Funding Mechanisms for Clean Energy Projects with Long Term Benefits

Focus Area

Air Quality


Air Quality






Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Scope: South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) promotes expedited implementation of advanced zero and low emission transportation technologies in Southern California to achieve air quality standards.  In case of high capital cost projects with long term benefits, the SCAQMD collaborates with other private and public stakeholders in the region to fund such projects.  As an example, the SCAQMD helped to co-fund a fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure for electric buses in collaboration with a local transit authority and also co-funded the development of fuel cell buses in another collaborative project.  These projects require high upfront capital costs but pose long term benefits in terms of lower criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduction in petroleum consumption.  In keeping with this strategy, the SCAQMD is collaborating with local port authorities and other stakeholders to develop and deploy a zero-emission goods movement rail system using technologies such as Linear Synchronous or Induction Motors (LSM, LIM).  It is envisioned that this proposed approach will be implemented in phases beginning with a demonstration on a short track followed by a more realistic demonstration on a longer track with multiple rail cars with double stacked containers, closely simulating port operation environment.  Once the LSM or LIM system(s) has been successfully developed and tested, it will be deployed in cargo transportation corridors between port terminals to nearby intermodal rail yards, which will reduce criteria pollutant and greenhosue gas emissions substantially.  Higher up front capital cost will be paid off with savings in fuel cost and maintenance and repair costs.  

This proposed study would identify current and potential means to fund transportation infrastructure and technology deployment for projects that utilize clean energy, such as electric power.  The evaluation would seek means to take advantage of potential cost and other economic benefits (including potential payback) that may take decades to realize.

Urgency and Payoff

This proposed project and its subsequent implementation will help the SCAQMD to meet 2014 and 2023 fedreal PM2.5 and ozone standards.

Suggested By

Brian Choe, South Coast Air Quality Management District (909) 396-2617

[email protected]