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.
APPLY NOW for GRADE Funds
Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines (GRADE)
$350,000 Available Until October 17, 2016
$350,000 in funding is currently available through the GRADE program administered by Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) for qualifying projects. These sub-grants of up to 50% are for the cost to fleets that want to replace older diesel-powered equipment and vehicles with newer, cleaner vehicles and equipment.
Equipment must operate at least 75% of time in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union (NC), or York (SC) counties. To find more information on the grant program or to download the application click here.
Please contact jwager [at] centralina [dot] org (Jason Wager) of the CCFC staff to discuss and develop your project ideas.
The greater Charlotte region's National Drive Electric Week event was a great success! The location choice of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center provided busy lunchtime traffic as well as attendance from key City of Charlotte decision-makers. Charlotte's city council environmental subcommittee meeting adjourned early to be in attendance at the event. Many interested visitors stopped to ask questions of our many contributors including: Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, Modern Nissan of Lake Norman, Envision Charlotte, Sustain Charlotte, CATS, Charlotte Department of Transportation, Club Car, GEM Electric, and Charlotte Cycles. There is a strong interest in our community for EV's and other choices in how we get around! Our NDEW event was able to involve a broader cross section of the community and encourage this interest while promoting the excitement of driving electric.
News Coverage: WFAE-90.7 FM - Talking Up The Idea Of An Electric Car
Additional Photos: CCFC Facebook Page
Attendees enjoy speaking with Electric Vehicle owners at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 9/12/2016