Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has announced that two additional projects will receive funding from the initial round of Act 13 Natural Gas Vehicle grants, first awarded in May. The new grants total almost half a million dollars.
‘These grants will help to diversify our vehicle fleet while expanding the use of natural gas produced right here in Pennsylvania,’ says Corbett. ‘This is also a win for our environment; thanks to Act 13, which I signed last year, these companies will be using cleaner-burning natural gas in their vehicles.’
According to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), these grants were awarded because one of the initial awardees declined a grant due to being unable to begin their project at this time.
McAneny Brothers Inc. of Cambria County will receive a $173,307 grant to purchase eight compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to replace diesel fleet vehicles currently in use. These vehicles will operate throughout western Pennsylvania as well as eastern Ohio, northern Maryland and West Virginia. The company intends to install a CNG fueling station at its location, using existing area fueling stations in the interim.
Lehigh Gas Wholesale LLC, a partnership with multiple vehicle deployments in the Philadelphia area, will receive a grant totaling $391,445 for the acquisition or conversion of 35 vehicles to CNG. Partners on this project include the United Parcel Service, Mid-Atlantic AAA, Lehigh Gas and Philadelphia Gas Works. Plans include opening the first publicly accessible retail CNG station in Philadelphia, which the DEP says will provide significant encouragement to other local businesses considering conversion to CNG.
Thee DEP notes these projects fully utilize the funding initially slated for the declined grant, plus $64,752 in federal State Energy Program funds approved by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The second round of Act 13 Natural Gas grants for heavy-duty fleet vehicles is slated to open this fall, with an additional $11 million available. The third and final grant round will open in 2014.