Pennsylvania Doles Out $2M in Grants for Natural Gas Stations

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded more than $2 million in grants plus a $169,000 loan for five natural gas fueling stations. According to the Philadelphia Independent, the agency's hope is that incentivizing fueling stations will, in the long term, continue to grow the state's Marcellus Shale-related job markets, said Steve Kratz, spokesman for the Department of Community and Economic Development.

"The expanded use of natural gas vehicles in the state not only helps from a developing markets perspective, but it's also better for the environment," Kratz said.

Approximately 112,000 vehicles in the United States run on natural gas. The general public has access to 605 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, according to federal data, along with 35 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations concentrated in the West, the news outlet reported.

The state's natural gas grants are part of the agency's Alternative and Clean Energy Program. In May, more than $1.8 million in grant money went toward five fueling stations.

According to the report, the Commonwealth Financing Authority will contribute up to half the cost for CNG or LNG fuel station projects using a combination of grants and loans. Newly approved guidelines will allow up to a 25-percent grant incentive for private stations and a 40-percent grant incentive for publicly accessible ones.

This latest round of awards went to publicly accessible CNG stations. Sunoco will receive more than $500,000 for installing a CNG refueling station at the Pennsylvania Turnpike King of Prussia Service Plaza, and another in nearby Upper Merion Township.

In addition, Clean Energy Inc. will add another station to an existing CNG fuel stop in Upper Merion Township with around $196,000 in state grant money. Clean Energy is receiving another grant for around $436,000 to add a CNG fueling station to a gas station in Hamilton Township in Adams County.

The other two projects are in Franklin County and Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Independent.

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