Alaska is a beneficiary of $8.125 million from the federal Volkswagen Settlement for Volkswagen's installation of illegal software in diesel vehicles designed to cheat emission tests. AEA developed a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (Plan) through a public process that describes how the state proposes to distribute the funds amongst the eligible mitigation actions defined in the settlement. All Requests for Applications (RFAs) will be publicly noticed on this website. If you are interested in receiving email notifications please join the VW listserve.
On January 29, 2018, Alaska became a beneficiary of the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust. AEA has developed a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan as required by the Trust Agreement through public input. The Plan summarizes how the State proposes to allocate the mitigation funds among the various Eligible Mitigation Actions to reduce NOx emissions. Alaska will disburse the $8.125 million fund as follows:
Eligible Mitigation Action 2 includes the repower or replacement of Types A-D school buses. Vehicles eligible for scrappage and repower or replacement include those with engine model years of 2009 or older. The engines/buses may be replaced with new cleaner diesel engines/vehicles, alternative fueled engines/vehicles (e.g., CNG, propane, electric hybrid), or all-electric engines/vehicles.
Two requests for applications (RFA) have been released for the upgrade/replacement of eligible school buses. The first solicitation closed June 14, 2019. Under that solicitation, eleven school buses will be replaced as follows: six buses in Anchorage School District; 4 buses in Kenai Peninsula Borough School District; and 1 bus Alaska Gateway School District. The second solicitation, which allows for the disbursement of approximately $1.7 million, opened September 16, 2019. Applications for school bus upgrade/replacement are being accepted now through November 15, 2019. As described in Table 2 of the Plan, school bus projects will be evaluated based on:
Eligible Mitigation Action 2 includes the repower or replacement of Classes 4-8 shuttle or transit buses. Vehicles eligible for scrappage and repower or replacement include those with engine model years of 2009 or older. The engines/buses may be replaced with new cleaner diesel engines/vehicles, alternative fueled engines/vehicles (e.g., CNG, propane, electric hybrid), or all-electric engines/vehicles.
Applications for public transit bus upgrade/replacement were accepted April through June 14, 2019. Up to $700,000 was made available for the upgrade/replacement of eligible public transit buses, with a requirement of 80% matching funds from applicants. AEA received one application from the City and Borough of Juneau, Capital Transit. Capital Transit will be awarded $233,960 towards the purchase of an all-electric transit bus and associated charging infrastructure.
Ferries or tugs equipped with unregulated, Tier 1, or Tier 2 marine engines may be repowered under EMA 4. These tugs and ferries may be repowered with any new Tier 3 or Tier 4 diesel or alternate fueled engine, or with all-electric engines. In addition, under the DERA Option (EMA 10), commercial marine vessels with pre-Tier 3 engines operated at least 1,000 hours per year are eligible for upgrade.
Alaska intends to allocate 10% of the VW State Trust to upgrade eligible marine vessels, require mandatory matching funds, and cap the funds at $200,000 per project.
Up to $800,000 will be made available for the upgrade/replacement of eligible marine engines through an RFA issued in fall 2019. Projects will require mandatory matching funds and be capped at $200,000 per project. These projects will be evaluated based on:
Alaska intends to allocate 15% of the EMT funds to electric vehicle charging infrastructure regionally based on populations within the connected road systems beginning Fall 2019 as follows:
The funds will be made available to each of the areas as early as summer 2019. The Contiguous Statewide Road System will have two components; one along the highway system connecting communities and another within communities. Communities along the Contiguous Statewide Road System and other isolated communities throughout the state will each be required to develop a community-wide comprehensive plan that includes input from stakeholders such as AEA, DEC, utilities, statewide and local transportation planners, local government, fleet owners, electric vehicle owners, and car dealerships. The plans will include locations of existing infrastructure and proposed locations for new level 2 charging stations; rationale, criteria, and process for site selections; prioritization of site installation; schedule; and responsible entity for plan implementation. Following plan approval, selected sites will need to include agreements with the entities who will own and maintain each site (e.g., local utility or government) for a period of five years. All installations will be required to have interoperability.
To fully leverage federal funds for projects in rural Alaska, Alaska intends to set aside approximately $250,000 of the EMT annually for the state’s voluntary match under the State DERA program for five years. VW State Trust funds will be made available for these projects winter 2018/2019, spring 2019, spring 2020 and spring 2021. The Alaska Energy Authority will determine which projects receive VW Trust funding based on the same criteria used to prioritize state Rural System Power Upgrade (RPSU) projects.
For the first round of funding, eligible diesel engines will be replaced in the powerhouses located in Circle, Takotna, Tuluksak and Chignik Lake. The projects are funded by the EPA through the state DERA program ($746,174), the Denali Commission ($53,234), State of Alaska capital funds ($276,643), and the VW State Trust ($497,449), for a total cost of approximately $1,573,500. These projects will be completed in 2020. AEA has also committed $315,508 of VW State Trust funds as voluntary match to EPA FY19 DERA funds..
The following grant funding opportunities and loans are available that may be used as match for projects that are eligible for Volkswagen Trust funding.
Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program FTA-2019-001-TPM-LOWNO
The FTA (Federal Transit Administration) announces its nationally competitive grant program annually. The main purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the nation’s transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The maximum federal share is 85% of net project costs for projects that involve leasing or acquiring transit buses (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicles) and 90% of the net project cost for acquiring, installing, or constructing vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities). The Fiscal Year 2019 program closed May 14, 2019.
Power Project Loan Fund
AEA provides loans to local utilities, local governments or independent power producers for the development or upgrade of power facilities. These loans may be used as mandatory cost-share for DERA projects to repower or replace diesel engines or gensets in diesel powerhouses. The loan term is related to the life of the project. Interest rates are between tax-exempt rates at the high end and zero on the low end.
Commercial Fishing Loan Fund - Engine Fuel Efficiency Upgrade
The Division of Economic Development offers loans for the upgrade of commercial fishing vessel engines to improve the fuel efficiency of the propulsion engine or generator engine replacement on an existing vessel.
National Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan
Volkswagen is required to invest $2 billion ($800 million within California and $1.2 billion outside of California) in four 30-month investment cycles over 10 years in ZEV infrastructure, access, and awareness initiatives. For each investment cycle, project proposals are submitted to Electrify America, which develops an investment plan to be reviewed and approved by the EPA. The second of round of project proposals closed March 2018. Proposals for the third round are currently being accepted. Additional information is available at www.electrifyamerica.com.