Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell recently announced that the state is awarding close to $8 million in state alternative energy grants. The grants will be used to fund 21 projects that will encourage the use of biofuels and technological developments to cultivate the further development of electric cars and vehicles that run on natural gas. These projects are expected to create 221 jobs and to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 14.5 million pounds.
During a press conference where the grants were unveiled, Rendell stated that:
Two weeks ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council named Pennsylvania as the 7th least vulnerable state in the nation to oil price spikes because of our work to build a green economy here…That’s a very accurate assessment and it’s what we’ve been saying for the past eight years, which is why we’ve worked so hard to create a green economy here. That work has paid off…These projects will build upon that work and will transform the way we power our vehicles.
The majority of the money for these grants comes from the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG), which aims to promote and build markets for advanced or renewable energy technologies. The purpose of the program is to provide a stimulus for opportunities that better manage fuel resources in a way that also improves the environment, supports economic development and enhances quality of life. Since 2004, Pennsylvania has invested approximately $39 million in 114 projects through the AFIG. These investments have resulted in $216 million in additional investments from other sources.
The grants will be matched by $22.1 million of private funds. The $30 million investment will solidify Pennsylvania’s reputation as a leader in the development and implementation of clean energy.
Rendell’s announcement about the grants comes on the heels of the news of the Governor’s $32.5 million investment for 38 rail projects in 28 counties throughout Pennsylvania.
Projects that will receive the alternative energy grant money include:
- Giant Eagle Inc. will receive $750,000 to purchase 29 compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric/plug-in vehicles, and to install 10 public electric vehicle charging stations which will be the first of their kind in Pennsylvania.
- Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. will receive $700,000 to build a CNG fueling station at its hauling facility in Washington, PA, which will also be available to other fleet operators. The company intends to use natural gas in its fleet of trash and recycle trucks.
- Endless Mountains Transit Authority will receive $750,000 to convert five public transit buses to CNG that will be fueled at a public fueling station built by Dandy Mini Marts in either Towanda or Sayre.
- 451 Tyburn LLC will receive $837,400 to build a publicly accessible CNG station in Fairless Hills and deploy heavy-duty CNG shuttle buses for public transit service in region.
- West Chester University of Pennsylvania will receive $6,000 to cover the incremental cost of purchasing B20 biodiesel to power vehicles on campus.
- Momentum Dynamics will receive a nearly $587,000 grant to develop a technology in Berks County that will recharge EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles wirelessly. The project is expected to create 18 jobs and cut CO2 emissions by 297,000 pounds annually.
- Cumberland County Commissioners will receive $15,360 to purchase 96,000 gallons of blended biodiesel.
- YRC, Inc. will receive $250,000 to install a biodiesel blending system at its Carlisle Truck Freight Terminal.
- International Battery Inc., based in the Lehigh Valley will use a $235,000 grant to demonstrate the long-term performance and manufacturing viability of an advanced lithium battery pack suitable for hybrid electric and electric buses and commercial trucks. The company’s green manufacturing process, which is solvent-free and free of volatile organic compounds, will create two jobs.
- East Stroudsburg Area School District will receive $10,540 to convert two existing, 20,000-gallon tanks for biofuel storage and purchase B5 biodiesel.
- Bryn Mawr College will receive $88,682 to increase its existing CNG storage capacity, and purchase one CNG transport bus and two Ford Transit Connect CNG vans.
- Lower Merion School District will receive $121,641 to purchase and use nine CNG school buses.
- Self Heating & Cooling Inc. will receive $48,710 to develop a public propane AutoGas station in Horsham Township and add two propane-powered vehicles to the company’s fleet.
- Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania will receive $631,787 to help 12 school districts purchase and use 1.8 million gallons of blended biodiesel and 280,000 gallons of B100.
- Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania will receive $425,860 to help five municipalities and school districts in southeastern Pennsylvania continue fueling 500 vehicles with biodiesel.
- Philadelphia City Treasurer, Office of Fleet Management will receive $205,416 to offset the cost of purchasing more than 1 million gallons of B5 biodiesel for use in the city’s fleet.
- PHL Taxi Management LLC will receive $900,000 to purchase and deploy 50 new CNG taxis in Philadelphia that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to build a publicly accessible CNG fueling station in the city.
- The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia, will receive $140,000 for its $500,000 project that will add 10 charging stations and 18 electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids to existing, successful local car sharing operations, exposing more people to the benefits of these technologies. The project is expected to create 12 jobs and cut CO2 emissions by 61,000 pounds per year.
- Venango Leasing Co. will receive $362,500 to develop a CNG fueling station with convenient public access alongside an existing fuel station in Barkeyville and to purchase equipment that will enable its existing fleet to run on a mix of CNG and diesel.
- Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program will receive $486,066 to convert heavy equipment construction fleets to accept locally produced biofuels and demonstrate the performance, cost-effectiveness, maintenance, training and research necessary to prove the concept’s viability.
- Dean Cerimeli/U-HAUL will receive $346,000 to purchase and convert the engines of 20 vans to run on liquefied petroleum gas that will be deployed throughout the state.