Friday, August 28, 2009

Ohio clinches $11M stimulus grant for clean-fuel vehicles

Business First of Columbus

Ohio officials say an $11 million infusion of federal stimulus dollars unveiled Wednesday will help put nearly 300 vehicles powered by alternative energy sources on the road.

The grant headed to Ohio is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which encourages the use of alternative fuel. The government on Wednesday awarded a total of nearly $300 million to 25 projects in amounts ranging from about $5 million to $15 million, although amounts could be modified pending further negotiation.

The state grant was awarded specifically to the Ohio Advanced Transportation Partnership, run by Clean Fuels Ohio, a Columbus-based organization that advocates for greener fuels and vehicles. The funding will help buy and convert 283 vehicles so they’re powered with resources including natural gas, propane, ethanol, biodiesel, electricity or hybrid technology. The state said the grant funding also will provide for the construction of 15 fueling and service stations for the vehicles, which will be used in taxi, city, school and delivery fleets.

Area companies, organizations and municipalities lined up to benefit from the Clean Fuels Ohio project include the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, the Mid-Ohio FoodBank, the cities of Columbus and Dublin and Franklin County.

Projects awarded stimulus dollars Wednesday were required to put up roughly $2 for every dollar of federal investment, which pegs the Ohio project at more than $30 million. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said in a release that the state expects the plans outlined in the partnership could cut petroleum consumption by 875,000 gallons annually.

The Energy Department said the projects it’s funding nationwide will help put more than 9,000 alternative fuel vehicles on the road and construct more than 500 refueling stations. That could lead to cutting petroleum consumption by 38 million gallons annually.

For more details on Wednesday’s awards and a full list of winners, click here.


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