The North Carolina Department of Transportation (N.C. DOT) is continuing to support efforts led by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University to reduce transportation-related emissions through a two-year $4,494,500 award for the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. This marks the fourth phase of the CFAT initiative, which began in 2006.
The CFAT project focuses on improving air quality in the 24 North Carolina counties that are in non-attainment or maintenance status with regards to National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The project centers around three primary activities: education and outreach, emission reduction sub-awards, and recognition of exemplary efforts among fleets and organizations reducing their transportation-related emissions.
The 2016-17 phase includes:
- Expansion of a public education campaign to increase awareness of cleaner transportation options such as walking, biking, transit and alternative fuels. The campaign includes statewide television, radio, and billboard advertising directing users to the consumer-oriented website FuelWhatMatters.org.
- Collaboration and information exchange at a regional and statewide level, including the N.C. Clean Transportation Coordinating Committee, the N.C. Smart Fleet initiative, and a track at the 2016 State Energy Conference in Raleigh that is dedicated to topics relevant to a wide range of transportation stakeholders.
- Development of a professional Smart Fleet management training program that will provide tools and information to increase fleet efficiency through the use of low carbon fuels, technologies, practices and policies.
- Distribution of $3 million for transportation technology-related emission reduction projects. These funds will be allocated through a minimum of two competitive call for project processes.
The beginning of this new CFAT phase coincides with the announcement of a request for proposal period for $1.5 million in funding available to governments, businesses, and/or non-profit applicants for transportation technology emission reduction projects. Eligible projects include biodiesel, E85 ethanol, electric, hybrid electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles and refueling/recharging equipment. Vehicle telematics, diesel retrofits, and idle reduction technologies are also eligible for CFAT grant funding.
Funding assistance is allocated in the form of a reimbursement, which can cover up to 80% of the project cost. In order to be eligible, a project must reduce transportation-related emissions within the 24 eligible counties with the exception of natural gas refueling equipment and electric vehicle recharging infrastructure which, in accordance with federal guidelines, can be located anywhere within the state. For education and outreach regarding alternative fuel and fuel conservation technologies and policies, the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center has partnered with Triangle J, Centralina, Upper Coastal Plain and Kerr-Tar Councils of Governments, and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council. Guidelines and applications are available by clicking on Incentives & Funding at www.cleantransportation.org.