Green Infrastructure Phase II, Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program, Request for Proposals 2019

Department of Natural Resources, Office of Energy Research and Development

Proposal Applicants’ Guide for the 2019 Request for Proposals for the EVID Program

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction and Program Background
    1. 1.1 Introduction
    2. 1.2 Program Background
  2. Objective and Description
    1. 2.1 Objective
    2. 2.2 Description
  3. Scope for Project Proposals
    1. 3.1 Priorities
    2. 3.2 Notes
    3. 3.3 Restrictions
    4. 3.4 Ineligible Expenditures
    5. 3.5 Outcomes
  4. Application Schedule and Process
    1. 4.1 Application Schedule
    2. 4.2 Application Process

      4.2.1 Submitting a Proposal
      4.2.2 Proposal Review, Selection, and Notification
      4.2.3 Due Diligence Assessment
      4.2.4 Contribution Agreement Negotiation

    3. 4.3 Supporting Documents and Requests for Supplementary Information
    4. 4.4 Program Inquiries
  5. Funding Conditions
    1. 5.1 Funding Timeline and Thresholds
    2. 5.2 Eligible Activities
    3. 5.3 Eligible Proponents
  6. Selection Criteria
    1. 6.1 Mandatory Requirements
    2. 6.2 Additional Key Requirements
    3. 6.3 Evaluation Criteria
    4. 6.4 Other Criteria
  7. Appendix 1: Project Proposal Templates

1. Introduction and Program Background

1.1 Introduction

This document describes the unique features for the Green Infrastructure Phase II - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) Program Request for Proposals (RFP) open from July 3, 2019 to October 18, 2019.  For general program features, please see the Innovation and Clean Growth Applicants’ Guide to the Terms and Conditions (Applicants’ Guide to the Terms and Conditions).

1.2 Program Background

A clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. To advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, Budget 2017 proposed investments in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Modern energy infrastructure is essential to clean growth, but in key areas, uncertainty around the risks and costs of emerging technologies is stalling their development. The Green Infrastructure Phase II - EVID Program, will accelerate the market entry of next generation clean energy infrastructure, such as innovative electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen (H2) refuelling technologies, by investing a portion of its funding into commercial-scale technology demonstrations.

Budget 2017 allocated up to $30M to the EVID Program from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2022 to continue to support demonstrations of next-generation and innovative EV charging infrastructure projects that address technical and non-technical barriers to the installation, operation and management of EV charging technologies. This RFP will allocate up to $15M towards non-repayable contributions for both EV charging and H2 refuelling infrastructure demonstration projects. Additional funding details are included in Section 5.

2. Objective and Description

2.1 Objective

Demonstration projects under the EVID Program will address barriers to the deployment of EV charging infrastructure and H2 refuelling infrastructure, which will lead to an increased uptake of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). ZEVs are defined as plug-in hybrid EVs, battery EVs, and H2 fuel cell vehicles.

2.2 Description

The transportation sector represents approximately 33% of end-use related final energy demandFootnote 1, and emissions from transportation represent 24% of the total GHG emissionsFootnote 2. This sector is thereby one of the largest sources of energy-related GHG emissions in Canada. Specifically, on-road vehicles remain the most significant contributors, producing 72% of Canada’s overall transportation related GHG emissions. An increased adoption of low-carbon transportation technologies, such as ZEVs, will lead to a reduction in transportation related GHG emissions.

The EVID RFP is seeking demonstration projects that address both technical and non-technical barriers to the installation, operation and management of EV charging and H2 refuelling infrastructure in real-world conditions.

The EVID Program is seeking projects that demonstrate:

  • EV charging: the next-generation of EV charging technologies, innovative EV charging technologies, or the innovative integration of existing or new EV charging technologies. The types of charging technologies proposed can include Level 2, direct current fast charging (DCFC), wireless (induction), technologies for charging autonomous vehicles, or other types that would supply charging to on-road, highway capable EVs. These vehicles include, but are not limited to, light-duty passenger vehicles, medium to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and buses.
  • H2 refuelling: innovative hydrogen refuelling technologies for on-road, highway capable, medium to heavy-duty commercial vehicles and buses, where hydrogen fuel-cell solutions may be advantageous. Proposals for H2 refuelling technologies for light-duty or passenger vehicle applications are excluded from this RFP.

Projects must have a technology readiness levelFootnote 3 (TRL) of at least 5 at the beginning of the project and must achieve a TRL of at least 8 at the end of the project.

3.  Scope for Project Proposals

3.1 Priorities

The submitted proposals must address at least one of the following priorities:

  1. For the urban environment: enable innovative solutions for EV charging in multi-unit residential buildings or in high-density urban areas where most garage orphans are located;
  2. For two-way energy transfer: enable innovative solutions to improve vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) technologies or applications;
  3. EV charging technologies or solutions for autonomous vehicles;
  4. For freight transportation: enable innovative solutions to the electrified transportation of goods within urban environments and between urban centres;
  5. For workplaces and fleets: enable innovative solutions for fleet vehicle charging, including car-sharing applications, and EV owners to charge at work;
  6. For H2 refuelling infrastructure: enable high flow-rate refuelling for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles or improved H2 refuelling systems at low temperatures;
  7. For public transit: demonstration of advanced electric bus charging (e.g. supercapacitors) or H2 fuel-cell bus refuelling technologies not yet demonstrated or commercially available in Canada;
  8. For charging networks: enable innovative solutions to make EV charging operations seamless for the end-user (preference will be given to projects utilizing open platforms, e.g. OCPP);
  9. For the electrical grid: enable innovative solutions to minimize grid impacts from the mass adoption of EVs. Applicants are encouraged to partner with utilities when addressing challenges of grid integration of EV charging.

3.2 Notes

  • Emphasis of projects must be on the EV charging or H2 refuelling infrastructure;
  • Preference may be given to EV charging and H2 refuelling infrastructure for fleet applications.

3.3 Restrictions

Funding under the EVID Program is not available for the following:

  • Projects focusing on the integration of renewable energy (e.g. solar) or energy storage.
  • Projects focusing on the deployment of EV charging or H2 refuelling infrastructure that is already at the commercial stage.
  • Projects focusing on a FEED study.
  • Projects focusing on H2 refuelling infrastructure for light-duty or passenger vehicles.
  • Projects focusing on H2 production or H2 storage.

3.4 Ineligible Expenditures

From time to time, the Program may determine that some of the proponent’s project costs will not be eligible for reimbursement, but may be included towards the proponent’s contribution to the total project costs. These costs will be considered ineligible expenditures, and will be shown in the Ineligible Expenditures section of the budget. The Program will provide guidance to the Proponent as required.The following are examples of project costs that may be considered ineligible expenditures by the Program:

  • Vehicle purchases;
  • Vehicle-side developments;
  • H2 production technologies;
  • H2 storage technologies.

3.5 Outcomes

Projects are expected to result in at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Improved performance of charging stations (e.g. efficiency and charging speed);
  • Improved performance of H2 refuelling systems for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles;
  • Improved operational safety of charging and hydrogen refuelling stations;
  • Improved interoperability;
  • Reduced cost of EV charging or H2 refuelling stations;
  • Improved cold climate related charging efficiency;
  • Improved reliability and performance of H2 refuelling systems in cold climates; and
  • Increased knowledge of non-technical barriers and innovative approaches leading to improved business cases.

4. Application Schedule and Process

4.1 Application Schedule

The following is the anticipated schedule for the proposal application and review process:

Due date for submission of Project Proposals October 18, 2019 23:59 EDT
Project selection complete Fall 2019 (estimate)
Due diligence process Winter-Spring 2020 (estimate)
Negotiation and signing of contribution agreements Winter-Spring 2020 (estimate)

4.2 Application Process

This Proposal Applicants’ Guide outlines the application process for submissions of proposals for projects to be funded under the EVID Program. It explains how the Department of Natural Resources (NRCan) will review, in a consistent, fair, and transparent manner, proposals submitted under the EVID Program in order to identify a list of projects that best fit with the EVID Program’s objectives

4.2.1 Submitting a Proposal

Proposals must be submitted by providing a complete set of documents including any signatures required as described in the Proposal Template. The Proposal is composed of two documents, a MS Word and a MS Excel document, and both components must be completed. Incomplete documents will not be considered. Printed and mailed versions of the materials will be accepted, but electronic versions are preferred.

An applicant may provide supporting material (e.g. letters confirming support) for any aspect of the Proposal. Applicants are required to submit a single copy of the required documents by the Due Date for submission of Proposals listed in Section 4.1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to retain proof of the time that the documentation package was sent to NRCan. This may be required in the event that NRCan does not receive the documentation package by the deadline for reasons that are beyond the control of the sender.

NRCan recognizes that e-mail is not a secure means of communication, and NRCan cannot guarantee the security of confidential information sent via e-mail while it is in transit. Nonetheless, applicants who regularly use e-mail to communicate confidential information within their own organizations may choose to submit their documentation packages by e-mail to: evid-dive@canada.ca. Please indicate “EVID 2019 Call - DIVE Appel 2019” in the subject line.

Applicants may also submit their documentation by courier or registered mail to:

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program
Office of Energy Research and Development
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth St., 14th floor
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0E4

 

Where applicants submit a single copy of the required files by courier or registered mail, we request that a single copy of the required files in an electronic version on a memory stick be included in the package, clearly marked with the name of the organization and the title of the project. If you are submitting by courier, it is recommended that you inform us by e-mail that you are doing so.

4.2.2 Proposal Review, Selection, and Notification

Following the proposal submission due date, proposals that have passed the initial screening (see mandatory requirements in Section 6.1 and additional key requirements in Section 6.2) will be evaluated and ranked according to the criteria outlined in Section 6 of this document. The EVID Program may redirect proposals to another NRCan funding program or the Government of Canada Clean Growth Hub, at its sole discretion, if a proposal is deemed to be out of scope, better suit another program, or is screened out for other reasons.

Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified, and unsuccessful applicants may request formal feedback on the review of their project proposal.

4.2.3 Due Diligence Assessment

Due to the limited timeframe remaining for the program, the due diligence assessment will be expedited.Therefore, only proposals that meet the mandatory requirements in Section 6.1, and, subject to the RFP response rate, the additional key requirements in Section 6.2, will be retained and further assessed. All successful applicants passing the proposal stage will undergo a due diligence assessment, which will include an evaluation of the project’s finances, technical risk, and team risk.NRCan may request that the applicant provide additional information to support the due diligence evaluation.

Note: In order to assess financial risk, successful applicants passing the proposal stage may be required to submit, within one week of notification, their last three years of financial statements.

All applicants undergoing due diligence will be notified whether or not their project passes the due diligence assessment. Following due diligence assessment, applicants whose projects pass the due diligence assessment will be invited to begin negotiating a contribution agreement.

4.2.4 Contribution Agreement Negotiation

Any funding under this entire submission, review and assessment process will be contingent upon the execution of a contribution agreement. Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make a financial contribution to any project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such contribution agreement.

More information on NRCan contribution agreements will be made available to successful applicants following the proposal results notification.

Note: For successful proposals, as time is of the essence to finalize the signing of contribution agreements, the Program will impose strict deadlines that must be respected throughout the due diligence assessment and contribution agreement negotiation processes.

4.3 Supporting Documents and Requests for Supplementary Information

If you are providing supporting material, we request that it be in electronic format, preferably PDF. However, please note that the maximum total size of e-mail attachments is 9 MB. If your electronic submission would exceed the maximum, we suggest you submit a single copy of the material by courier or registered mail, on a memory stick, clearly marked with the name of the organization and the title of the project. We request that you restrict additional material to that which is directly relevant to, and in support of, your proposal.

The EVID Program may request supplementary information at various points in the review process. Please note: During the proposal phase, up to three years of financial statements may be requested during the selection process from the applicant in order to assess project and applicant financial risk. Financial review will be done in confidence by financial analysts contracted by NRCan. These requests to the applicant will be made via e-mail, and responses should be by e-mail, courier or registered mail. Any additional material and documentation provided in response as attachments should be in electronic format, preferably PDF. The EVID Program may also request presentations by the applicants, either in person or by teleconference, during the review process.

4.4 Program Inquiries

In order to ensure that all proposal applicants have access to the same information and that there is a written response to every question, all questions and answers will be sent and received via the EVID Program email: evid-dive@canada.ca. Recurring questions or those that may be useful to other applicants will be posted on the EVID Program’s website in a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. Confidential information and details revealing identity will first be removed. No meetings related to the EVID Program will be held between any proposed applicant and EVID Program staff involved with the project selection process.

5. Funding Conditions

5.1 Funding Timeline and Thresholds

Demonstration projects will be eligible for EVID Program funding from the later of the time that an applicant is notified that their project has been selected to proceed to a contribution agreement, or April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. Applicants may extend a project for one year after the end of Program funding at their cost (i.e. up to March 31, 2023), though no Program funding will be available after March 31, 2022.

The funding thresholds for the EVID Program are as follows: the Program may pay up to 50% of Total Project Costs per demonstration project, up to a maximum amount of three million dollars ($3,000,000). The minimum funding that may be requested per project is two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

5.2 Eligible Activities

Program funds may be directed to the following kinds of demonstration activities:

  • The permanent (for the normal life of the equipment) installation of a pre-commercial technology with the intent that it continues to operate in its intended operational environment for a minimum of 5 years after the completion of the project.
  • Permanent modification of existing processes, equipment, or systems to accommodate an innovative technology or process and that is directly related to the demonstration;
  • The permanent installation of equipment and/or infrastructure that supports and is directly related to the demonstration, or multiple demonstrations.

5.3 Eligible Proponents

Eligible proponents are legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including utilities, companies, industry associations, research associations, aboriginal and community groups, Canadian academic institutions, and provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies. Proof of legal status in Canada is required at the proposal stage.

6. Selection Criteria

Applicants must address the criteria below in their Proposals, as per the descriptions under Sections 6.1 to 6.4, and provide supporting information for all assertions. Note that the descriptions of the individual criteria under Sections 6.3 and 6.4 are indicative of the factors considered by reviewers, but are not meant to be all inclusive. Applicants are urged to submit all information they feel would be relevant in addressing the criteria in their Proposals. Proposals will be rated and ranked on a comparative basis, against other proposals being reviewed, based on the following criteria and on an overall assessment of individual Proposals.

6.1 Mandatory Requirements

The Program will impose a set of mandatory requirements in the initial screening of all proposals received. Proposals that do not meet the mandatory requirements listed below will be excluded from the full review process (i.e. the full proposal will not be reviewed or assessed).

  1. All sections of the Project Proposal Documents 1 (Word document) and 2 (Excel workbook) are complete and supporting documentation is attached.
  2. The applicant is an eligible recipient of funding under this RFP.
  3. The project is located in Canada.
  4. The project meets the timeframe for funding requirements as defined in Section 5.1.
  5. The funding request meets the Program’s minimum and maximum funding thresholds.
  6. The project meets the objectives and scope of the RFP as defined in Sections 2 and 3.
  7. The proposal includes a signed attestation.
  8. The proposal includes a confirmation of approval for the project and associated funding from the applicant’s financial authority and, where applicable, from other required levels of governance (e.g. municipal councils).
  9. The proposal includes the applicant’s GST number and legal name, including a copy of incorporation or registration documents.
  10. The applicant is the intended party that will sign the contribution agreement, if the project is selected to proceed to this stage.
  11. The total funding meets all of the criteria as laid out in the proposal template (e.g. leveraging requirements).
  12. The applicant will own any infrastructure paid for in full or in part by the Program.

6.2 Additional Key Requirements

Due to the limited time remaining to complete projects, the Program will need to expedite the due diligence assessment and contribution agreement drafting processes for projects selected to proceed to the next step. As such, the Program may give preference to proposals that demonstrate that they meet additional key requirements.

Subject to the RFP response rate, the Program reserves the right to apply one or both of the following key requirements in the initial screening process. In such a case, proposals that do not meet the additional requirement(s) will be excluded from the full review process (i.e. the full proposal will not be reviewed or assessed).

  1. The proposal includes evidence that the site locations are secured and confirmed.
  2. The proposal includes evidence that all project partners and associated financial contributions are confirmed (i.e. firm letters of support including cash and in-kind funding amounts; all in-kind contributions must be described). Soft letters of support will not be considered acceptable.

6.3 Evaluation Criteria

Proposals that meet the mandatory criteria listed above, as well as the additional key requirements, if deemed necessary, will then be reviewed and ranked using the criteria below:

  • How well the project addresses the Program objectives;
  • The innovativeness of the proposed project;
  • The ability and capacity of the Proponent to deliver the project, based on the proposed project team and its individual and collective experience and expertise;
  • Clearly articulated and achievable timelines and milestones;
  • The capacity for adoption of the results of the project; and
  • The project’s technical, economic, and environmental merits.

6.4 Other Criteria

In addition to the above criteria, the following may be considered in the final project selection:

  • Projects that demonstrate leverage.
  • Projects that demonstrate a vested interest or commitment by the applicant (i.e. includes a reasonable cash and/or in-kind contribution by the applicant towards the project).
  • Departmental priorities including regional balance.

Appendix 1: Project Proposal Templates

Please note the following when completing the proposal documentation:

  1. The Proposal Package was sent to you by e-mail as a Microsoft Word document entitled “EVID Proposal Template 1 – July 3 2019”, a Microsoft Excel document entitled “EVID Proposal Template 2 – July 3 2019”, along with this Proposal Applicants’ Guide. Both proposal templates must be completed.
  2. Unless otherwise specified, the “proposed project” or the “project” or the “proposal” in these templates refer to the proposed project submitted in response to the RFP process undertaken by the EVID Program.
  3. Completion and submission of the required documents does not imply that the proposed project will be approved for co-funding by the Program.
  4. Applicants, their partners and collaborators must submit all information required under this request.

The completed documents must be submitted by e-mail, courier or registered mail by the Due Date for the submission of Project Proposals listed in Section 4.1. Please refer to Section 4.2.1 Submitting a Proposal for the submission procedure. Submissions sent after that time will not be accepted. It is the applicant’s responsibility to retain proof of time the documentation package was sent to NRCan. This may be required in the event that NRCan does not receive the documentation package by the deadline for reasons that are beyond the control of the sender.

Footnotes