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Electrifying Times – PA to Distribute Millions to Bolster National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure; Initial Funding Opportunity to Start in February of 2023

January 17, 2023

Various entities, both public and private, are poised to benefit from a $171.5 million Pennsylvania state grant program which is funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law No: 117-58) which became law on November 12, 2021.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) is rolling out the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program (“Program”) to help build out Pennsylvania’s electric vehicle (“EV”) charging infrastructure.

In the first fiscal year, the Program will distribute $25.4 million to eligible entities for permitted projects. PennDOT will initially prioritize light duty EV charging infrastructure projects. Preliminary program guidelines suggest the highest priority will be given to projects that, among other things, fill in areas that currently don’t have EV infrastructure, provide EV charging access near interchanges or facilities with 24/7 access, expand EV charging connectivity networks, and/or target rural communities and Environmental Justice areas as designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The Department of Environmental Protection defines an Environmental Justice Area as any area where twenty percent or more of individuals live at or below the federal poverty line, and/or 30 percent or more of the population identifies as a non-white minority, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the federal guidelines for poverty.

Program funding will be awarded to projects for certain eligible costs, that preliminarily include engineering and other pre-construction project planning costs, permitting costs, EV equipment costs, construction and installation costs, and operating and maintenance costs. A 20% matching requirement applies.

Eligible entities include school districts, municipalities, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, and nonprofit corporations, as well as private entities that partner with the aforementioned entities.

PennDOT is encouraging interested parties to build professional teams now, so applicants are well positioned to submit competitive applications that meet all Program requirements. On Friday, January 6, 2023, PennDOT announced the first round of applications will be accepted between February 24, 2023 through 5:00 PM EST on April 6, 2023.  Funds for the Program will be awarded on a competitive basis to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain EV Station Infrastructure sites across Pennsylvania.

Applicants must ensure compliance with federal, state, and local law; and satisfaction of final Program requirements as promulgated by PennDOT. Applicants may also have to enter into agreements with private partners to assist with construction and ongoing operations of new EV charging infrastructure. McNees’ full-service team of attorneys, specialists, and government relations professionals are well positioned to assist a prospective applicant with all aspects of a complete application.

If you are interested in applying for funding through the Program, please contact Timothy J. Horstmann or Michael Stoll, to discuss potential projects and connect with professionals that will be able to advise on application strategy, establishing strategic teaming relationships, technical aspects of project components, and energy matters, all aspects that will be critical in submitting a competitive application.