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Energy Department Announces $10 Million to Advance Efficient, Environmentally-Friendly Highway Transportation Technologies

The Energy Department announced today $10 million for eight incubator projects to develop innovative solutions for efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicle technologies that will help reduce petroleum use in the United States. The funding will go toward projects that pursue breakthrough approaches to providing Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, while lowering costs and reducing environmental impacts.

Through the incubator activity, the Energy Department supports innovative technologies and solutions that have the potential to help meet program goals but are not substantially represented in the current research portfolio. These projects bring a more diverse group of stakeholders and participants to address technical challenges in the vehicle research priorities. Eventually, successfully demonstrated technologies or approaches from the incubator activity may impact existing long-term technology plans and roadmaps.

Some awardees include:

  • Silatronix of Madison, Wisconsin will receive $1.3 million to develop advanced stable electrolytes for current and future high voltage (>5V) battery systems for automotive applications.
  • Polymer Plus of Valley View, Ohio will receive $1.4 million to develop multilayered film capacitors for advanced power electronics and electric motors for electric traction drives.
  • Intermolecular Inc., of San Jose, California will receive $2.5 million to develop a new family of lightweight high strength alloys for vehicle applications.
  • State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook University of Stony Brook, New York will receive $1.0 million to eliminate the need for two fuels to achieve the efficiency and emissions improvements of the reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) advanced combustion by using a single fuel with onboard fuel reformation.

Read the full list of awardees.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. The Vehicle Technologies Office funds research and development for energy efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicle technologies. To learn more about the office, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website.

Clean Fleets North Texas 2015 Call For Projects is Open!

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has opened the Clean Fleets North Texas 2015 Call for Projects (CFP) to help fleets modernize and improve efficiency of their vehicles and improve air quality. Applications are being accepted through October 23, 2015.  This CFP will provide approximately $2.5 million in grant funds for public and private fleets with operations in the 10-County Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Ozone Nonattainment area.

  • Up to 80 percent in grant funding will be awarded to eligible projects.
  • Project types eligible for grant funding include qualifying new purchase, replacement, repower, retrofit, engine conversion, or installation of idle reduction technologies on school buses.
  • All projects must achieve a reduction in NOX emissions.
  • Applicants must adopt the Clean Fleet Policy prior to the application deadline.

In addition, NCTCOG is seeking information on refueling or recharging infrastructure projects desired by fleets; while these projects are not eligible for grant funds at this time, staff will use this information to evaluate potential future opportunities for assistance.

Note, to be eligible for grant funding, an applicant must have adopted the Clean Fleet Policy by October 23, 2015Adoptees of the older version of the Clean Fleet Vehicle Policy (effective 2005-2014) must adopt the revised Clean Fleet Policy.  For information on adopting the Clean Fleet Policy, please visit www.nctcog.org/fleetpolicy.

A workshop will be conducted on September 3, 2015 at the NCTCOG offices at 2:00 PM in the William J. Pitstick Executive Board Room. The CFP application and guidelines will be reviewed and any questions will be addressed.

Please feel free to contact NCTCOG staff at aqgrants@nctcog.org with any questions on this funding opportunity or go to www.nctcog.org/aqfunding.

Texas Drops Surcharges on Non-Road Diesel Equipment 25%

New legislation from the 2015 84th Texas Legislative Session will reduce the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) fees on the purchase or lease of non-road equipment, beginning September 1, 2015. The TERP fee reduction will make buying and renting heavy equipment more affordable for all customers.

Surcharges on heavy equipment provide funding for TERP, a nationally recognized grant program designed to accelerate fleet turnover, reduce diesel emissions, increase the use of alternative fuels for transportation, and improve air quality for all Texans.

Since TERP was established in 2001, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Incentive (DERI) grant program has awarded over $905 million to 9,580 projects — replacing or upgrading over 15,623 vehicles and heavy equipment.

In the past year, HOLT CAT worked extensively with state legislators and other Texas Cat dealers to push legislation that will provide a 25% reduction in long-standing fees on the sale or lease of non-road equipment powered by diesel engines. This reduction will result in substantial savings for HOLT customers, ranging from approximately $250 to $2,500, on a variety of models.

“This positive change will provide even greater value to our customers while sustaining an important program that protects air quality,” said Paul Hensley, Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for HOLT CAT.

Through these legislative efforts, HOLT CAT has also worked with a diverse group of government, non-profit and industry-based representatives to successfully advocate for an increase in TERP grant funds of $80 million for the upcoming biennium. Approximately $40 million of this increase will be added to the grant pool for diesel projects, which will make it easier for interested customers to receive grant awards as HOLT continues to assist them with TERP applications.

Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP): Grants and Administration for 2016 & 2017

The numbers are in for the amounts of Grants and Incentives that will be available through the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP).  In fiscal year 2016, $118,124,844 will be appropriated and $118,138,163 in fiscal year 2017. The estimated allocation for these funds by program are listed in the chart below. To find out how to apply please visit the TERP website.

Program 2016 2017
ICEQ Administration $4,724,994 $4,725,527
Regional Air Monitoring Program $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Emissions Reducation Incentive Grants $61,733,913 $61,741,371
Texas Clean Fleet Program (minimum) $5,906,242 $5,906,908
Texas Clean School Bus (maximum) $4,724,994 $4,725,527
Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (minimum) $18,899,975 $18,902,106
Clean Transportation Triangle Program (maximum) $5,906,242 $5,906,908
Alternaitve Fueling Facilities Program $5,906,242 $5,906,908
New Technology Implementation Grants (maximum) $3,543,745 $3,544,145
Health Effects Study (maximum) $200,000 $200,000
Research $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Energy Systems Laboritory $216,000 $216,000
Drayage Truck Incentive Program $2,362,497 $2,362,763
Total $118,124,844 $118,138,163

Watson Bill Extends Key Air Quality Program

Posted on Kirk Watsons website.

Sen. Kirk Watson has filed legislation to extend the life of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), which will be an essential tool for communities across the state as tighter federal air quality standards take effect.

TERP offers financial incentives to replace polluting vehicles and equipment in order to improve air quality and allow for continued economic growth.  Launched in 2001, the program focuses largely on reducing emissions from mobile sources of pollution in order to comply with federal air quality standards.  It has garnered broad support from industry groups and environmental organizations alike.

SB 1619 would bump the TERP expiration date from August 2019 to August 2023 and open up the program to more communities, such as Bell and McLennan counties, where the ozone levels are nearing a critical federal threshold. Businesses, individuals and local governments in the targeted counties become eligible for TERP grants to retire older heavy-duty vehicles for cleaner emitting replacements.

The legislation would also continue incentives to Texans purchasing eligible electric, natural gas or propane-powered vehicles. This program is currently set to expire this year. And businesses in the oil patch would get access to incentive grants to install low-emission compressor engines and reduce oil field flaring.

“TERP has played a pivotal role in reducing air pollution for well over a decade and it will be even more important under the new federal standards,” Watson said. “Failing to meet the air quality standards has serious economic consequences and could eventually threaten federal highway funding. We can use TERP wisely to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Watson is also working with a coalition of business and environmental interests who share the goal of increasing the funding available through TERP without increasing new taxes or fees. Over the next two years, TERP is expected to collect about $450 million, but the proposed state budget only spends about one-third of that money for its intended programs.

“Using all of the TERP revenue for its intended purpose would be a great investment in Texas’ economy as well as a watershed moment for restoring honesty in our state budgeting practices,” Watson said.

Read original article here.

You can follow the bills progress here.

State Rebate Available for New Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) released funding in May 2014 for the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program.  This program provides financial incentives of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or electric drives (plug-in).  TCEQ has a list of specific eligible vehicle makes and models online and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until June 26, 2015, or until all funding is awarded.  Additional information can be found at www.terpgrants.org.