$25 Million Distributed for the Advancement of Alternative Fuel Usage in California
San Diego – The Air Resources Board today announced the names of forty projects winning grant money to encourage the early adoption of alternative fuels in California.
"By encouraging the general public to accept and prepare for alternative fuels we accelerate the transition to advanced technologies and minimize the environmental and health burdens associated with energy consuming products," said ARB Chairman, Dr. Robert Sawyer. "Any action that reduces emissions, diversifies energy sources, and educates the public of the benefits of alternative fuels is a boon to the quality of life in California and is by extension a liberating force for the rest of the world."
As part of ARB's 2006-2007 budget the California legislature tagged $25 million for the purposes of encouraging the use of biofuels and high efficiency, low emitting vehicle technology. The intent of the Legislature was that these funds be used by projects that would reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by using the benefits inherent in alternative fuels.
To distribute the funds appropriately the ARB and California Energy Commission (CEC) designed a request for proposal that used comments provided at a September 21, 2006 public workshop and an additional fifty written comments submitted between August-October 2006.
Applications were considered in the following categories:
- Category A- Infrastructure for dispensing E85 (fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) and potentially other alternative fuels ($6 million)
- Category B- Startup of small biofuels production facilities ($5.4 million)
- Category C- Hybrid electric vehicle demonstration projects ($5 million)
- Category D- Transit bus projects ($2 million)
- Category E- Incentives for PZEVs and ZEVs ($1.5 million)
- Category F- Funding for consumer education and outreach ($1.6 million)
- Category R- Alternative fuel vehicle research ($3.3 million)
A multi-state agency team comprised of the ARB, CEC, State Water Resources Control Board, Integrated Waste Management Board, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Department of Forestry, and other agencies reviewed the proposals and provided recommendations for grants winners in April 2007.
Staff received 208 responses by the deadline on March 19, 2007. The total requested by these applications was $160 million. Staff considered the applicants project cost, timing, alternative fuels usage, complementary funding source, and completeness of the application. For categories A and B, staff also considered business type and evaluated technical information to support the ability of the applicants to complete the project with in the two year constraints of the original ARB budget description. For categories C, D, E, and F, staff evaluated proposals for knowledge and experience, the availability of the technology, and business parameters and operation.The Budget Bill provided that the money be encumbered by June 30, 2007 and be expended by June 30, 2009.
Awards will be made in late May and June 2007.