Texas Promotes Alt-Fuel Growth with Targeted Grants

| USA, Austin TX

Texas non-attainment and near non-attainment areas

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has set up various grants to promote the use of alternative fuels in the US state. The latest of these is a grant fund of USD 5.7 million for eligible individuals, businesses, governmental entities and school districts, to replace older diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. Alternative fuels are limited to liquefied (LNG) and compressed (CNG) natural gas, electricity, propane (LPG) or 85%+ methanol.

TCEQ Texas Clean Fleet Program grants, which are part of the Texas Emission Reductions Plan (TERP), are offered to eligible entities that own or lease a fleet of 75 or more on-road vehicles that are currently registered in Texas and intend to replace at least 20 on-road diesel vehicles.  Projects must result in at least a 25 percent reduction of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX).

The eligible reimbursement amounts range between 50 percent and 80 percent of the purchase costs depending on the model year of the vehicle and engine being replaced.  Grants are awarded on a competitive basis with projects ranked according to the cost per ton of NOX reduced by the project.

Recipients must agree to operate the grant-funded vehicles for a defined percentage of the annual mileage in any of eight non-attainment areas in Texas for five years or 400,000 miles, whichever occurs earlier. Nonattainment areas are areas that have failed to meet federal standards for ambient air quality. Near non-attainment areas currently meet federal standards but are at risk of violating standards.

Grant applications close August 29, 2012. More information here.

In mid-May, TCEQ also set up a USD 2.3 million grant fund to provide fueling facilities for alternative fuel, including natural gas. The grants are offered to eligible entities that intend to build stations located within the county boundaries of the EPA designated non-attainment counties and must be made available to the public.

Grant applications close July 31, 2012.

(This article compiled using information from a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality press release)

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