U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $12.9 million in two stimulus grants to CleanFUEL USA, a leader in propane engine technology and alternative fuel infrastructure solutions. The funds will be used to establish more than 100 state-of-the-art liquid propane (Autogas) refueling stations in major U.S. cities in coordination with CleanFUEL USA partners, including ConocoPhillips. Other supporting partners include the Texas State Technical College, the Central Texas Clean Cities Coalition, Rush Truck Centers, 16 additional area Clean Cities Coalitions and the Propane Education and Research Council. The propane network will provide retail consumers as well as municipal, state and private fleets greater access to a cost-effective and clean-burning alternative transportation fuel.
“Developing a better infrastructure for the distribution of alternative fuels is an essential part of the country’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said U.S. Congressman John Carter (R-TX). “CleanFUEL USA is on the frontline of providing these solutions, and I support its efforts in spearheading a national Autogas refueling network with its partners to increase the use of lower-emission transportation fuels and offset the U.S. demand for foreign oil.”
The program will roll out in two phases and focus on cities that have a presence of existing and potential Autogas fleets, Autogas fuel availability as well as available staff and resources from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The first station will be installed in Atlanta followed by Chicago, Houston, Denver and Sacramento. The second phase will target 14 cities (Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Antonio/Austin, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, San Diego and Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans — making up the Louisiana IH10 corridor) with most refueling sites strategically located along major interstate highways and interchanges at existing ConocoPhillips branded retail stations.
“For a number of years, propane has been a viable, affordable and clean-burning transportation fuel for major regions of the world, such as Australia, South Korea, India, and the European Union,” said Curtis Donaldson, President and CEO of CleanFUEL USA. “Historically, it has been a challenge for the U.S. to develop an accessible infrastructure for propane to be readily adopted by government, retail and private fleet owners. This grant is a significant turning point in our country’s ability to rapidly embrace alternative fuels such as propane.”
The DOE estimates the initiative will provide the equivalent of more than 3 million gallons of petroleum annually. In addition to installing Autogas refueling stations, the project scope involves marketing campaigns to surrounding municipal, state and private fleets about Autogas vehicle options (e.g. school buses, shuttle buses, medium and light duty trucks, etc.), and economic and environmental benefits of using one of the nation’s most readily available, domestically-produced alternative fuels.
An alternative energy advocate, Michael Williams, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman has championed the use of environmentally friendly alternative fuels such as Autogas with the “Breathe Easy” initiative. These educational campaigns coupled with incentives have helped many public and private fleets statewide, especially schools, take advantage of the inherent benefits of operating an Autogas fleet.
“This is great news for TSTC and Central Texas,” said U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX). “This program will play an important role in strengthening our nation’s economy and supporting our energy independence. These grants will give TSTC a leading role in creating new jobs locally while reducing demand on foreign oil and improving energy efficiency across the country.”
There are more than 300,000 Autogas-powered cars and trucks on the road and more than 5 million forklifts operating in the United States today. A significant number of these vehicles are in and around the targeted metropolitan areas where CleanFUEL USA plans to build out the national refueling Autogas network in collaboration with its partners.
About CleanFUEL USA
Founded in 1993 by Curtis Donaldson, CleanFUEL USA is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas with administrative, engineering and sales offices in Michigan, California and Louisiana. CleanFUEL USA has international subsidiaries, including CleanFUEL India located in New Delhi and CleanFUEL Argentina in Buenos Aires. CleanFUEL USA is recognized as the leading manufacturer of certified and approved alternative fuel dispensing equipment for both propane and E85. The company distributes OEM and aftermarket propane engine fuel systems, fleet management network services, and associated technical support, training and fuel contract services.