By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
The Town of Raymond is supporting a SouthGrow application for a federal vehicle charging station program.
During their regular Nov. 17 meeting, Raymond town could discussed the Zero Emission Infrastructure Program.
In late October, SouthGrow Regional Initiative had reached out to the town for support for a national infrastructure program from Natural Resources Canada for Southern Alberta.
According to NRC, the government of Canada has set “ambitious federal targets” for zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) of 10 per cent of light-duty vehicles (LDV) sales per year by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2040. In their 2019 budget, the federal government had announced $130 million over five years to establish a network of ZEV charging and refuelling stations in areas of high use, with support also being available for strategic electric vehicle and/or hydrogen infrastructure for corporate fleets, last-mile delivery fleets, and mass transit projects.
In correspondence to the town from SouthGrow, they wrote “This is a rare opportunity for our members to get half the cost of their chargers paid for as you look to provide charging infrastructure at your municipal facilities, at tourist sights, or on main street. The program is also available to private enterprise if you have any businesses in your community interested.”
SouthGrow is applying to deliver the program, but to be successful, they need to line up expressions of interest for at least 20 stations. They stressed in their correspondence that any expression of interest they receive is not legally binding and does not involve a financial commitment. If they are successful in their application, then they will discuss the next steps with the parties who expressed interest.
The program is capped at $100,000 per organization, up to $50,000 for 50 kw fast-charging stations, up to $15,000 for under 50 kw fast-charging stations and up to $5,000 for level 2 charging stations.
Administration had proposed that the town supplies an expression of interest for two under-50 kw fast-charging stations “We are always looking at leveraging any and all grant programs to stretch our finite municipal resources. Our Environmental Strategic Plan identifies the installation of having additional fast charging stations would be an asset to ensure that we can support either local or tourist related traffic within our community,” said Kurtis Pratt, CAO for the town. “(The proposed stations) are a faster charing option than what is already available at the town office but in a price range that could be afforded if the expression of interest is successful and Council desires to proceed at that time.”
Town council had passed a motion to proceed with an expression of interest for the project. However, any final decision won’t take place until funding is approved. If funding if approved and it is included in the town’s 2021 capital budget, it won’t approved until the budget is finalized in spring of 2021, when the town receives their mill rates from the province.