The state Department of Environmental Protection has rolled out its natural-gas-vehicle grant program, which will provide $20 million over the next three years, including $10 million in the first year, to help cover purchase and conversion costs for fleet vehicles.
“We expect a strong turnout across the board, based upon the wide range of participants at our seminar(s), including one seminar hosted by (Mid Atlantic BX),” said Daniel Lapato, DEP’s deputy director.
First-year applications, which must be submitted electronically, are due by Feb. 1, the state said. The grant program officially kicks off tomorrow.
Grant awards will occur in late March.
In the first year, $5 million of the initial $10 million is slated for local transportation organizations, including nonprofit agencies providing public transportation services, port and redevelopment authorizes.
Nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, local transportation organizations, state-owned or state-related universities, commonwealth or municipal authorities and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will be eligible for the remaining amount, the state said.
An additional $7.5 million in funding will be available the second year, with $2.5 million the third year.
“Through Act 13, Gov. Corbett and the legislature moved us in the right direction by creating opportunities for converting vehicle fleets from imported oil to homegrown, clean-burning, cheaper natural gas,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said in a statement.
Eligible vehicles must weigh at least 14,000 pounds and be fueled with compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas. Bi-fuel vehicles also are eligible for grant funding.
Awards will be capped at 50 percent of the incremental purchase or retrofit cost per vehicle, with a maximum total of $25,000 per vehicle.