Tag Archives: ncdeq

DEQ Invites Public for Comments on Draft Phase 2 Volkswagen Mitigation Plan Until September 7

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)’s Division of Air Quality is currently accepting public comment on the state’s Draft Phase 2 Mitigation Plan to invest $67 million in Volkswagen Settlement funds. The Draft Phase 2 plan focuses on efforts to reduce pollution impacts while incentivizing zero emission vehicles and outreach to under-resourced communities.

The funds represent North Carolina’s share of the $2.9 billion federal settlement with Volkswagen (VW) due to its misrepresentation of diesel emission standards in certain vehicles. The Division of Air Quality was designated as the lead agency to manage the project in 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper, and Wilmington Trust officially named North Carolina as a State Beneficiary in January 2018.

Phase 1 Awards were announced in 2020 and the competitive application process resulted in 116 proposals for two grant programs: the Diesel Bus and Vehicle Program and the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure Program. The awards included $12.2 million for school bus replacements, $6.1 million for transit bus replacements, $4.2 million for on-road heavy duty equipment such as refuse haulers, dump trucks and debris trucks, and $3.4 million for zero-emission vehicles DC Fast Charge stations.

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) partnered with the Division of Air Quality to host a series of public information sessions in July to explain the draft plan to those interested in receiving funds for eligible projects. The recordings and presentations from the public information meetings can be found online here

A series of in-person public information sessions will also be held for counties eligible in the Historically Under-Resourced Counties Outreach Program. Additional meeting dates, locations and times will be posted on the DEQ Volkswagen Program webpage.

The Historically Under-Resourced County Outreach Program is being developed by the DEQ to help counties that historically lack resources needed to effectively identify eligible vehicles for grant programs and submit quality applications. The DEQ’s Draft Phase 2 Mitigation Plan identifies 31 Historically Under-Resourced Counties eligible for maximum funding amounts allowed by the VW Mitigation Consent Decree.

Public agencies as well as public/private partnerships will be eligible for Phase 2 funding. The Draft Phase 2 VW Mitigation Plan currently allocates 80 percent of funding to the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program and 15 percent for the ZEV Infrastructure program. Through the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program, 40 percent of Phase 2 funding will go towards replacing school buses, 20 percent of funding will be eligible for transit bus replacements and another 20 percent will be eligible for clean heavy-duty equipment and vehicle replacements.

The DEQ’s ZEV Infrastructure program was designed to expand the state’s ZEV charging infrastructure network along priority designated corridors. Phase 2 proposes a dedicated allocation for light-duty charging projects and the DEQ plans to coordinate with the NC Department of Transportation to determine optimal locations for these EV charging stations for state fleet vehicles and attractions on state owned property.

“These funds from the VW Settlement represent an opportunity to advance clean and sustainable transportation in North Carolina,” said Heather Brutz, Finance & Operations Manager for NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program. “We encourage interested parties to read over the plan and submit comments on how this round of funding will be allocated.”

Comments on the Draft Phase 2 Mitigation Plan may be submitted online via Microsoft Forms or emailed to daq_NCVWGrants@ncdenr.gov. Voicemail comments will also be accepted at 919-707-8429.

All comments will be accepted until September 7, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Posted by Nicole Deck & John Bonitz

How to Fund Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in North Carolina

An Energica electric motorcycle charging with a ChargePoint DC Fast Charger in Wallace, NC. – Photo by Chris Maxwell

Are you interested in installing new Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) (electric vehicle charging stations) in your North Carolina community? There are three possible sources of funding to make it happen.

EVSE; an element in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for recharging of plug-in electric vehicles including electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids; is deployed throughout the country in key areas for public charging as a supplement to residential charging, according to the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.

There are three types of electric vehicle chargers – Level 1, Level 2 and DC Fast Charging. Types are classified by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Level 1 provides 2-5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, Level 2 provides 10-20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, and DC Fast Charging provides 60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging. Learn more about each type of equipment and developing infrastructure to charge plug-in electric vehicles at the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center website here. You can also view the current map of EV chargers in the United States and Canada here.

There are three potential sources of funds to support installation of EVSE in North Carolina:

1. The VW Settlement gives North Carolina $92 million dollars for projects to reduce vehicular air pollution. These funds will be administered by NC DEQ as a part of their beneficiary mitigation plan. Fifteen percent of these funds will be allotted for EVSE (both Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers).

The NCDEQ just released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for VW settlement funds for DC Fast chargers this week. Under the DC Fast Charge program:

• $3.4 million will be available for the installation of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Charging Infrastructure

• Projects in designated corridors will receive priority to expand the state’s charging infrastructure network

• Projects can be submitted by eligible businesses, incorporated nonprofits, and state, local, tribal or municipal government agencies

Applications will be available on July 1, 2019, and the submission deadline is September 30, 2019. The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Level 2 Charging program RFP will be released at a later date. Read more about the NCDEQ RFPs here.

2. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s Clean Transportation team also has limited grant funding for EVSE. The next Clean Fuels Advanced Technology (CFAT) project RFP will be released in the fall or winter of 2019. Funding will be restricted to projects where there is no ground disturbance involved (such as in a parking deck or where wires and conduit are already in place) – and no digging, trenching, pavement cutting, repaving, etc. is allowed. Take a look at the last round of funding for insights on what the next round may look like, and join the newsletter list to know when the next RFP will be issued by going here. For more information on CFAT funding, contact John Bonitz at jhbonitz@ncsu.edu.

A Hyundai Ioniq EV charging in Hillsborough, NC. Photo By Chris Maxwell

3. Duke Energy plans to invest $76 million to help spur EV adoption across the state, according to Duke Energy. Duke Energy’s proposal to the NC Utilities Commission would help fund the adoption of electric school buses and electric public transportation, and lead to almost 2,500 new charging stations in the state – more than doubling the amount of public stations currently in North Carolina, according to Duke Energy. The initiative is to help meet Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order goals of having 80,000 electric vehicles registered in the state and to reduce the state’s carbon footprint by 40 percent below 2005 levels within the next six years. Duke Energy’s plan includes:

• Residential EV Charging: This program will provide a $1,000 rebate for qualifying Level II charging stations for up to 800 residential customers. Level II charging allows customers to charge their EVs up to six times faster than a standard wall outlet.

• Public Charging: Duke Energy will install and operate more than 800 public charging stations across North Carolina, including DC Fast Charging, Public Level II and multifamily locations, which will expand the state’s network of EV charging stations.

• Fleet EV Charging: The program will provide a $2,500 rebate for 900 qualifying charging stations for commercial and industrial customers who operate fleets that are transitioning to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Municipalities and universities also qualify for these rebates.

• EV School Bus Charging Station: Duke Energy will provide financial support to eligible customers to procure up to 85 electric school buses. Duke Energy will install the associated charging infrastructure.

• EV Transit Bus Charging Station: Duke Energy will install and operate more than 100 electric transit bus charging stations for eligible transit agencies electing to procure electric buses. Electric transit buses eliminate diesel emissions and reduce fuel and maintenance costs for transit agencies.”

Source: Duke Energy

Source of electricity is taken into consideration in scoring CFAT grant proposals, with renewable-sourced energy scoring higher.  The NC DEQ VW Settlement program will give up to 10 bonus points when RECs are purchased to offset grid electricity purchases.  The Duke Energy program is still in early stages of proposal and development, and it is not yet clear what their criteria will be.

For any questions on Duke Energy’s EVSE initiatives, contact Lisa Poger at Lisa.Poger@duke-energy.com.

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