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C2C: Transforming Electric Vehicle Infrastructure through Peer Learning


From June to December 2023, Whatcom County and The City of Olympia engaged in a peer learning cohort, known as "Clean Energy to Communities (C2C)" with the Columbia-Willamette & Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition as partners. Whatcom County and the City of Olympia applied to this national program and were assigned to our coalitions.


The "Clean Energy to Communities" initiative, funded by the US Department of Energy and managed by NREL with assistance from the World Resources Institute, aims to advance local clean energy goals. 15 local governments participated in this year's cohort, including Whatcom County and the City of Olympia.


Focusing on "Planning and Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment," this six-month program facilitated regular gatherings to exchange strategies, share best practices, and develop action plans to address challenges in transitioning to cleaner energy sources.


Monthly Workshops covered local governments' role in accelerating electric vehicle infrastructure, a variety of funding models, equitable deployment strategies, zoning considerations, and contracting methods. For inspiration and technical guidance, peer learning sessions highlighted successful Clean Cities stories.


Additionally, at these meetings, lab experts provided the cohort with education, case studies, analysis and modeling tools, templates, and training, and facilitated collaboration between the cohort members.


Lauren Clemens, the Climate Action Manager of Whatcom County's Public Works Department, highlighted the program's significance, emphasizing its role in aligning the county's actions with its Climate Action Plan.


Clemens said that "the technical assistance provided by Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities, as part of U.S. DOE C2C cohort 'Planning and Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment,’ has been essential to help sequence the County's next steps to increase access to public charging." 


We are nearing the end of the 2023 program. The Clean Cities team will continue to be a resource after implementation has taken place.


For more information about the C2C program, visit: https://www.nrel.gov/state-local-tribal/c2c-peer-learning-cohorts.html

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