Rendell doles out state alternative fuel grants

By Bryan Sims | October 25, 2010
Posted Nov. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell announced $7.9 million in statewide alternative energy grants for 21 projects in biofuels, natural gas and electric-powered vehicles.

Additional private funds, $22.1 million worth, are being matched to help finish the projects, which would bring a total economic impact worth $30 million. Rendell said the funding further strengthens Pennsylvania's reputation as a leader in clean energy innovation and use.

"Two weeks ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council named Pennsylvania as the seventh least vulnerable state in the nation to oil price spikes because of our work to build a green economy here," Rendell said in a statement. "In doing so, it noted 'America's addiction to oil continues to threaten not only our national security and global environmental health, but also our economic viability.'"

He continued, "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 energy economy here. That work has paid off and we have thousands of companies who are employing tens of thousands of workers in green collar jobs. These projects will build upon that work and will transform the way we power our vehicles."

Although the majority of projects involve the use of compressed natural gas, more than $1 million of state grant monies were dedicated towards expanding the use and availability of biodiesel in various counties throughout the state. Specifically, those projects include:

Chester County: West Chester University of Pennsylvania will receive $6,000 to cover the incremental cost of purchasing B20 to power its vehicles on campus.

Cumberland County: Cumberland County Commissioners are awarded $15,360 to purchase 96,000 gallons of blended biodiesel. In addition, YRC Inc. will receive $250,000 to install a biodiesel blending system at its Carlisle Truck Freight Terminal.

Monroe County: East Stroudsburg Area School District will leverage $10,540 to convert two existing 20,000-gallon tanks for biofuel storage and purchase B5.

Philadelphia County: Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania was awarded $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 get $205,416 to offset the cost of purchasing more than 1 million gallons of B5 for use in the city's fleet.

Westmoreland County: Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program intends to use $486,066 to convert heavy equipment construction fleets to accept locally produced biofuels and to demonstrate the performance, cost-effectiveness, maintenance, training and research necessary to prove the concept's viability.
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