The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) have announced that $70 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceed awards will be used to help reduce the upfront costs of electric trucks, buses, and equipment in overburdened communities. The state agencies also announced a series of sessions in April for the public to comment on possible future investments with RGGI funds.
The $70 million investment will fund the purchase of 156 electric vehicles, including 114 school buses, eight garbage and dump trucks, 26 shuttle and transit buses, and four forklifts, all operating in approximately 20 overburdened communities across the state. The auction proceeds will also fund four projects, led by Via, Blink, Envoy and Zipcar, to bring electric ride-sharing options to communities that lack access to reliable transportation.
This announcement builds on more than $240 million awarded statewide since 2019 for nearly 3,000 electric vehicle charging stations, 700 electric trucks and buses, and 12,000 electric passenger vehicles.
The state also announced the release of the 2023-2025 RGGI Auction Proceeds Scoping Document to outline potential initiatives that NJDEP, NJBPU, and NJEDA could each sponsor during the 2023-2025 funding cycle. The three state agencies are seeking feedback from the public on the prospective initiatives described in the scoping document and for other possible investments with RGGI proceeds. A series of interactive public workshops will be held on April 4, 11, 13 and 18 to collect input that will be considered in finalizing the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan for years 2023-2025.
The NJDEP, NJBPU, and the NJEDA jointly released the first RGGI Strategic Funding Plan in April 2020, detailing how auction proceeds would be invested in climate change, clean energy, and environmental justice projects for the years 2020-2022. More than $100 million from auction proceeds was dedicated across the state during that time. The Strategic Funding Plan is reviewed every three years and updated to ensure that investments are aligned across agencies to meet the Murphy Administration’s clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
To further those efforts, New Jersey recently accepted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s offer to participate in the historic Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant Program, through which the state will receive $3 million for green initiatives. Specifically, the federal funds may be used to accelerate climate pollutant emissions reduction programs that will improve air quality and public health and better serve communities.
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