Dominion announced Tuesday it will begin accepting applications for over $1.5 million in educational program grants focusing on energy, the environment and conservation. Schools in areas served by Dominion — including Virginia, parts of Ohio and upstate New York — are eligible to apply for the grants.About $500,000 will go towards their K-12 Educational Partnerships in the form of $1,000 to $10,000 grants for projects encouraging students to develop math and science skills while studying energy and the environment. The remaining million will go to Higher Education Partnership grants of up to $50,000, given to colleges and post-secondary training schools with exceptional programs in areas including business, engineering and energy. This program is similar to efforts in the past, but because of Dominion’s acquisition of Carolina Gas Transmission schools in South Carolina will be able to apply for the scholarship for the first time. Dominion spokesperson Janell M. Hancock said as additional institutions become eligible, Dominion increasingly receives more applications from more schools than it is able to fund. “Probably what’s most exciting this year is that we’ve expanded the program so that additional communities are eligible to apply,” Hancock said. “A lot of schools [apply] — it’s a very competitive process. We look at [schools] who will have the largest impact ... on the students and local community.”The grants are funded by Dominion Resources’ philanthropic arm, the Dominion Foundation, which also offers a handful of college scholarships as well as grants in other areas. Dominion Foundation President Hunter A. Applewhite said giving back to the community is central to the organization.“Encouraging and investing in our youth…is an essential part of the Dominion Foundation's mission,” Applewhite said in a press release. According to the release, these grants are part of the foundation’s larger goal to improve the “physical, economic and social well-being” of areas which are served by Dominion Resources and its subsidiaries. In 2014, the University won a $30,000 grant for integrating electrochemical engineering in course materials and student projects. The College at Wise also received $25,000 for its environmental wetlands education and research program. The University currently has no plans to apply for Dominion grant money, according to University spokesperson Matt Charles.