$2.9M grant approved for county ‘energy’ agency

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments board of directors has approved a $2.9 million grant to Valley Clean Energy that will lay the foundation for increased electric vehicle charging opportunities and multi-modal transportation hubs in Yolo County.

The cities of Davis, Woodland and Yolo County joined forces with VCE to submit a joint application for grant funds.

Valley Clean Energy is a nonprofit public agency formed to provide electrical generation service to customers within Davis, Woodland and unincorporated areas of Yolo County.  The so-called “community power” concept is to deliver cost-competitive clean electricity, product choice, price stability, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reductions and reinvestment in the community beyond that provided by public utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric.

“We are excited about this grant and believe it lays a strong foundation for the future growth of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the City of Davis and throughout the region,” said Lucas Frerichs, Davis city councilman and chairman of the Valley Clean Energy board of directors. “This is one of the benefits that community choice energy providers like VCE offer — to partner with local government agencies and support infrastructure development.”

Last week’s action by SACOG will result in larger numbers of publicly available, networked electric vehicle charging stations throughout Davis, Woodland, and Yolo County. The charging infrastructure will include up to sixty 240-volt, level 2 chargers, along with two to five fast chargers near highway corridors such as Interstates 5, 80 and 505 and Highway 113.

These chargers will also be located to encourage “active transportation” (walking, biking, and transit) and enhance downtown economic vitality as co-benefits of EV charging. The grant also provides for up to 10 mobile electric vehicle chargers and an electric bus serving downtown Davis and the UC Davis campus.

“This is one way to reduce the ‘range anxiety’ associated with electric vehicle ownership,” said Tom Stallard, Woodland city councilman and vice chairman of the Valley Clean Energy board of directors.  “As more publicly available charging infrastructure is installed, more people will feel comfortable purchasing electric vehicles. This provides a great benefit to the people of Woodland and across Yolo County.”

The grant is provided through SACOG’s newest competitive program, the Green Region Program. The Green Region Program is intended to help the Sacramento region’s transportation system reduce emissions while continuing to function effectively and efficiently.

Green Region focuses on bringing together both public and private partners who are working toward the same goals of reducing vehicle miles traveled and improving air quality in their respective regions. Four grants of approximately $3 million each were awarded in the region. The VCE grant was the only award for the full requested amount.

“This is an example of cooperation between public agencies that will have wide-ranging, positive impacts on the community,” said Don Saylor, Yolo County supervisor and member of the Valley Clean Energy board of directors. “Through this grant, we will be able to install publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure in many new locations in Yolo County.”

The grant partners have four years to complete the project.

 

$2.9M grant approved for county ‘energy’ agency, by The Daily Democrat Staff, Daily Democrat, December 12, 2018.

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