The Iowa Energy Center Board and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced the opening of the third round of the IEC Grant Program this week. The program is designed to facilitate energy-related economic development, with projects supporting initiatives that align with the Iowa Energy Plan. Applications will be accepted until March 19. According to a news release, the IEC Grant Program is funded by gas and electric utilities in Iowa. It is open to businesses, colleges, universities and private nonprofit agencies and foundations, and it supports projects that benefit the state’s residential and commercial customers. Projects must also aid in the implementation of at least one of the seven key focus areas of the Iowa Energy Plan: technology-based research and development, energy workforce development, support for rural and underserved areas, biomass conversion, natural gas expansion in underserved areas, electric grid modernization and alternative fuel vehicles. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $1 million.