What is the partnership between Clean Fuels Ohio and Intertrust in a project to locate electric vehicle charging infrastructure along Interstate 80?

The Interstate-80 Mid-America Alternative Fuel Corridor project is an effort which began in June 2021 led by Argonne National Laboratory and the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop and vet a deployment plan for the six-state eastern portion of the I-80 Mid-America Corridor which requires broad understanding of the role of the corridor in serving local, regional, and interstate travel and a deep appreciation of the needs of the many stakeholders who rely on it. Each of the six states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania) have unique attributes and priorities for corridor development thus the planning process included the active participation of the six state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and seven Clean Cities Coalitions (New Jersey Clean Cities, Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation, Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Clean Fuels Ohio, South Shore Clean Cities, Chicago Area Clean Cities, Iowa Clean Cities). Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) began working with Intertrust in October 2021 to utilize Intertrust’s CleanGrid technology to sync data sets from a variety of sources to inform mapping of future electric vehicle DC fast charging stations.

 

How did Intertrust aid in the planning of EV charging locations?

Intertrust’s CleanGrid technology is a platform-powered toolkit to develop applications for data-drive DER integration planning, renewable energy O&M, retail energy marketplaces, and more. CleanGrid harnesses wide-ranging data to develop energy related applications. Planning EV charging infrastructure and other distributed energy resources (DERs), renewable energy operations and management, retail energy marketplaces, are among many applications made possible by Intertrust Platform. These applications typically combine sensitive data under the control of multiple parties and the data governance and security features of Intertrust Platform are crucial to ensure that the data will be kept secure, and any uses conform with applicable regulations. CFO used Intertrust’s CleanGrid technology to effectively plan for future EVSE charging and CNG fueling stations, accounting for a variety of social, economic, and alternative fuel usage data sets. CFO compiled data from a wide variety of sources from multiple stakeholders (including Transportation Burden per Household data from Argonne National Labs and Ohio vehicle registration data from the Ohio Department of Transportation) for planning EV charging station locations with CleanGrid. In a webinar held on December 2021 for I-80 corridor fueling infrastructure stakeholders in Ohio, CFO collaborated with Intertrust to highlight the work of the partnership on the project with Intertrust’s CleanGrid technology.

Was the organization and technology able to offer added insights by facilitating improved data sets and data sharing? Will this lead to more improved locations for EV charging?

Yes, CFO compiled data from a wide variety of sources from multiple stakeholders for planning EV charging station locations with CleanGrid which not only simplified the aggregation of different datasets, but Intertrusts’s CleanGrid extensive data governance features also provided CFO’s partners with the crucial trust that their data will be handled responsibly. Optimally locating EV charging stations requires managing a number of critical factors such as accessibility for EV drivers, expected usage, and availability of the electrical infrastructure needed to support the proposed station. EVs can place an enormous load on electric grids that was not originally planned for. EV charger planning is a sophisticated data-driven process that requires accessing numerous datasets owned by different organizations including local and state authorities, utilities and charging station manufacturers. Intertrust CleanGrid allowed clean energy Clean Fuels Ohio to securely orchestrate, govern access to, and visualize multiple datasets originating from multiple parties including grid data. Yes, this work will lead to more improved locations for EV charging as we are currently seeing through efforts of Ohio’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which intends to establish a nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers that support access and reliability for all users. Ohio will receive over 100 million dollars across the next five years for Direct Current (DC) Fast chargers to be installed along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Ohio’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment plan provides a framework for building an EV charging network across the state to enable EV travel and spur economic development. The plan was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and approved in September 2022.

Were there any particular pieces of data that proved especially useful for this planning process?

The Intertrust Platform and its CleanGrid technology, a toolkit built on top of the Intertrust Platform, essentially serves as an interoperability layer specifically designed to tie together multiple datasets, regardless of data format or physical location. The piece from Intertrust that proved especially useful was their powerful data governance and auditing features – Intertrust provided useful guidance around appropriate NEVI data rights and regulations associated with particular datasets to ensure that Clean Fuels Ohio abided to these factors when collecting shared data. This works both internally within organizations, which can be a barrier to data flows, as well as externally. CleanGrid, which consists of EV Data Operations and other applications that help tie together and visualize grid and other datasets, expedited the process of siting distributed energy resources (DERs) in Ohio, of which EV charging stations are an important category for this particular project.

Does Clean Fuels Ohio work in coordination with the state in this EV infrastructure planning process?

Yes, this work supported the State of Ohio in submitting their plan for the Federal Government EV charging infrastructure deployment funds through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) established by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, among other activities. ODOT will continue to work with the Joint Office, FHWA Division Office, Ohio State Agencies, and stakeholders as described in the sections below to continue to gain needed feedback, input, and make updates to this timeline and plan throughout the five-year NEVI formula funding program performance period. Ohio will receive $20.7 million annually over the next five years to create an EV charging network across the state. Funds must initially be used to deploy EV charging stations to cover 1,870 miles of Ohio’s FHWA Designated EV Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). The USDOT Secretary will certify corridors “fully built out” once they determine they are completed to NEVI compliant standards but will not declare any corridors complete in the first year of the program. Once Ohio’s AFCs are declared by FHWA to be “fully built out” Ohio can use the remaining NEVI Formula funds for publicly available Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Charging Stations.  ODOT’s vision for the NEVI Plan is to develop a comprehensive framework to enable EV travel across the state and spur economic development. The network will give drivers initial confidence and flexibility when driving on Ohio’s roads for personal, professional, or recreational purposes, regardless of distance traveled, location, or weather conditions.

Article By: Tim Cho,

Senior Manager, Federal Grants & Special Projects