FHWA Designates Alternative Fuel Corridors
I-85 and I-40 in North Carolina Make the List!
With the designation of the first alternative fuel corridors, FHWA is establishing a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway system corridors. FHWA intends to support the expansion of this national network through a process that:
- provides the initial opportunity for a formal corridor designation now and in the future on a rolling basis, without a cap on the number of corridors;
- ensures that corridor designations are selected based on criteria that promote the "build out" of a national network;
- develops national signage and branding to help catalyze applicant and public interest;
- encourages multi-State and regional cooperation and collaboration; and,
- brings together a consortium of stakeholders including state agencies, utilities, alternative fuel providers, and car manufacturers to promote and advance alternative fuel corridor designations in conjunction with the Department of Energy.
As one of several partners that supported NCDOT’s August 2016 proposal to FHWA, the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition has a direct interest in ensuring that a variety of transportation fueling and vehicle options are available to fleets and individuals in our region and beyond along our major corridors. This announcement from FHWA is the first step in what we perceive to be a longer term “work in progress” to support the growth of fuel diversification for our stakeholders and the state overall.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to jwager [at] centralina [dot] org (Jason Wager) of the CCFC staff if you would like more background on this initiative or wish to discuss ongoing integration of this and related topics into your project and planning efforts.
For quick reference, below are maps pulled from the FHWA website announcing these corridors (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/alternative_fuel_corridors/), by fuel types (Electric and Compressed Natural Gas), for portions of I-85 and I-40.
Join the NC Clean Energy Tech Center, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Staff, and others from across the state at Agility Fuel Systems in Salisbury, NC, as we meet for our next Clean Transportation Coordinating Committee meeting and facility tour. This meeting will include a presentation covering the EPA VW Settlement, upcoming grant opportunities (CFAT), and other incentives available to help fleets purchase new vehicles/infrastructure. Our agenda will also include updates from previous breakout groups and will finish off with a production facility tour at Agility Fuel Systems.
The Clean Transportation Coordinating Committee is an opportunity to identify needs, enhance opportunities, and increase collaboration among partners in the clean transportation community across North Carolina! The Coordinating Committee is an initiative of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center in collaboration with its education partners to reduce transportation related emissions and better serve the needs of clean transportation professionals in the state.
November 2, 2016
12pm - 4:30pm
Agility Fuel Systems
1010 Corporate Center, Salisbury, NC 28146
The NC Clean Transportation Coordinating Committee is a group composed of members from industry, academia, state agencies, non-profits, Clean Cities Coalitions, and Clean Fuel Advanced Technology sub-award recipients focused on advancing proliferation and adoption of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies throughout the state of North Carolina. Activities towards achieving this goal include:
More info about the event can be found here.
On 10/18, USDA announced the next annual deadlines for its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides small businesses and agricultural producers loans and grants to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
-REAP applicants requesting $20,000 or less that wish to have their application compete for the “Grants of $20,000 or less set aside” must be received no later than 4:30pm local time on October 31, 2016 or 4:30 pm local time on March 31, 2017.
-REAP applicants requesting grant funds of over $20,000 or a combination of a grant and guarantee loan, must submit complete applications no later than 4:30pm local time on March 31, 2017.
USDA also offers grant funding through its Energy Audit/Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA) program. This program sets up a “feeder” system for the general REAP grant as it provides up to $100,000 to eligible entities, who then conduct energy audits or provide renewable energy development assistance to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. Applications for this program are due by January 31, 2017. For more information, or to apply, click here.
For questions on any of the abovementioned programs and opportunities, please contact Adia Holland, USDA's Energy Coordinator for the Tennessee State Office, at adia [dot] holland [at] tn [dot] usda [dot] gov or 615-783-1373.
Question of the Month: What are the current and future medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards?
The federal Clean Air Act requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate areas as attainment or non-attainment to help implement air quality standards. In a letter from NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) secretary, Donald van der Vaart, dated September 30, 2016, the State of North Carolina recommended that the entire state be considered in attainment for ozone based on DEQ analysis of the most recent air quality data for the state relative to the October 2015 8-hour standard for ozone.
The 2016 Plug-in NC Summit will be held Tuesday, November 15th from 9:00 am - 11:30 am.
This event will take place at the Park Alumni Center in Raleigh, NC. This event is free, however, registration is required.
In light of the impact Hurricane Matthew has had on our state this past week, we wanted to share some information resources and a recent article we posted related to resilience.
With many working to recover from this latest natural disaster, some information resources to support post-Hurricane Matthew efforts and long term planning include the following:
- To see a Google map of resources for those affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here (https://goo.gl/IUUODV)
- Current updates related to Hurrican Matthew rescue efforts, can be viewed by checking the NC Emergency Management's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NCEmergency/)
- For longer term planning and coordination of emergency management information for North Carolina's local governments, a clearinghouse website is operated by the NC League of Municipalities at http://www.readynclocal.org/
- Additionally, the National Association of State Energy Officials' "Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles" (iREV) brings together a unique cross-section of practitioners in emergency management, energy assurance, homeland security, and transportation to support the incorporation of alternative fuel vehicles in emergency response and preparedness operations--also many may be interested in a timely IREV Southeast Regional Workshop to be held on Wednesday, October 19 in Savannah, Georgia that will take place from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. as part of the larger International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
As we recover from Hurricane Matthew, our attention is inevitably drawn to ways we might prepare for and reduce the impacts of future natural disasters. In a recent report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy defined resilience as a community’s reduction of and better preparation for risk. The components of risk – and thus resilience – can be divided into hazards, vulnerability, and capacity to cope. With North Carolina being no stranger to hazards such as hurricanes and ice storms, community resilience infrastructure should be made a priority for the safety of our communities for both man-made and natural disasters.
It is important to include alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in community resilience planning efforts since they promote fuel diversification, allowing critical public services to continue, reducing recovery time, and strengthening resiliency to disasters and other emergency events.
The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) tracks funding opportunities to help municipalities, regions, and states incorporate alternative fuels in their emergency management planning. In addition, Clean Cities coalitions and coordinators are a valuable resource to emergency management and fleet decision makers by providing information on alternative fuels and connecting them with stakeholders who have experience using alternative fuels.
According to the National Association of State Energy Officials, petroleum products provide 92% of the total energy needed to supply the transportation sector in the United States. This dependence on petroleum makes communities vulnerable to disasters and emergencies that interrupt petroleum fuel supplies. The CCFC has been assisting the greater Charlotte region for over a decade in the deployment of alternative fuel technologies. Here are several ways that alternative fuels/AFVs impact or help community resilience:
- Encourage fuel diversification;
- Improve response time and recovery and restoration capabilities;
- Meet essential public services during times of disaster (e.g., utility restoration, debris removal, evacuation, emergency response, food delivery);
- Mitigate demand spikes for petroleum fuels;
- Allow uninterrupted fuel supply (e.g., natural gas is distributed via underground pipeline, so delivery is not disrupted);
- Advanced vehicle technologies, such as electric vehicle-to-grid can become a power provider
- Reduce downtime and suppress negative economic impact; and bImprove public confidence in government capability to provide services in times of disaster
As efforts are taken to improve your organization's and community's resilience, don't hesitate to contact the CCFC to discuss project ideas, funding opportunities, and ways to get involved in the Clean Cities network. This article was originally posted in the Centralina Council of Governments July 2016 e-newsletter.
Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is proud to expand its long standing partnership with NC State’s Clean Energy Technology Center through the new Fuel What Matters Campaign. Fuel What Matters is about education and awareness. It’s also about choices. Daily choices. Just about every decision we make during the day has an impact on our environment. This web-based platform is expected to grow our collective ability to share the actions CCFC’s Stakeholders are taking every day to support and improve our communities and environment, while similarly learning new ideas from others.
Get started on making an impact today, no matter how large or small! Click here to view the Fuel What Matters web site: https://www.fuelwhatmatters.org/
The NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will provide approximately $231,500 for funding grant projects that reduce diesel emissions through the 2016 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG).
Applications must be received by e-mail, fax or postmarked by Friday, October 28, 2016 to be considered. Please refer to the information below on the five acceptable project types:
Grant Amount Paid
|Replacement of diesel vehicle chassis and engine||25%|
|Idle reduction technology on unregulated or Tier 0 locomotives||40%|
|Repower of old chassis with new cleaner diesel engine||40%|
|Clean alternative fuel conversions, where the old chassis is retained but the engine is replaced or converted to an alternative fuel||40%|
|Retrofits (exhaust type, e.g. diesel particulate filter)||100%|
Click here for more information and links to the on-road and non-road applications.
Thank you to all who attended the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Core Stakeholders Group meeting at UNC-Charlotte Center City Wednesday morning, 9/21/16. Whether you attended or were not able to make it this time, here’s a recap of what was presented along with links to referenced websites and handouts. Mark your calendar now for our next Core Stakeholder meeting, scheduled for the morning of 11/16/2016.