March 2006

Pennsylvania Governor plans $3.7 million for alternative fuel technologies

York, PA— Governor Edward G. Rendell announced the investment of $3.7 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants to help reduce Pennsylvania’s dependence on imported oil by encouraging the deployment of innovative energy technologies.

The grants are leveraging more than $16 million in private funds for projects ranging from cutting-edge early-stage research to commercial implementation of technologies that offer measurable benefits for air quality and emerging Pennsylvania businesses.

Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty announced the $3.7 million investment of AFIG funds during a tour of the York County Transportation Authority, which received $381,600 to cover the estimated incremental cost difference between a gallon of conventional diesel and a gallon of 20 percent blended biodiesel, commonly called B20. The funding will enable the authority to operate its entire diesel fleet of 20 buses and 33 vans on B20.

In addition, the City of York Public Works received $17,035 in AFIG funds to power its fleet of 40 vehicles with B20. City and authority vehicles refuel from the same tank, which is supplied with B20 by United Biofuels of York.

No mechanical changes are needed for the vehicle fleets to operate on the cleaner-burning fuel, which also reduces wear and tear on the engine and helps to cut down on maintenance expenses. Biodiesel also has a higher energy value per gallon than petroleum diesel, providing greater pickup for vans and buses.

Governor Rendell recently signed into law (Act 178 of 2004) an expansion of the state’s 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.

Grants also are available to fund the construction of alternative refueling stations and advanced technology vehicle research and development.

For more information on AFIG grants, visit DEP’s website at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/, keyword: “Alternative Fuels.”

 


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