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Chemeketa Awarded PGE Funding for All-Electric Tractors

DateWednesday, February 28, 2024, 3:14

AuthorChemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa Secures Funding from PGE's Drive Change Fund for All-Electric Tractors, Establishes Co-op for Local Agricultural Operations

A picture of a Monarch electric tractor purchased by Chemeketa's agricultural sciences program from a PGE grant.

Chemeketa is excited to announce that it was selected by Portland General Electric’s Drive Change Fund (DCF) to receive funding for two all-electric Monarch tractors for the Agricultural Science and Technology and Wine Studies programs. Chemeketa was granted the PGE Drive Change grant. Along with the tractors, Chemeketa will form a co-op for local producers to use the tractors in their agricultural operations. 

Oregon's transportation sector contributes over 35% of the state's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, underscoring its major role in the carbon footprint. Electrification offers an opportunity to cut GHG emissions, with electric vehicles (EVs) providing both environmental benefits and cost savings for organizations due to lower maintenance and stable electricity prices. The PGE DCF is funded via the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP). Funded by the sale of Oregon CFP credits, which PGE aggregates on behalf of residential customers who charge their electric vehicles at home, the fund supports projects to expand electric mobility options and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The DCF prioritizes projects focused on serving vulnerable populations and underserved communities.

Tim Ray, Chemeketa’s Dean of Agriculture Science and Technology, stated, "These new Monarch electric tractors, sponsored by PGE, will enable our Agriculture Science and Technology Department and the Wine Studies Program to establish a tractor co-op. This initiative aims to provide small and medium-sized agricultural operations in the mid-Willamette Valley with the opportunity to utilize these tractors at no cost, allowing them to assess the feasibility of electrification. We are proud to bring electric tractors to Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties through this generous grant from PGE."

Chemeketa Community College's partnership with PGE's Drive Change Fund signifies a significant step towards sustainable agriculture in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

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