Penn. Awards $3.7 Million in Alt-Fuel Grants; Support for Plug-in Hybrid Bus and Biodiesel from Algae Included
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced the investment of $3.7 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG), in amounts ranging from $500 to $2 million, for 23 projects.
Among the awards are a grant for $112,000 toward participation in a buyer’s consortium for the commercial development of a plug-in electric/biodiesel hybrid school bus, as well as $105,925 for the production of biodiesel from oil extracted from algae.
Governor Rendell recently signed into law (Act 178 of 2004) an expansion of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, enabling DEP to fund projects at higher percentages of the total cost.
The new law also allows DEP to offer a rebate instead of a grant to commonwealth residents who purchase hybrid electric and alternative fuel vehicles. Hybrid vehicle purchasers can now apply throughout the year and will be eligible for the rebate as long as funding is available and DEP receives the required information within six months of the purchase.
The newly-announced grants leverage more than $16 million in private funds for projects ranging from early-stage research to commercial implementation of technologies.
The current group of AFIG awards includes:
$2 million to Seneca Landfill to promote use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from landfill methane gas. Seneca will construct a liquefaction facility to produce 6,000 gallons of LNG per day, and a LNG refueling facility. Seneca will convert 10 waste-hauling vehicles to LNG engines and purchase five new LNG trucks.
$550,556 to Penn State University/PTI to continue a demonstration of hydrogen and compressed natural gas blends in Centre Area Transit buses and Penn State vans.
$436,263 to cover the estimated incremental cost difference between a gallon of conventional diesel and a gallon of B20 biodiesel blended at 20 percent biodiesel (B20) for four recipients. The largest grantee is York County Transportation Authority, which will receive $381,600 to phase in entire fleet of 20 buses and 33 vans.
$137,864 to the Walt Whitman Truck Stop in Philadelphia to purchase and install electrified idle-reduction systems so truckers can power heating and cooling units and small appliances without running their engines.
$119,277 to Penn State University/PTI to design and build a vehicle to compete in the US Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition.
$112,000 to Jennings Transportation to participate in a buyer’s consortium for the commercial development of a plug-in electric/biodiesel hybrid school bus. Nazareth Area School District will participate in the demonstration of the bus.
$105,925 to Renewergy Cooperative Corp. to produce biodiesel from oil extracted from algae that is also part of the effluent treatment process at the Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant. The grant funds installation of a bioreactor to grow the algae.
$100,000 to Pittsburgh Electric Engines to develop a solid oxide fuel cell for use in a turbo fuel-cell engine targeted for the heavy-duty truck market.
$61,019 to West Chester University to purchase six bi-fuel pickup trucks that operate on compressed natural gas or conventional fuels, and installation of refueling equipment.
$37,138 to Schwan’s Home Services to convert 11 heavy-duty delivery trucks from gasoline to dedicated liquid propane use.
$8,000 toward the purchase of 16 hybrid vehicles by different organizations, at $500 per vehicle.
$4,500 to Temple University to purchase and install compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling equipment for the university’s six dedicated CNG vehicles.