Accelerating Clean Transportation Now (ACTNow) is a funding opportunity that seeks to catalyze the adoption of clean transportation solutions via business and project finance models, user engagement, technology, or other innovative approaches.

Applicants are expected to form teams comprised of several entities which will work together on the proposed project, with one entity designated as the lead. Application Teams may include public and private entities (e.g., clean energy companies, research and development institutions, academic institutions, public institutions in the Commonwealth, financing institutions, and nonprofits). See Section 5 of the RFP for full eligibility criteria.

Entities may submit more than one Application and be part of more than one Application Team.

 

Project Collaboration Platform:

Use our online matchmaking platform Slack (linked) to network and identify potential project partners. Slack is a web-based platform that MassCEC will be using to host and facilitate communication after the release of the RFP. Join the conversation using this link to the ACTNow Slack channel.

The estimated timeline below is subject to change at MassCEC’s discretion.

Solicitation Released

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Informational Webinar

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 @ 2pm

Deadline for Written Questions

Monday, January 27, 2020

Applications Due

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 @ 4pm

Grant Award Notifications

June 2020

Contracting Concluded

Within 3 months of award notification

Project Installed

Within 18 months of contracting

Project Performance Monitoring Period Ends

Three years from start of operation

 

 

Applications must be submitted to cleantransportation@masscec.com with the email subject “ACTNow Program Application”.

Completed Applications must be received no later than Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 4:00pm EST.

 

It is the sole responsibility of the Lead Applicant to ensure that the Application is complete and properly submitted, including all necessary attachments, letters or other supporting documentation. At its sole discretion, MassCEC may request supplemental materials from the Applicant and such materials must be submitted within 10 days of the request or the Application may be rejected without further review.

ACTNow Request for Proposals

 

Application Must Include the Following:

  1. Application Cover Sheet (includes Statement of Other Funding Sources)
  2. Authorized Applicant’s Signature and Acceptance Form
  3. Project Narrative
  4. Monitoring and Verification Plan
  5. Project Workplan and Budget Template - Updated 2/14/2020
  6. Total Addressable Carbon Analysis and Benefits Summary
  7. Project Pro Forma
  8. Signed Letters of Intent
  9. Optional:
1. OEM-provided technology key components spec sheet(s)
2. Letters of Support from relevant stakeholders not on the Application Team
3. Pre-Application Report for interconnection of any relevant grid-connected assets
4. Contract Template comments

 

Attachments A, B, C, D, and F are provided as separate fillable Word documents. Applicants should complete each form and submit as separate PDF documents. Attachments E and G are separate Excel workbooks. Applicants should complete each workbook and submit in Excel format. Attachment H should be compiled into a single PDF document. Any optional components (Attachment I) should also be submitted as PDFs.

Transportation continues to be a focus area for Massachusetts’s climate goals. As this sector is entering a stage of major innovation and technology transformation, Massachusetts can encourage the most efficient, clean, and equitable paths forward. In 2016, transportation contributed to >42% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth. Transportation is the only emissions sector that has not seen significant reductions relative to 1990 baseline levels, according to the Global Warming Solutions Act.

As this sector is entering a stage of major innovation and technology transformation, Massachusetts has started to encourage the most efficient, clean, and equitable paths forward:

  • The Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation released a clean transportation strategies recommendations report.
  • As part of the Commission’s recommendation, Massachusetts, along with eight other states and Washington DC, have committed through the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) to developing a regional policy for low-carbon transportation.

Following the TCI and Commission’s guidance to shift the transportation focus from vehicles/assets to people, MassCEC is focusing on education and innovative business/financing models under four categories: Light-Duty Vehicles, Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Mass Transit, and other innovative demonstrations.

Q: Will this be a one-time opportunity or a repeated program?
A: This will be a one-time program. MassCEC anticipates having other clean transportation initiatives in the future, but ACTNow will only happen once.

Q: How many awards will be made?
A: 7-15 awards are expected. Grants will range from $50k - 200k.

Q: Who is an applicant?
A: Applicants are expected to form teams comprised of several entities (each an "Application Team"), which will work together on the proposed project, with one entity designated as the lead (the "Lead Applicant").

Q: Can my company be the sole applicant on a project?
A: Typically, no. Most projects will require a site host and technology provider, so a minimum of two appicants. We have created an ACTNow Collaborative Platform to assist in matchmaking for projects. If you believe that your project should not have a site, given the type of technology (i.e. an app that enables multimodal mobility), that can be discussed over email.

Q: Does the Application Team have to be located in Massachusetts?
A: Appliation Team members may be located outside Massachusetts. However, the project must predominantly benefit Massachusetts residents and any equipment or infrastructure installed as part of the project must also be located in Massachusetts.

Q: Can other technologies be partnered with the transportation project?
A: The project/system may include complementary technologies such as solar photovoltaics, demand management, etc.; grant funding for other complimentary technologies will be allowed in most cases, with a final determination made during the Application review stage.

Q: How do I identify the TRL/CRL of my technology?
A: The NYSERDA TRL/CRL Calculator

Q: What is the difference between the Channels and the Direct Message feature of Slack?
A: Channels are for broad conversations and introductions. Messages and the comment threads below them are public and able to be viewed by all in the Slack forum. The Direct Message feature is private between you and the person you are messaging. We envision introductions being made within the Channels, and once potential projects are established, participants can then switch to direct messaging or conversations outside of Slack.

Q: Is there a way to see every member of the Slack forum?
A: No, but you can scroll through the various channels and see everyone who has posted. This is one of the reasons we would highly encourage you to post a message in the Channels that are most relevant to your organization.

Q: Are teams expected to be comprised of only private companies?
A: No. Teams may be comprised of any combination of public or private entities (e.g. a private technology company working with a public school to provide time of use public school bus charging.)

Q: Public entities may require specific approvals to participate. Can a letter of interest serve as their co-application participation to allow time for them to assess/conduct procurement?
A: Tentatively, yes. However, we would need proof that the application team would be able to move forward by the ACTNow timeline dates.

Q: Are projects that encourage single-occupancy passenger EV adoption eligible?
A: Yes. Projects that encourage single-occupancy passenger EV adoption over adoption of traditional internal combustion vehicles are eligible.

Q: Do utility incentives such as Make Ready Programs count towards 50% cost share?
A: The purpose of this grant is to demonstrate replicable use cases. We are wary of the utilization of funding opportunities that are not permanent as part of the cost-share and therefore, would require the lead applicant to state how the project would not be reliant on incentives such as Make Ready in the future when it is no longer available.

Q: Is the use of the Slack mandatory for the application? We already have a partnership among technology, transportation hardware, and EJ communities and might prefer not to invite other participants at this stage.
A: No, Slack is not mandatory. If you already have potential partnerships, that’s grea, you’re a step ahead!

Q: If we partner with suppliers of EVs, charging stations, etc., will they be restricted in the future from bidding on public programs? Would this be a conflict of interest? A: No, there is no conflict of interest if your partners apply and are awarded a different grant. However, if partners are awarded a separate grant, they cannot apply the funds to the ACTNow project.
A: No, there is no conflict of interest if your partners apply and are awarded a different grant. However, if partners are awarded a separate grant, they cannot apply the funds to the ACTNow project.

Q: Can the cost-share be made up of "in-kind" services (e.g., pro bono time of contractor's executive staff)?
A: Yes, this is an allowable cost-share.

Q: What specific EVSE projects/technologies are likely to be funded?
A: We’re keeping all technology type, including EVSE, open to consideration to be awarded as long as it fits within the program criteria and able to be replicated throughout the Commonwealth. We would encourage everyone to watch the ACTNow recorded webinar or view the webinar slides. Both of these can be found under the Additional Resources tab. Slides 6 and 12-14 cover the selection criteria and technology readiness level.

Q: Are there specific geographic areas in the state that are prioritized?
A: No geographic areas will be prioritized, however, we do have a reduced cost-share for Environmental Justice Communities (EJC) as they don’t always have the necessary funding to be first movers on these types of projects. During the final round of application reviews, the disbursement of the projects in terms of geographic areas for awardees will be considered and EJC’s will be part of this evaluation.

Q: Will this grant pay for any retrofits of any year engine?
A: Yes. There are no restrictions to model year.

Q: Does it make any difference in who the lead applicant is (public, private, non-profit, business)?
A: It doesn't matter who the lead applicant is, however, the lead applicant should be the entity that will be the most involved with the project and the main point of contact throughout the project