DC Fast Infrastructure Program FAQ

Claims Webinar Questions

Claims Webinar Questions

  • Will this be recorded?
    • Yes, this webinar will be recorded and posted on the website.
  • What happens if my total expenses are updated by the vendor?
    • When you submit your claim, the program manager will review all your costs at that point. You will only be reimbursed for the amount your project was awarded if overbudget.
  • I have updated pricing with regards as installation. When we submitted our application, we had all our costs broken out. Do you need to approve individual line items for approval prior to PO?
    • No, our contracts are not itemized by the line items from the applications and is for the total application project costs only. The program manager does not need to approve your costs prior to PO.  Reimbursement documents must be itemized for review by the program manager in your claim submittal. If you have additional questions, please contact your project manager.
  • There is an option by our vendor to have reporting sent directly to recipient (i.e., DAQ, Dave Willis). Can we set it up that way?
    • Yes. In addition, some EVSE vendors such as ChargePoint are setting up a portal for us to access usage data for awarded projects. This will also meet the requirement for the annual reporting requirement.
  • What happens if the project cannot be completed in the two year contract length?
    • At least thirty days prior to your contract expiration date, you need to contact your program manager of the situation. We will work with you to extend the contract, as necessary. You will need to provide supporting documentation in writing as to why the project cannot be completed before the contract expires.
  • Can we request an advance payment?
    • No, this is a reimbursement program. Awardees are required to purchase the equipment and provide proof of payment for reimbursement. NCDEQ has been upfront that this is a reimbursement program in the RFP and other webinars.
  • When filing the claim request should we request 100% and you will withhold the 10% or do we file two claims one for 90% and one for 10%?
    • You submit two claims. One for 90%, then another for 10% after the site visit. The DAQ Grants Management System will not allow you to create additional claims until an open claim has been approved for payment.
  • Can we just wait and submit the claim request  100% of the costs after the project is completed?
    • Yes. In this situation, we recommend that you contact the program manager and schedule your site visit prior to submitting your claim.
  • What is the expected time between when a claim is submitted and when payment can be expected?
    • After a claim is approved for payment, expect two to four weeks to receive your reimbursement. 
    • Time for claim approval will vary depending on documentation submitted and staff workload. We will process claims in a a reasonable time, but will need to verify that all submitted doucmentation is correct and eligible for reimbursement.
Awardee Webinar Questions

Awardee Webinar Questions

  • Have you acknowledged the receipt of the acceptance form/notice to all awardees? If we have not heard from our grant manager should we be reaching out to them or wait for them to reach out to applicants? ­
    • Program Managers will send receipt of the award acceptance emails to awardees the week of August 24, 2020. Program Managers will also send links to the webinar and confirmation of users in the DAQ Grant Management System if the user has been added.
  • So, is our next step to go into the Grant Management System and get our organization registered? Then we will receive an acknowledgement email about our next steps?
    • Once you have submitted your completed DAQ Access Authorization form, it will be submitted to add your account to the DAQ Grants Management System and linked to your application.
    • Once you receive the “WELCOME TO THE DAQ ENTERPRISE BUSINESS SYSTEM” email you should be able to log into the system and search for your application by using the DAQ Grant Management System Number on your award letter.
  • Can an organization have more than one person complete an access authorization form?
    • Yes. Up to three people can be assigned to your organization in the DAQ Grant Management System. At least one of the three people should be listed on your application. Each person will need to complete a separate Access Authorization Form. The organization must match on all three Access Authorization Forms.
    • You must create a NCID prior to submitting your Access Authorization form. To do this, follow the instructions provided here. https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/Air%20Quality/motor/grants/files/grant_forms/How-to-Create-a-NC-ID.pdf
    • If the Access Authorization Form provided to you has fields for your Tax Identification number and requires an 8-digit PIN. Please download the revised form on our webpage. https://deq.nc.gov/vw-settlement/forms.
  • If the GMS welcome email was sent but blocked by our spam settings, will it be resent automatically, or do we have to request for it to be resent?
    • If the NCDOT SAP Team notifies the primary DAQ contact that a “WELCOME TO THE DAQ ENTERPRISE BUSINESS SYSTEM” email bounced back. The email will be forwarded to you by Brian Phillips. If this email also bounces back, your program manager will contact you by phone.
    • If your email system is blocking emails from sapacct@ncdot.gov, you will need to contact your IT staff to configure your email spam filter to allow the emails to reach your inbox.
    • The welcome email is a notification that you have been added as a user in the system for your organization.
  • How do I log in the DAQ Grant Management System?
    • The DAQ Grant Management System can be accessed using this URL, https://www.ebs.nc.gov/irj/portal.
    • The login is your NCID username and password you created.
    • NCID passwords must be changed every 90 days or you will be locked out. You will be emailed a NCID Password Reminder email 10 days prior to the expiration of your NCID from ncid.notifications@nc.gov with instructions on how to change your password.
    • Please make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker active on your browser or you will have issues using the grants management system.
  • The DAQ Grant Management System says my password is invalid when I try to login. What do I do?
    • First go to https://ncid.nc.gov/idmdash/#/default  and verify that your NCID password is not locked. You can unlock your account from there. 
    • If your NCID password is not locked you will need to contact the SAP Support Services Team. 919-707-2208 EBSSupport@ncdot.gov Monday - Friday, 7am - 5pm.
  • Are our applications already in the Grants Management System? Also, fo rmultiple sites, are we required to upload contract forms for each application?
    • Yes, the NC VW Team has entered the information contained on your PDF application into the Grants Management System and uploaded a copy of the PDF application as an attachment. Please verify the information was copied correctly after you have access to the system.
    • You must upload required documents for each application separately.
  • I utilize EBS (Grant Management System platform) for NCDOT related grant management. Is this going to cause any conflict accessing the DAQ Grant Management System?
    • No. If you already have access to the NCDOT EBS (Enterprise Business Services platform) for another agency’s grants, you will still need to submit the DAQ Access Authorization form to link your NCID to your application in the DAQ Grants Management System. You will have a separate tile for Division of Air Quality Grants on your home page in the portal.
  • Where do we find the naming conventions for attachments?
    • The DAQ Grant Management System allows you to assign a file type to an attachment. Utilizing this you can keep your attachment names simple and appropriate to the attachment type.
  • Where can I find the post award forms?
  • Could you clarify when post award documents are required, after award or during award process.
    • Once your organization has submitted your award acceptance letter and you have received confirmation from your program manager, you have completed the award process and have moved to contract processing.  The post award documents are required then for your program manager to submit your information to the DEQ Financial Services staff to process your contract.
  • Are the required post award forms accessed in the grant system and is there a due date for the completion of those forms?
    • Forms are available to download on our website – fill out and submit as attachments in the DAQ Grant Management System.
    • Please submit your post award forms as soon as possible, the longer you wait to return the form the longer it will take to process your contract.
  • Two of the post award forms ask for EPA Project Control Numbers.  Do we have that number or should be leave this blank?
    • Yes, leave this field blank.
  • My organization does not pay taxes, do I need to complete the “No Overdue Taxes Form”?
    • Government agencies are not required to complete this form. Non-profits and private organizations are required to complete this form.
  • When does the two-years start to complete a project?
    • Once you have a signed and fully executed contract, the contract clocks will start.
    • Contract extensions may be requested at the appropriate time with a written, verifiable justification.
  • Should we sign the contract and return it to you for your signature and execution?
    • The contract will be emailed to the authorized representative from your organization and will include instructions on where to send the signed copy.
    • A copy of your fully executed contract will be uploaded as an attachment to your application by DEQ.
  • Are signed host site agreements required before an application can be process for approval?
    • Yes, applicants must have signed host site agreements before your contract can be processed.
  • Awardees are required to submit a copy of the signed host site agreement and site map to DEQ 60 days after award notification and acceptance. What if it takes longer than 60 days to secure a host site agreement and site map?
    • NCDEQ will grant extensions in 30-day increments only.  Extension requests must be emailed to svc.NCVWApplication@ncdenr.gov with the subject line [Application Number][Organization] Site Agreement Extension Request. Extensions must be requested prior to the 60-day expiration date noted in the award acceptance acknowledgement email.
  • Do I have to complete all the work (purchase equipment/vehicles, install any charging infrastructure, destroy original vehicle) during the two-year contract period?
    • Yes, all work must be completed in the two-year contract timeframe.
    • Contract extensions may be requested at the appropriate time with a written, verifiable justification.
  • Do contracts require a “wet signature”?
    • The DEQ Financial Services Division is in the process of allowing electronic signatures for contracts. If this is not available when your contract needs to be signed a “wet signature” may be required.
  • When can I be reimbursed for my project?
    • Grantees must submit copies of paid invoices, the EV charger installation form, and required photos to request reimbursement.
  • How do we pay for the purchase and isntallation of our DC Fast charging equipment if we have to wait for reimbursement after delivery? Do we have to pay and then week reimbursement?
    • DEQ has clearly stated in our workshops and the RFP that this is a reimbursement process. Page 7 of the ZEV DC Fast Infrastructure Program RFP clearly states, “This is a reimbursement program and award recipients must provide their own funding to cover expenses as they are incurred. Grant applicants must include a demonstration that the applicant can cover the full cost of the project prior to approval. Selected projects will be reimbursed up to the amount authorized after the awardee submits acceptable documentation to show that eligible expenses have already been paid.”
  • Are reimbursements based on a single total cost, or can they be reimbursed on a monthly or quarterly basis?
    • Verifiable paid invoices may be submitted for reimbursement by applicants. 10% of the awarded amount will be held until a final report and required forms and photos are submitted in the DAQ Grant Management System.
  • Will there be pre-award authority granted on costs incurred prior to the grant being awarded?
    • No, any project costs incurred prior to a fully executed contract are not eligible for reimbursement.
    • DO NOT START YOUR PROJECT UNTIL A FULLY EXECUTED CONTRACT IS IN PLACE. THIS MEANS SIGNED BY YOUR ORGANIZATION AND DEQ.
  • Considering the size of these purchases in the $100s of thousands of dollars, can we expect a reasonably quick turn around on reimbursement or can funds be advanced?
    • Applicants can expect a 30 day turn around after all required information is submitted and approved.
  • How long does it take to get reimbursed once I submit the required information?
    • Once DEQ staff have verified and approved the required paperwork, photos, and completed site visits, it will take approximately 30 days for reimbursement processing.
  • Are we allowed to choose a different vendor for our charging equipment that is different from what we submitted in our application and quote?
    • Yes, but you are limited to the dollar amount you were awarded.
    • If you change the vendor or equipment, contact your program manager prior to purchase to verify it is equivalent to the original equipment in your application.
  • If the authorized representative on our application has changed, what should we do?
    • You will need to resubmit a revised application with the new authorized representative information. This person will also need to complete and submit a DAQ Access Authorization Form for access to the DAQ Grant Management System.
  • Is there a state contract in place for DC Fast charging equipment?
  • The amount of award per unit or kW output varied widely. Will any data we provided to explain those differences for planning for future deployments?
    • All of the awarded projects were fully funded based on the amount requested from the applicant. One project was partially funded based on the available funds.
  • What information is required for reimbursement?

 

 

Application Questions

Application Questions

  • When will applications be accepted?
    • NCDEQ started accepting applications from July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019 at 5pm Eastern time.
  • If a site host is requiring a monthly payment to place the charging site on their property, is that considered an eligible expenditure?
    • No, host site agreements where a fee is charged are considered a real estate transaction and are not eligible for reimbursement per the VW consent decree.
  • Who do we get the cost estimates/quotes from?
    • State and local government can contact vendors listed on state contract in EProcurement.  Others not required to use EProcurement may use any vendor meeting all RFP requirements. 
  • How do I get Average Daily Traffic Data for a priority corridor?
    • Average Daily Traffic Data is available from NCDOT and can be found here
  • For annual average daily miles traveled, what road should we use?
    • Use the average daily traffic total from the closest priority interstate or pending interstate to the site. 
  • What are the host site commitment costs?
    • It is a fee the host site may charge the vendor to have the equipment on their site.
  • Can units be in multiple locations / sites?
    • You must submit an application for each separate site.
  • What is the minimum and max number of charging units per location?
    • At least one with no maximum; however, we reserve the right to partially fund projects. 
  • If you have a site host that has multiple properties, do you have to fill out an application for each site?
    • Yes. Applicants with projects that have multiple locations must submit a separate application for each location. The applications may be submitted as one package to NCDEQ, but each location application will be evaluated and scored separately. NCDEQ reserves the right to partially fund a proposal by funding only a portion of a proposed project.
  • What would make an application more competitive?
    • An increased cost share will make a project more competitive. 
  • Should letters of support be included?
    • Yes.  Please remember to follow the naming convention included on the application. Letters of support not included with an application as an attachment will not be accepted.
  • If an application is sent in early and something changes, can we resubmit?
    • Any changes would require the document to be resubmitted and digitally signed by the applicant before the September 30, 2019, application close date. 
  • How do we include the itemized attachments?
    • Include as attachment in the email with the application.  Please remember to follow the naming convention included on the application.
  • If submitting on behalf of member organizations who should we put on application as the Project Manager?
    • The Project Manager does not have to be within the Lead Agency/Organization.  The VW team may ask for a letter stating the project manager has the authority to submit the application.
  • Is there a place in the budget table for a contingency item, such as, for increases in pricing?
    • No. Please remember this is a competitive scoring process.  The state cannot fund you over the amount in the fully executed contract. Conversely, if prices fall the State will only reimburse actual money spent retaining the contracted cost share. 
  • Can a local government partner with a restaurant?
    • Yes. You can partner with a restaurant, your chamber of commerce, etc.
  • Is this program for light-duty infrastructure only?
    • Yes. Funds will only be awarded to publicly accessible light-duty charging station projects.
  • I have already started construction on a charging station, can I apply for funding?
    • Unfortunately, no. Projects initiated prior to submitting a proposal application are not eligible for funding. Project initiation activities that may disqualify a proposal application include ordering equipment, hiring a contractor or vendor to complete the project.
  • Is it permissible for an awardee to purchase the equipment and construct the charging station on the property of the site-host, then donate the station to the site-host who will then own and operate the station?
    • This is permissible under certain circumstances. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), or another equivalent agreement, between the applicant and site-host should be submitted with the application. Further, the site-host must sign a MOA with NCDEQ prior to assuming ownership of the equipment. It is important to also note that NCDEQ will only reimburse the party that owns the equipment at the time of reimbursement.

Cost Effectiveness / Models

Cost Effectiveness / Models

  • How can an applicant calculate the Cost Effectiveness of a project?
    • Cost Effectiveness is the calculation of the expected NOx emission reductions determined by the DAQ Electric Vehicle Charger Mitigation Measure Tool divided by the VW$ requested by the applicant. 
    • Cost Effectiveness = NOx Emission Reductions (lb.-NOx per year)/VW$ Requested
  • The Cost Effectiveness looks at the Cost Share more than anything else, not really NOx reduce - is that correct?
    • The Cost Effectiveness is calculated using the VW funds requested per annual pound of NOx reduction by the project. The NOx reduction will be determined using a standard utilization rate and the emissions per each county. The Mitigation Trust’s underlining goal is to mitigate NOx emissions caused by the subject VW vehicles. 
  • How is utilization rate being determined?
    • The utilization rate for the EV calculator will be a default hour amount (TBD but will likely be based on utilization rates of current operating DC Fast chargers in North Carolina), and will be used ONLY for the purposes of NOx mitigation calculation and cost effectiveness calculations. Additionally, it will be applied uniformly to all calculations for all proposed charging stations and has no effect on actual or predicted utilization rates. Actual and predicted utilization rates are based on the operation of the charger, and therefore will be assessed by the utility as the charger is used, or in anticipation of a given utilization rate by the owner/operator.
  • What is the calculation for the charging kW?
    • Multiply the amperage and voltage then divide by 1000 to get kW. 

                     Example: 30-amp x 240-volts = 7200W  

                     7200W/1000 = 7.2 kW.

Priority Corridor Questions

Priority Corridor Questions

  • Regarding priority corridors, will demographics be taken in account along with Vehicle Miles Traveled to inform how many chargers will be needed at each location?
    • The minimum number of chargers needed for each segment is included in Table 1 of the RFP. All sites are required to be future-proofed to add an additional charger or a higher capacity charger.
  • The application asks for the distance from interchange. Does it mean distance from charger to the base of the ramp or to the interstate?
    • The distance from interchange required on the application is the distance from the interstate to the charger in road miles.
  • If it’s not an interstate interchange but it is an interchange, will it still qualify?
    • In Phase 1, proposed DC Fast charging sites must be near an interchange exit off one of the priority interstates and pending interstates as listed in Table 1 of the RFP. If your Phase 1 project is located with five miles (driving miles) from the top of an exit the application will receive at least five points for “Distance Off Interchange” in project scoring.
  • Is there a way for the western part of the state to take into account incline?
    • Please include unique topography situations in the essays.
  • Will miles between stations be by road or as the crow flies?
    • All distances requested in the application are highway miles. 
  • Is there any way that we can look at location to see if it’s on the priority corridor?
    • Yes. Table 1 (page 4) in the North Carolina VW Settlement ZEV DC Fast Charging RFP contains the list of priority Phase 1 interstate segments. 
  • If the site is not in the priority corridor, then it may be over 5 miles from an interchange; should we apply under Phase 1?
    • Yes, but keep in mind that segments along the interstates and pending interstates shown on the Phase 1 DC Fast Charging Priority Corridors map will have the highest priority when selecting projects for Phase 1. Additional funding may be available for other locations in later phases of the program.  
  • The corridor map doesn’t seem to include metropolitan areas; should we apply in Phase 1?
    • Yes, proposal applications for locations in metropolitan areas in the state currently served with DC Fast charging infrastructure will receive lower priority for Phase 1 to emphasize the program goal of adding new ZEV charging infrastructure in underserved areas and extending the existing light-duty DC Fast charging infrastructure across the state.
  • Is NC-17 considered a targeted priority corridor?
    • Not for Phase 1.
  • Is where I-40 ends considered an interchange?
    • Table 1 in the RFP has the targeted priority corridor segment of Interstate 40 ends at Wallace. The termination of I-40 in Wilmington is not an interchange off a priority corridor for Phase 1. 
  • What is considered our closest interchange?
    • The exit off the priority corridor nearest to your site.
  • Can we access the mapping tool for priority highways?
    • Yes. Please be aware the MJ Bradley & Associates – Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Location Identification Tool will only be used in Phase 1 scoring for determination of proximity to other DC Fast chargers and Average Daily Traffic Data. This tool was not available when NCDEQ developed the Project Scoring Criteria for Phase 1. 
  • Does the distance between stations include dealerships?
    • No. Dealerships will not be included in the determination of distance from other DC Fast charging sites.   

Signage Requirements

Signage Requirements

  • Will we be responsible for wayfinding signage?                 
  • The NCDOT is required to follow the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Chapters 2I and 2J in the MUTCD covers General Service and Specific Services signs respectively. The NCDOT also has practices in place for these Service Signs.  Please find below links to the NCDOTs practices and MUTCD chapters.

General Service Signs- https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Teppl/TEPPL%20All%20Documents%20Library/Practice_G1.pdf

MUTCD Chapter 2I and 2J - https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009r1r2/part2ithu2n.pdf

Logo – Specific Service Signs- https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Teppl/Pages/Teppl-Topic-Original.aspx?Topic_List=L12

Logo Manual- https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Signing%20and%20Delineation%20Library/L12%20-%20manual.pdf

 

As indicated in the General Service practice, signing can be installed on rural freeways and expressways when requirements in practice are met. Rural freeways and expressways are located either in a rural unincorporated area or within the corporate limits of a city/town with a population of less than 40,000. Alternative fuels such as electric vehicle charging must meet NCDOT practice and can be signed with signs D9-11b, D9-11bP. These signs shall not contain the proper name or logo of any business. The cost associated with General Motorists signs is the responsibility of the NCDOT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Specific Service Signs, which are referred to as Logo signs, are signs that identify and provide directions to qualifying gas, food, lodging, camping, and attraction businesses that furnish services to motorists at or near full or partial controlled interchanges or intersections. In accordance with Administrative Code 19A NCAC 02E.0221, the annual fee for participation in the Logo program shall be $300.00 for each mainline, ramp, and trailblazer panel. Applicants may include costs for four qualifying signs up to $150 each in DC Fast application proposals. For qualifying businesses, a supplemental message can be placed on their panel such as EV charging. The NCDOT’s Logo manual provides the criteria for a business to be considered qualified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each business interested in placement of a Logo will need to individually apply with NCDOT for consideration into the Logo program. The individual business can electronically submit an application to the following link: https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Pages/Online-Logo-Sign-Request-Form.aspx. If a business qualifies and there is space available, a logo coordinator will contact the business to complete an agreement and collected associated fees. These annual fees are utilized for installation and maintenance of the signs and program. This annual fee will be the responsibility of the awarded applicant if they qualify for logo signage.

  • Is it a requirement to label the stations as “Electric Vehicle Parking Only”?
      • On-site signage: Identifies to the approaching driver from every ingress that the host site has charging station(s), and the location(s) of the charging station(s). Workplan budgets must include the cost of on-site signage. 
      • “Electric Vehicle Parking Only” signs are required on each side of each charging station along with “Electric Vehicle Parking Only” stenciled graphics on each striped parking pad.
      • On-site signage must include the following language, “This project made possible with a partnership with the State of North Carolina.”

Site Requirements/Workplan

Site Requirements/Workplan

  • Must Phase I DC Fast chargers be publicly accessible?
    • Yes. The DC Fast sites must be accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 
  • ADA compliance – is there a document available?
    • You should check with your local zoning office for this information. There are currently no ADA state-wide regulations for EV charging sites. 
  • What is the minimum number of parking spaces?
    • The RFP requirement states “Parking spaces: A minimum of two concrete or asphalt pad parking spaces and ample real estate upon which to create parking spaces for a least one additional fast charging station in the future is required.” The additional future space can be a parking space to be converted later but you must still meet your space requirements. 
  • Do parking spaces have to be handicap accessible?
    • It is the responsibility of the host site to meet any ADA requirements.
  • For projects that are a partnership between government and non-government how is the lead agency determined?
    • If the non-government entity owns the equipment, then they are the lead agency and the appropriate cost share will apply for the site. If the government entity owns the equipment, then they are the lead agency and the appropriate cost share will apply for the site.
  • What paperwork needs to show that underground conduit was installed?
    • When requesting reimbursement, invoices and receipts must show that a conduit and electrical service box of adequate size and disconnect that will allow additional electrical cable to be run for future expansion was installed. 
  • Will there be a preference for technology that may provide higher kW charging? 
    • The minimum requirement for DC Fast charging sites is 50kW. Applicants may choose higher kW charging equipment for their applications.
  • Does the charging equipment need to be backwards compatible?
    • Yes. The charging equipment must follow the Charge de Move (CHAdeMO) or Society of Automotive Engineers Combined Charging System (SAE CCS) charging protocol, and offer connectors for both. 
  • What is meant by “publicly accessible” if it’s a business?
    • Available for public use, without restrictions, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Examples of restrictions include: club or membership card access restrictions, or site limitations, such as, a station being located behind a gated fence or within a private parking lot requiring a fee to enter.
  • How close do the restrooms need to be?
    • The RFP has no requirement for distance to amenities. However, sites with onsite or close amenities will score higher. Onsite, meaning the same property owner, will receive 10 points. This information must be included in the application. 
  • Can we apply to replace a station down for maintenance often or nonoperational?
    • Proposal applications for locations in metropolitan areas and other existing sites in the state currently served with DC Fast charging infrastructure will receive lower priority for Phase 1 to emphasize the program goal of adding new ZEV charging infrastructure in underserved areas and extending the existing light-duty DC Fast charging infrastructure across the state.
  • So, places like a downtown setting would be zero distance to amenities?
    • Correct. If the closest amenity is onsite, the distance would be zero. This should be explained clearly in your essay.   
  • Do you have to put 24 hours for amenities?
    • Please include the actual operational hours for amenities near proposed sites.
  • Per the RFP, the work plan requires host site details such as Geographic Information System (GIS) coordinates of the proposed station location. Is this the same at Geographic Positioning System coordinates?
    • Yes, the RFP has been updated on June 27, 2019 with the correct terminology. GPS coordinates are required for the proposed station location in the work plan.
  • If the awardee is the owner of the property, what type of site-host agreement is required? Is there a preferred template?
    • A simple statement that the applicant is the owner, and therefore the site-host, will suffice. There is not a preferred template on which an applicant must make this statement.

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)

  • Who owns the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?  Will the state get them?
    • The organization that purchased them will retain ownership of the RECs.
  • Are there any requirements about the type of REC we have to purchase?
    • No, just that it is from a renewable energy source.
  • Will the REC apply to a nuclear power plant?
    • All organizations would have to buy a certificate to apply for the REC bonus points. The current RFP states “When you purchase RECs, you are purchasing the renewable attributes of energy generated by a renewable energy resource such as wind, solar, moving water (hydropower), organic plant and waste material (biomass) and the earth’s heat (geothermal).” The current source of Uranium is from mining and as such would not be classified as renewable.  
  • Is the purchase and installation of solar panels an eligible cost?
    • Yes, you can build solar panels as part of charging site and include in the proposal. You can also use the solar power generated towards renewable energy portion bonus points. Documentation of the solar power expected to be generated must be included in the application.
  • Are you going to have the REC retire on an annual basis?
    • No. The certificate is for 5 years and should be based on the projected power consumption. 
  • When does the clock start on the REC and the site warranty?
    • Your warranty period will start when site is operational. REC percentages must extend over the minimum warranty period required by the RFP which is five years. The REC clock starts when the site is operational and must be purchased for five years. 
  • You mentioned renewable energy certificate. What if you are already required to have them?
    • If you are required to purchase REC for a portion of your energy, you must provide documentation. 
  • Does NC DAQ have a preferred method to calculate the cost or amount of energy for the RECs?
    • No. 

                                   

Funding

Funding

 

  • If a site host is requiring a monthly payment to place the charging site on their property, is that considered an eligible expenditure?
    • No, host site agreements where a fee is charged are considered a real estate transaction and are not eligible for reimbursement per the VW consent decree.
  • How will awarded applicants receive their funds?
    • All funding will be in the form of reimbursements. Applicants must be able to purchase and install the equipment using their own funds.
  • Will awarded projects be reimbursed for 100% of a charging station project cost?
    • Government owned projects are eligible for up to 100% funding while non-government owned projects are eligible for up to 80% funding. Providing matching funds for your project will increase the project’s cost-effectiveness score. Per the RFP Section III., NCDEQ reserves the right to partially fund a proposal by funding only a portion of a proposed project. Thus, NCDEQ may choose to fully fund some proposals and partially fund others. The award letter to the awardee will state the funded amount for the project. The awardee will have the option to accept or decline the award.
  • Is the non-government 20% match a requirement and if awarded can you expect 80% funding?
    • Maybe - a 20% minimum match is a requirement for non-government projects. NCDEQ reserves the right to partially fund projects. If awarded, applicants will have an opportunity to accept or decline the award.  
  • What happens if the full proposal is not funded or the award is for only a partial amount of the requested funds?
    • Applicants will have an opportunity to accept or decline the awards, including partially funded projects.
  • If an applicant is requesting less than the maximum allowable amount for reimbursement, how many additional points will the application receive?
    • Projects will be ranked from most cost effective to least cost effective (i.e. funded $/amount of NOx reduced per year). 20 points is the maximum a project can received for cost-effectiveness.
  • Awardees are required to submit a copy of the signed host site agreement and site map to NCDEQ 30 days after award notification and acceptance. What if it takes longer than 30 days to secure a host site agreement and site map?
    • The RFP has been updated on June 27, 2019 and now requires host site agreements to be submitted to NCDEQ 60 days after award notification. Awarded applicants can request in writing to NCDEQ an extension of the 60-day requirement. NCDEQ will grant extensions in 30-day increments only. Extension requests must be emailed to svc.NCVWApplication@ncdenr.gov with the subject line [Organization Name][Your Project Title] Site Agreement Extension Request. Extensions must be requested prior to the 60-day expiration date noted in the award letter.
  • Does land count as part of the money that can be reimbursed? Would donated land be part of the private in-kind cost?
    • No, the VW Funds cannot be used for land per the Mitigation language. Furthermore, donated land cannot be used as in-kind costs. The only reimbursable costs listed in the consent decree and listed in the RFP can be used as in-kind (optional match). “Each Beneficiary may use up to fifteen percent (15%) of its allocation of Trust Funds on the costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment for projects as specified below. Provided, however, that Trust Funds shall not be made available or used to purchase or rent real estate, other capital costs (e.g., construction of buildings, parking facilities, etc.) or general maintenance (i.e., maintenance other than of the Supply Equipment).” Appendix D-2 page 9 Section 9 Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Are there opportunities to leverage in-kind contributions from electric co-ops and utility companies?
    • Yes, talk with your local utilities to see what in-kind contributions they will provide.  Include this information in the required essays. Any in-kind contributions must be included and documented as “Other Funds” in the project budget.
  • The RFP requires the workplan to include a letter of commitment from the host site - how is this different from the host site agreement?
    • The letter of commitment is a nonbinding agreement between the applicant and the owner of the site where the proposed DC Fast charging station would be located. After a proposal has been selected for funding the applicant is required to obtain a legally binding agreement with the host site owner and provide a copy of the agreement to NCDEQ 60 days after the award notification.
  • For government entities, are the chargers on the state contract?
  • On the application where do in-kind cost share or matching funds go?
    • In the Project Budget, under “Match” if provided by the applicant. If provided by a third party, document as “Other Funds” in the project budget.
  • In the “Capital Costs” budget section, can we include the costs of putting in solar or battery storage?
    • Yes.
  • Would you need a host site agreement or contract with a restaurant if locating a site in their parking lot?
    • Yes, and include the estimate in the budget. Remember, you cannot sign agreements until after the fully awarded contract.  
  • What is the percentage allowed for project management?
    • No limit has been set for project management; however, this is a competitive bid process.  High project management costs may make a project less competitive. 
  • If the project is not fully funded, will the five-year maintenance letter be required?
    • Yes. Partially funding a project does not remove any of the requirements included in the RFP.  
  • What is the turnaround time for the reimbursement when expenses are submitted? 
    • NCDAQ will schedule a site visit once final documentation has been received.  Typically, two weeks, but it could take longer depending on the volume of reimbursement requests received at the same time and staffing resources available to process reimbursement requests.
  • How long will awarded applicants have to complete a project?
    • The contract terms should be completed within two years, from groundbreaking to fully functional.
  • How much funds are allocated on this Phase?
    • DAQ has allocated the maximum 15% for ZEV based on input from the RFI process.  Currently the ZEV portion has been split between DC Fast and Level 2 with funding of approximately $3.4 million and $1.7 million for each of the three Phases.  
  • When can awarded applicants begin work on their project?
    • Once a grant is awarded, the recipient must sign a contract with NCDEQ. NCDEQ will send the applicant a fully executed signed contract via email. After receiving the signed contract, the awardee may start the project. Any work completed prior to receipt of the fully executed signed contract will not be reimbursed.
  • What kind of operation and maintenance costs will be reimbursed? Will the cost of electricity be reimbursed?
    • The VW State Mitigation Trust Agreement states in Appendix D-2, paragraph 9 that trust funds may be used "on costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment ..." However, the Trust Agreement goes on to state that "Trust Funds shall not be made available or used to purchase ... general maintenance (i.e., maintenance other than of the supply equipment)." The cost of electricity falls within general maintenance and thus will not be reimbursed. Allowable costs for operation and maintenance under the Trust Agreement (i.e., costs for maintenance of the supply equipment only) is the cost of a 5-year warranty on the equipment and a 5-year contract for the software/networking of the equipment.

Chargers

Chargers

  • How do you count ports?
    • By the number of vehicles able to charge at the same time.
  • If an adapter is permanently added to the site, does it fulfill the requirement for having 2 charging protocol connectors?
    • Yes. As long as both Charge de Move (CHAdeMO) and Society of Automotive Engineers Combined Charging System (SAE CCS) equipped vehicles can charge at your site. The RFP states, “Each station must offer both Charge de Move (CHAdeMO) and Society of Automotive Engineers Combined Charging System (SAE CCS) charging protocol connectors. The charging system must have the ability to reduce power output to be compatible for use by all EVs.”
  • Are applicants required to obtain a 5-year warranty for both parts and labor, or just parts?  The costs are very different.
    • The Trust states the “costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment” which would include parts and labor.
  • Will Level 2 include replacement language for broken or aging stations?
    • The Phase 1 Level 2 Charging RFP has not been released.
  • Can we add to an existing site?
    • Not in Phase 1, unless the DC Fast charger is inoperable or only has Level 2 charging infrastructure. Proposal applications for locations in metropolitan areas in the state currently served with DC Fast charging infrastructure will receive lower priority for Phase 1 to emphasize the program goal of adding new ZEV charging infrastructure in underserved areas and extending the existing light-duty DC Fast charging infrastructure across the state.
  • Is there a requirement that vehicles charge free?
    • No, that’s up to the operator/owner.
  • How can new charging sites be added to the Alternative Fuels map?
    • Information on new EV charging sites can be added on the US DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center webpage.
  • If a charger is located in a public pay-to-park garage, is that considered publicly accessible?
    • Yes, it would be the same as paying for street parking and the lot is open 24/7.
  • If the site needs utility upgrades, like a transformer, would that be considered in-kind cost?
    • Yes. The VW Team will need clear documentation of these costs. All in-kind costs must be included in the list of eligible expenditures. 
      • 50kW or higher DC Fast charging station infrastructure
      • Utility equipment upgrades such as transformers and utility extensions up to $15,000 per charging station
      • Conduit, cable/wiring, electrical service box disconnect addition
      • Concrete or asphalt addition or replacement
      • Signage
      • Bollards
      • Paint stripping and stenciling of the station parking spaces
      • Permit costs including engineering and site design costs
      • Labor for researching and securing the host site, directly related to the acquisition, site design and engineering, installation, commissioning or activation, and maintenance
      • Shipping of equipment
      • Maintenance and warranty costs for the DC Fast charging equipment
  • What does it mean to future proof a station?
    • The requirement in the RFP is for each charger installed. You will need to either have the capacity to double each funded charger at the site or increase the power capacity to 400kW. If you plan on doubling the chargers, you will need a plan to expand the EV parking spaces.  See the RFP requirements below:
      • “Future proofing: Conduit and an electrical service box of adequate size and disconnect capacity that will allow additional electrical cable to be run to the site for future expansion of either two additional 50 kW charging stations or a higher power station up to 400kW must be included in the installation.
      • Parking spaces: A minimum of two concrete or asphalt pad parking spaces and ample real estate upon which to create parking spaces for a least one additional fast charging station in the future is required.”
  • Are the chargers required to be networked?
    • Sites have to be networked and must provide data to NC to determine usage at the site level and help inform future Phases. The reporting information is included on page 17 of the RFP. 
  • Why are chargers higher than 50kW not required?
    • 50kW is the minimum requirement for funding for a DC Fast charging station. Applicants may submit applications with higher capacity DC charging equipment. All stations are required to install conduit and an electrical service box of adequate size and disconnect capacity to allow for future expansion of either two additional 50kW charging stations or a higher power station up to 400kW.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

  • How is the VW money going to help EO80?
    • The VW settlement has a requirement for NOx reduction.  However, the potential ZEV investments is an opportunity to help support the goals of EO80 by increasing charging locations and public awareness of the expanding future of ZEVs.  
  • What is Environmental Justice and how is it scored?
    • Appendix B of the RFP details the Environmental Justice score.
  • Is NCDOT going to apply too?
    • We are expecting application from both public and private agencies and organizations. 
  • Is DC Fast Charging for a fleet allowed in Phase 1?
    • No.  Charging station must be open to the public. 
  • Are bus chargers eligible under the DC Fast Infrastructure Program?
    • No.  The DC Fast Infrastructure program is for light-duty vehicle charging only. Charging infrastructure is eligible under the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program for projects requesting an electric vehicle replacement on a 1 for 1 basis.
  • If you had an NCID when does it expire?
    • Login and see if it’s still valid, you may need to go through the password reset procedure.
  • Will all sites be audited?
    • All sites will receive a site inspection prior to reimbursement and meet reporting requirements per the RFP.
  • The RFP states on page 3 that "NCDEQ will allocate...25% to Level 2 charging infrastructure projects" but on page 9 under "Ineligible Expenditures" it includes "Level 1 and 2 charging station infrastructures". This seems to be contradictory.
    • This RFP is for DC Fast Charging Infrastructure only. A separate RFP will be released for Phase 1 Level 2 Charging Infrastructure projects. There will be no RFP for Level 1 charging infrastructure projects.
  • How many Phases will there be for DC Fast and for Level 2?
    • There are 3 Phases planned for each RFP. Phase 1 for Level 2 Charging Infrastructure RFP is coming soon.
  • If you apply under Phase 1, do you have to re-apply for consideration in Phase 2?
    • A new application will be required for each Phase.
  • If you are funded in Phase 1, can you apply in Phase 2?
    • Yes.
  • Are you going to have the same pot of money in Phase 2?
  • Will DC Fast Phase 2 have to be publicly available as well?
    • This has yet to be determined. NCDEQ will take public comments on Phase 2 at a later date. 
  • Will the Phase 1 RFP for Level 2 have a requirement of proximity to the priority corridors?
    • No.