City officials weren’t sure they were going to get a state grant for electric vehicle charging stations at City Hall and the public library. So the City Council removed the city’s matching portion from the budget to help fund other goals in the 2021-26 Capital Facilities Plan.
As it turned out, the city did get the $28,804 grant. And now, Finance Director Steve Hoglund will go to the council’s Finance Committee and the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to seek matching funds, Mayor Laurie Gere said Monday.
All told, the state Department of Commerce allocated $9.8 million in Electrification of Transportation Systems grants for electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state. The grants were announced Dec. 17.
Among the grants: nearly $1 million for shoreside electric supply equipment for the planned 28-car, 150-passenger electric ferry between Anacortes and Guemes Island. That ferry, which County Commissioner Ron Wesen said he hopes will be in service in 2023, will replace the 1979 diesel-powered ferry currently in service.
According to Commerce, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution — more than 40% of all carbon emissions and a variety of co-pollutants.
The grants are from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, established in 2013, and will result in more than 320 new plugs in 11 counties installing Level 2, fast-charging and heavy-duty public transportation charging stations. The initial round of 37 applications totaled $25 million in funding requests.
“Investing in the electrification of transportation is essential to Washington’s clean energy future and for equitable economic recovery and growth throughout the state,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said in the grant announcement. “Importantly, these projects cover the entire state, supporting expansion of EV infrastructure that will benefit the most communities.”
Mayor Gere said she expects the development and use of advanced energy storage technologies to only grow in Anacortes. The potential is bolstered by the presence here of LAVLE, a manufacturer of electric batteries for the defense, renewable energy and marine transportation industries; efforts to fund construction of an electric Guemes Island ferry; and the growing presence of EV charging stations.
“It’s the future,” she said.