Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will award more than $4.4 million in Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants to 12 projects across the state, including 8 that focus on natural gas vehicles (NGV) and NGV infrastructure. “These projects are terrific for the state’s economy and the environment,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “We have an available, abundant, domestic, economical and clean-burning source of energy under our feet, and these projects put those resources to good use.”
The grants, funded by a portion of the state’s annual utilities gross receipts tax, will encourage new markets for alternative fuels, fleets and technologies across Pennsylvania. Listed below are the successful NGV projects:
Cranberry Taxi Inc. / Veterans Taxi will receive $269,000 to purchase and deploy 25 new compressed natural gas (CNG) taxis. Annually, this project is expected to displace 97,548 gallons of gasoline and reduce air pollutants (greenhouse gas, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrous oxide and particulate matter) by a combined 323,866 pounds, save $78,039 in fuel costs and create a projected 11 jobs.
Talon Logistics Inc. will receive $500,000 to replace 20 diesel-fueled delivery trucks with 20 trucks fueled by compressed natural gas. This will be the first use of heavy-duty trucks in Pennsylvania that feature the Cummins Westport ISL G 11.9-liter 400 HP engine. The project also includes an educational outreach and awareness campaign, discussing how alternative fuels help create jobs, stimulate local economic development, reduce harmful emissions and reduce dependence on foreign oil. It is expected to displace an estimated 181,818 gallons of fuel per year and eliminate nearly 2,035 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will receive $500,000 to replace 20 diesel-fueled shuttle buses with 20 shuttle buses powered by CNG. The project will also provide encouragement for additional compressed natural gas fuel adoption and use by UPMC and other organizations throughout the region; provide criteria emissions reductions and significant fuel cost savings; and create jobs. It is expected to displace an estimated 65,000 gallons of fuel per year and eliminate nearly 214 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Waste Management of PA, Inc. will receive $400,000 for the construction of a CNG fueling station at its Delaware Valley North hauling facility in Bristol Borough. The fueling station will be used by Waste Management’s waste and recycling haulers and other local fleet operators. The project is expected to displace an estimated 200,000 gallons of fuel per year and eliminate nearly 2,238 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Butler Transit Authority will receive $1 million to assist in the construction of Butler County’s first public access CNG fueling station at the Butler Transit Authority’s new transit center. The transit authority has committed to purchasing four new natural gas-powered 45-foot coach buses and six 30-foot buses. The transit authority is also working with Butler Area Rural Transit to replace 20 shuttle buses with natural gas-powered versions. The project is expected to displace 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel and eliminate nearly 369 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc. will receive $86,500 to convert four vans to CNG and install three slow-fill compressor units for fueling on-site. This will significantly reduce meal-delivery costs, ensure that the home-delivered meals program can be sustained and strengthen the agency’s capacity to serve older adults. The project is expected to displace an estimated 3,804 gallons of fuel per year and eliminate nearly 49 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
River Valley Transit will receive $400,000 for a CNG fueling station at River Valley Transit’s garage and office location in Williamsport. This will provide access to the general public and private fleets. The facility now provides central fueling for Williamsport’s and Lycoming County’s police, fire and emergency response vehicles as well as all buses operated by the Williamsport Area School District. The station will provide the opportunity for these fleets to transition to CNG vehicles. River Valley Transit operates its own 30-bus transit fleet and has plans to transition its entire fleet to CNGs. The project is expected to displace an estimated 45,000 gallons of fuel per year and eliminate nearly 504 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Republic Services of PA LLC will receive $500,000 for the purchase and deployment of 64 heavy-duty CNG refuse trucks that will provide refuse collection services throughout Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties. This project is expected to displace 640,572 gallons of diesel per year and reduce 80 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
(This article compiled using information from a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection press release)