Archive for January, 2014

Funding available for projects reducing transportation-related emissions in NC

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by shannonhelm No Comments

 

Second call includes over $1,000,000 available to award

 

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina Solar Center at N.C. State University has announced a second request for proposals for over $1,000,000 to award to governments, business, and/or non-profit applicants for transportation technology related emission reduction projects. The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project is a three year, $6.2 million initiative of the N.C. Solar Center (NCSC) funded with federal support from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). In addition to providing assistance for emission reduction projects, the CFAT project focuses on activities that include a public education media campaign and the development of clean transportation technology and policy training opportunities.
 

Technology project proposals for this call for projects must be submitted to the N.C. Solar Center by March 18, 2014.

 
The CFAT project, funded by federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds, operates in 24 counties that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. More than half of North Carolinians live in counties that have unhealthy air, and transportation-related emissions are a primary contributor to the state’s air quality problem. In 2013, an initial request for proposal process distributed over $1.7 million  to 18 public and private entities for a variety of projects including natural gas powered trucks and refueling infrastructure, propane refueling equipment and vehicle conversions, electric vehicle charging stations, on-board telematics equipment and biodiesel refueling equipment. Project managers anticipate an equally wide range of applications through this request, including alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles, vehicle conversions for operation on cleaner-burning propane or natural gas, alternative fuel refueling and electric vehicle recharging infrastructure, on-board idle reduction and telematics technology for fuel savings and emission reduction, and emission control retrofits for school buses and other heavy duty diesel vehicles. For this round of funding, the N.C. Solar Center has been granted a waiver on federal Buy America requirements allowing funding for vehicle purchases, so long as the vehicles are final-assembled within the United States.

Funding assistance is allocated in the form of a reimbursement, which can cover up to 80 percent of the project cost. In order to be eligible, a project must reduce transportation-related emissions within eligible N.C. counties, with the exception of electric vehicle recharging infrastructure which, in accordance with new 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. Solar 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 available by clicking on Incentives & Funding at: www.cleantransportation.org

 

About the North Carolina Solar Center

The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter

 

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

 

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New Guidance on Permitting Provides Boon for Local Governments, Solar Developers

Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by shannonhelm No Comments

 

 

Template solar ordinance offers adaptable roadmap for solar energy development with a local twist

RALEIGH – The NC Solar Center (NCSC) and the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) released a Template Solar Energy Development Ordinance that addresses some of the most common considerations that arise in the permitting of solar energy facilities. It is intended to offer a path that could facilitate solar project development for companies and landowners while simultaneously creating a framework for local governments to ensure the safeguarding of local values and interests.

The template ordinance represents months of collaboration among multiple stakeholders including solar industry representatives, state government agencies, local planning communities, legal experts, and other non-profit groups. However, the project stopped deliberately short of proposing the resulting template ordinance as a prescriptive approach, suggesting its value instead as an expert guide.

“The template is a unique tool for local governments that are researching how best to design their own solar ordinance and need a model that is tailored to the state,” said Michael Fucci, Regulatory and Market Analyst for NCSEA. “It is also a ‘win’ for companies that can now rely on the template in jurisdictions where a lack of understanding of how to regulate solar development may otherwise have posed a significant barrier to entry.”

Throughout the drafting process NCSEA and NCSC provided drafts of the template to numerous jurisdictions eager to take advantage of the resource. County officials have already used the template ordinance to help them better prepare to manage commercial solar development responsibly while still maintaining the support of solar developers. In 2013 North Carolina installed more solar than 47 other states, and even more solar is expected to be installed in the state in 2014.

“Due to this solar boom, local governments across NC have significant interest in better understanding solar energy,” said Tommy Cleveland, Renewable Energy Project Coordinator at NCSC. “Now that the template ordinance is published we expect to see even greater interest and are well prepared to offer support to interested jurisdictions.”

The Template Solar Ordinance and a historical report detailing key decision points are available on the NCSEA and NCSC sites.

 

About the North Carolina Solar Center:

The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter

 

About the NC Sustainable Energy Association:

Founded in 1978, the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, government and non-profits working to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development. Learn more at www.energync.org

 

Contact: 

Shannon Helm, NC Solar Center, Shannon_Helm@ncsu.edu, 919-423-8340

Lowell Sachs, NCSEA,  lowell@energync.org, 919-832-7601 Ext.117

 

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