November 29, 2022

EGLE to offer $9 million in grants to ‘repower’ marine vessels

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will allocate $9 million in grants to push clean energy on the state’s bodies of water.

The money for the department’s Fuel Transformation Program (FTP) will come from the state’s $64.8 million portion of the national settlement with Volkswagen over the German automaker’s violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Volkswagen’s installation of emission testing defeat devices on its vehicles resulted in two settlement decrees.

“This is a great opportunity to reduce emissions from rail and marine sources to help improve air quality in neighboring communities and protect the environment. While cars get the most attention, other transportation sectors are also integral to Michigan’s transition to zero emission or cleaner fuels as called out in the draft MI Healthy Climate Plan,” Elizabeth Browne, director of the Materials Management Division at EGLE, said in a statement.

According to the EGLE news release, applicants awarded the FTP grants will receive from $100,000 to $5 million to replace or “repower freight switchers and marine vessels with clean engines” and “install shore power.” Among the watercraft eligible for repowering or replacement are ferry boats and tugs. Applications also will be accepted for “installation of shore-side power for vessels that operate within the Great Lakes.”

FTP funds will cover between 25% and 75% of the respective repowering project, and the technology used. Replacement or repowering with zero emission technologies such as electric and hydrogen fuel cells qualify for the highest funding percentages. Lower funding percentages may be granted to repowering and replacement by alternative fuel and diesel.

“We don’t have a specific number of replacements or repowers expected but have made a very rough estimate of the emission reductions we hope to realize with the funding,” Debra Swartz, EGLE environmental quality specialist, told The Center Square.

The FTP programs were developed to reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions as well as to promote the adoption of zero emission and alternative fuel engines in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s climate change mitigation goals.

The application process begins Wednesday, Feb. 23, and closes Sept. 23, 2022.

A one-hour webinar explaining the FTP Request for Proposal application process, “Guidelines for Grant Application,” is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 6. Anyone interested in this grant opportunity or responsible for project management is encouraged to register.

This article was originally posted on EGLE to offer $9 million in grants to ‘repower’ marine vessels

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