Portland General Electric has announced the creation of the PGE Drive Change Fund. The fund is set to award cash grants to local community organizations and businesses to help electrify Oregon's transportation sector. According to PGE, the fund will award $1.75 million to electrification projects potentially ranging from transit buses and passenger cars to community service vehicles and electric bikes.
"Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state, making an electrified transportation system critical to a low-carbon future," said John McFarland, PGE vice president and chief customer officer. "PGE is committed to supporting an electric transportation system that serves everyone, and the PGE Drive Change Fund will help us do that."
The money is coming from the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, administered by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The program aims to reduce Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 10% over the next five years. PGE participates in the program as a provider of low-carbon transportation fuel. Funds from the sale of credits PGE receives are used to promote and support transportation electrification. In 2018, PGE received approximately $5.5 million in credits from the DEQ for the previous two years.
In addition to the PGE Drive Change Fund, the company is also sponsoring programs to help school districts buy electric buses, increase access to Electric Avenue charging stations for low-income customers, and public outreach to raise awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles.
How to apply for a grant
Community organizations, non-profits and businesses can apply to the PGE Drive Change Fund for project grants. Successful projects will include those that expand access to electric vehicles, develop new charging infrastructure, and support education and outreach efforts to address barriers to electric vehicle adoption. The application is available now and submissions will be accepted from July 1 to August 30, 2019.
Grant sizes range from $5,000 to $575,000. Awards from the PGE Drive Change Fund can cover up to 100% of eligible project costs. Applicants do not need to be PGE customers, but all projects must benefit the public in PGE's service area. Projects that address the needs of underserved communities are preferred.
Interested parties may start an application at www.portlandgeneral.com/drivechangefund.