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EGLE offers grants to repower freight switchers and marine vessels with clean engines

Jan. 23, 2022

Funds also available to install shore power

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today, a Request for Proposals (RFP) that totals $9 million for the replacement or repowering of freight switchers, and the repowering of ferry boats and tugs. The RFP also includes the installation of shore-side power for vessels that operate within the Great Lakes.

Grants will range from $100,000 to $5 million, and funding amounts will be between 25 percent and 70 percent of the project, depending on the type of ownership and technology chosen. Projects that choose to replace or repower engines with zero emission technologies, such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell, qualify for the highest funding percentages; alternative fuel and then diesel follow in funding percentages.

The grants will be awarded through EGLE's Fuel Transformation Program (FTP), which is funded by Volkswagen settlement money allocated to Michigan. The FTP's goals are to reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions, increase adoption of zero emission and alternative fuel engines, support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's climate change mitigation goals, and increase the protection of human health and the environment.

"This is a great opportunity to reduce emissions from rail and marine sources to help improve air quality in neighboring communities and protect the environment. While cars get the most attention, other transportation sectors are also integral to Michigan's transition to zero emission or cleaner fuels as called out in the draft MI Healthy Climate Plan," said Elizabeth Browne, director of the Materials Management Division at EGLE.

Applications will be accepted until Sept. 23, 2022. A webinar explaining the RFP application process, "Guidelines for Grant Application" is scheduled for 10-11 a.m. April 6, 2022. Anyone interested in this grant opportunity or responsible for project management is encouraged to register. For more information about the RFP, see the Fuel Transformation Program webpage or contact Debbie Swartz at