N.C. Solar Center receives $6.2 Million grant for air quality solutions in North Carolina


Energy Award Supports North Carolina Alternative Fuel Efforts

RALEIGH, N.C.– The North Carolina Department of Transportation is supporting efforts led by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University to reduce transportation related emissions with a three-year $6,200,000 award for the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The CFAT 2013-15 project is the third phase of an initiative that began in 2006 and was previously administered with $3,000,000 in state and federal funding.

The CFAT project focuses on improving air quality in the 24 North Carolina counties that are in non-attainment or maintenance status for national 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 that implement clean transportation-related policies and practices. Phase three of the project will include the following new components:

  • A public education campaign, using billboards and other related media such as radio, television and social media;
  • The establishment of a technical advisory committee to develop clean transportation training activities;
  • The creation of a state-wide green fleet program to enhance opportunities for continuing expansion of clean transportation policies and practices.


The grant awarded to the N.C. Solar Center is funded with federal dollars through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program that is administered annually by NCDOT.  CMAQ funds support projects that improve air quality by reducing transportation-related emissions. The most recent federal transportation funding bill, MAP-21, places new emphasis on the use of CMAQ funds for electric and natural gas  infrastructure  along with diesel engine retrofits and other efforts that reduce fine particle pollution.

The majority of federal CMAQ funding supporting the CFAT project is budgeted for sub-award projects that will be allocated through an annual call for project process. Over $4,000,000 is budgeted for eligible CMAQ technologies, such as vehicle and refueling/recharging equipment for biodiesel and E85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline), electric vehicles, natural gas and propane in public and private sector fleets. Diesel retrofits and idle reduction technologies are also eligible for funding support of up to 80% of project costs

The CFAT project intends to continue successful partnerships with Centralina and Triangle J Council of Governments (COGs) through the Centralina Clean Fuels and Triangle Clean Cities coalitions, as well as expand education and outreach efforts to the Piedmont Triad Regional Council and Upper Coastal Plain and Ker-Tarr COGs. “NCDOT’s funding will significantly expand education, outreach and deployment of alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology to help reduce transportation-related emissions in effected counties ”, said Anne Tazewell, clean transportation manager at the N.C. Solar Center.


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


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