced: August 2020
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

Given its prominent place in American history, for many years Plymouth, MA has relied on tourism, hospitality, and retail to drive its economy.  It also benefited from being home to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which delivered high-paying jobs and supported the tax base in this rural part of the state from the early 1970s until it shut down in 2019.  This grant will support a project managed by the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation that will study how the region can diversify its economy and support entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities in Plymouth and neighboring Barnstable County.

The study, to be conducted by the UMASS Donahue Institute, will identify what current economic activities and initiatives are underway in the area, what support services are available, what gaps exist, and what type of entrepreneurs the region could attract.  The study will also provide an implementation strategy to move toward the development of a brick-and-mortar facility to support an entrepreneurial ecosystem by potentially housing a makerspace, tinkerspace, hackerspace, test kitchen, coworking space, and much more.  The project will explore whether a suitable location in a current building is available now or if new construction is needed.  The study is anticipated to take nine months and will serve as a starting point for identifying and pursuing other funds and resources to support this broad economic development effort.  

Overall, this project will seek to leverage Plymouth’s status as a post-nuclear community to better diversify the region’s economy, attract and retain talent, stem youth outmigration, and demonstrate the viability of this rural region to the state’s innovation and entrepreneur-driven economy.

Plymouth Water Infrastructure Improvements

Town of Plymouth-Plymouth County, MA

  • Cost Share: $3,825,000 (federal) / $1,275,000 (match)
  • Grant Announced: May 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

This grant will fund important water infrastructure improvements in the Plymouth area as part of an effort to attract and retain businesses and spur private investment following the closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.  For a variety of reasons, Plymouth has a limited water supply, including in areas that have major economic development potential.  The planned improvements include water infrastructure connections and upgrades in the village of Manomet, located about seven miles away from Plymouth Center.  The Manomet Pressure Zone, a 90-year-old water system, will receive much needed improvements in the form of upgraded water mains that will improve capacity, flow, and address redundancies.  Overall, this project will better position the community for new private investment, improve the quality of life for local residents, and also provide infrastructure to the former Pilgrim site for future redevelopment and industry.

In preparing the application to EDA, Plymouth had a key partner in the Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC).  OCPC serves as the Economic Development District (EDD), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) that serves seventeen communities in southeast Massachusetts.  As part of the effort, OCPC provided Plymouth with economic data and other key information to include in the application and as served as a liaison between EDA and town staff.

Advanced Nuclear Technology

E4 Carolinas, Inc, NC

  • Cost Share: $1,389,438 (federal) / $349,611 (match)
  • Grant Announced: May 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Atlanta

A five-state region covering Northern Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, East Tennessee, and Virginia is home to plants and reactors that provide more than a quarter of the entire United States’ nuclear power generating capacity.  In this area are more than 100 nuclear service and operating companies that have a major impact on their local and regional economies, workforce, and tax base.  However, these states have reached an energy and economic crossroads in recent years with uncertainty around the future of large power plants, the cancellation of new reactors in South Carolina that were in development, and continued delays and budget overruns at another site in Georgia.

This project will support E4 Carolinas, a trade association for Carolina companies and organizations from various energy sectors, as it leads a multi-state partnership of stakeholders to research, plan, and implement strategies for supporting advanced nuclear generation and technology. The South Carolina Council of Governments, a network of the 10 Economic Development Districts (EDDs) serving the state, provided regional planning and assessment support to E4 Carolinas in preparation for the application to EDA.

This three-year project will include data collection and inventory to identify the value of the nuclear power cluster in the five-state region; an assessment of the area’s companies and organizations and how they could serve the national and global nuclear industry; an analysis of opportunities to attract new nuclear-focused businesses and research; and the creation of a plan that will provide potential solutions to support, promote, and reinvent the region’s nuclear technology industry.

Nuclear Closure Community Economic Development Plan

Lacey Township, NJ

  • Cost Share: $160,000 (federal) / $40,000 (match)
  • Grant Announced: February 2022
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

Opened in 1969, New Jersey’s Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station was the nation’s oldest operating nuclear plant when it shut down in 2018.  The closure led to the loss of high-paying jobs and a decline in local tax revenue, as well as other economic ripple effects throughout the surrounding South Jersey region where it is located.  The plant, now owned by Holtec International which is overseeing the decommissioning process, sits on an 800-acre piece of property about five miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  With decommissioning underway, Lacey Township applied for and received funding from EDA to support the creation of an economic development plan to explore opportunities for job growth, workforce development, and site reuse. 

To be written with the assistance of a consultant, the Nuclear Closure Community Economic Development Plan for Lacey Township will provide a blueprint for the region to focus on jobs and business growth, while supporting infrastructure and investment.  The cornerstone of this effort will be an analysis of how the plant site – currently the largest piece of land available for redevelopment in Lacey Township – can be repurposed in a way that promotes economic development and improves the quality of life for residents in the area.  Overall, the planning process and resulting plan will convene partners, gather data and information, and help guide the region towards a more diversified and resilient future following the loss of a decades-long employer.

Airport Access Improvement Project

Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, PA

  • Cost Share: $3,751,000 (federal) / $937,750 (match)
  • Grant Announced: August 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

The improvement and expansion of Harrisburg International Airport is part of a region-wide effort to promote job creation, economic growth, and overall diversification in South Central Pennsylvania following the September 2019 closure of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 1. The project supported by this grant is part of a larger $64 million effort overseen by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority that will make improvements to both airside (runways, taxi ways) and landside (support side, parking, processing) infrastructure. Specifically, this EDA funding will expand the cargoway by realigning the roadway from the cargo facility to connect to Airport Drive. Construction is expected to start in July 2022 and be completed around a year later. The Airport Authority is also leveraging funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to support this phase of the improvement project.

The improved roadway system in and around the airport will make a tangible impact on local workforce and economic development. It is expected that this effort will lead to 30% expansion of the airport’s cargo capacity and attract more global air cargo carriers, create over 350 permanent jobs and more than 500 temporary construction jobs, and generate almost $8.5 million in private investment. Most importantly, it will help position South Central Pennsylvania for new opportunities, industries, and build more connections to the national and international economies.

Economic Mitigation Plan

REACH, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, CA

  • Cost Share: $450,000 (federal) / $300,000 (match)
  • Grant Announced: September 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Seattle

REACH, originally founded as the Hourglass Project, was launched in 2018 after the announcement of the closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant by 2025. The project sought to address concerns surrounding the loss of jobs and tax base and the need to plan for a more diverse economic future. Meetings were held throughout the region with local government and partners in the private sector to prepare a SWOT analysis and discuss the existing economic landscape. The resulting REACH 2030 plan was developed to encompass six initiatives: attracting and expanding high wage industries; growing the commercial space industry at Vandenberg Space Force Base; expanding educational opportunities; championing regional planning; addressing barriers to growth including infrastructure and housing; and influencing the transformation of Diablo Canyon.

This two-year grant from EDA will continue REACH’s work by supporting implementation of an economic mitigation plan to assist key industries already in the region (AgriTech; Clean Tech and Renewable Energy; Aerospace, Defense, and Precision Manufacturing; and Technology) accelerate growth in advance of the impending plant closure. The project will conduct industry impact analyses, help establish industry working groups, facilitate workforce development initiatives, and provide resources for REACH to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to help the region navigate the economic impacts of the power plant closure and create a more resilient economy across two counties. Once completed, the plan will be a roadmap for economic recovery and diversification and support REACH’s goal of creating 15,000 good jobs paying annual salaries of at least $50,000 in the region by 2030.

Quarry Park Infrastructure Improvement Project

Town of Cortlandt-Westchester County, NY

  • Cost Share: $3.2 million (federal) / $3.2 million (match)
  • Grant Announced: October 2020
  • EDA Regional Office: Philadelphia

In 2016, the Town of Cortlandt, NY purchased a 99-acre parcel of land from Con Edison adjacent to the Indian Point Energy Center.  The vision for this riverfront property, a former limestone quarry that closed in 1956, is to transform it from industrial use into a space for outdoor recreation and small private businesses.  NCC funding is helping to make that redevelopment a reality while supporting the Town of Cortlandt, Village of Buchanan, and surrounding communities respond to and recover from the recent closure of Indian Point in April 2021.  The Quarry Park Infrastructure Improvement Project will install key infrastructure to that site, including roads, waterlines, septic systems, sidewalks, landscaping, and much more.  

Currently, there are two future tenants that are expected to locate on the property once it is ready – Cortlandt Pitch, a two-story 68,000 square foot indoor multi-sport turf field, and Merchant’s Daughter, a New York-sourced hard cider production facility and taproom.  There will also be opportunities for additional businesses and projects to locate on the remaining acreage as the project moves forward.  

Cortlandt would most likely not have met the eligibility requirements for traditional EAA funding which is based on economic distress requirements for unemployment rate and per capita income.  However, because of the special need criteria that is associated with NCC funding, the presence of Indian Point in the community made Cortlandt eligible for NCC resources.  Through this grant, Cortlandt and its neighboring communities will be able to attract and retain businesses, better diversify the economy, and provide amenities for local residents by developing a key piece of waterfront property.

Palisades Closure Recovery Strategy

Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, MI

  • Cost Share: $969,261 (federal) / $242,316 (match)
  • Grant Announced: June 2021
  • EDA Regional Office: Chicago

Key partners and stakeholders in and around Van Buren County, MI have been working together to anticipate and prepare for the impacts of the closure of Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, now scheduled for 2022.   This grant will lead to the creation of a multi-faceted recovery and implementation strategy that will explore in-depth what the nuclear industry has meant to the region and use that information to chart a path forward.  The strategy will first collect data about the Palisades workforce (commuting patterns, levels of education, income, etc.) and both the direct and indirect impacts of the power plant on the regional economy (taxes, retail, hospitality, transportation, schools, philanthropy, etc.).  Using this information as a foundation, the strategy will explore opportunities to address closure and support workforce development, diversification, and broader economic development initiatives through a cohesive roadmap. 

Community engagement and transparency is a key part of the process, which will include the establishment of a community advisory panel, surveys, a project website, and other communication channels to ensure residents are informed throughout all phases of the project.  An economic recovery implementation specialist will also be hired to support plan implementation and coordinate with partners and stakeholders when the plan is finalized. 

This grant will be overseen by the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission (the region’s Economic Development District), which is collaborating closely with key partners in Market Van Buren, the University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute, and the Michigan Department of Treasury.  The State of Michigan has been an important partner in this effort, offering cross-departmental support and match dollars for the grant through its Energy Transition Impact Project (ETIP) which provides assistance and resources to Michigan communities that are home to closing energy facilities.