HARRISBURG, PA -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it will award more than $4.4 million in Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants to 12 projects across the state.
The projects will help develop the state’s natural gas and electric vehicle infrastructure, and achieve emissions reductions equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road, the agency said. 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.
Talon Logistics Inc. will receive $500,000 to replace 20 diesel-fueled delivery trucks with 20 trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). 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, addressing how alternative fuels help create jobs, stimulate local economic development, reduce harmful emissions and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will receive $500,000 to replace 20 diesel-fueled shuttle buses with 20 shuttle buses powered by compressed natural gas. 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.
In Bucks County, Waste Management of PA Inc. will receive $400,000 for the construction of a compressed natural gas 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.
In Butler County, 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.
In Lycoming County, 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 compressed natural gas. 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.
350 Green LLC will receive $450,000 for the development of the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure. This project will include the construction of approximately 20 Level III fast-charging stations and 72 charging stations. Level III charging stations provide 480 volts of direct current, allowing an electric car to charge in about a half hour. Level II charging stations provide 240 volts of alternating current, allowing an electric car to charge in about four hours. The locations of the charging stations are being negotiated. The project is expected displace an estimated 3,857,423 gallons of gasoline per year and eliminate nearly 37,734 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
In York County, 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.
In Allegheny County, Cranberry Taxi Inc. / Veterans Taxi will receive $269,000 to purchase and deploy 25 new CNG taxis. The taxis will be based out of Pittsburgh and will provide service throughout Allegheny and Butler counties. Annually, this project is expected to displace 97,548 gallons of gasoline and reduce air pollutants by a combined 323,866 pounds, save $78,039 in fuel costs and create a projected 11 jobs.
Pittsburgh Regional Clean Cities will receive $238,467 for the Energy Corridor 376 project that will establish 45 electric vehicle charging stations along Interstate 376 and surrounding areas. Energy Corridor 376 is a partnership of 19 regional public and private entities working to expand electric vehicle infrastructure in the region. Adding to the existing nine charging stations, this project sets the stage for subsequent expansion and electric vehicle adoption.
Berks County Intermediate Unit will receive $100,000 to support the continued use of B20 biodiesel in its fleet. The project is expected to displace an estimated 62,826 gallons of diesel per year and eliminate nearly 633 tons of greenhouse gases annually.
Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc. will receive $86,500 to convert four vans to compressed natural gas 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.
In Dauphin County, Phoenix Contact Inc. will receive $15,360 to construct two solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles. One station will be at the Phoenix Contact facility in Middletown and the other at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown. The installation will be used to raise awareness about the value of alternative fuels and solar energy among students and the general public. It is expected to produce 24,000 kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to the displacement of approximately 165,500 gallons of gasoline, and eliminate nearly 8.84 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“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.”