Durham – Governor John Lynch and officials from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) officially opened a new DOT biodiesel fueling facility today. The opening of this site marks the first use of biodiesel by DOT and UNH vehicles.
"We’ve all been impacted by higher fuel prices as a state and as a nation, and in New Hampshire we are working to take greater control over our energy future by looking at reducing our energy use and by exploring alternative fuels," Gov. Lynch said. "This project is another example of state government leading by example."
"Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, domestically produced renewable energy. By using biodiesel, we can reduce pollution and help support the development of alternative fuels - which can help us achieve a more secure, independent energy future and also help drive the creation of new jobs and industries here in New Hampshire," Gov. Lynch said.
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement processed from vegetable oils such as soybean or canola oil or from animal fats. It is typically blended with petroleum diesel, with the most common blend being 20% biodiesel (B20). DOT recently installed the fuel tank dedicated to biodiesel at the fueling station at UNH in response to a legislative study committee recommending that DOT lead a State pilot program for use of a 20% biodiesel blend. Both DOT and UNH will be using the B20 from this fueling site in many of their diesel vehicles, as well as local communities and school districts who fuel at this site.
"We are pleased to be part of this project which is a first for the State of New Hampshire," noted Carol Murray, DOT Commissioner. "DOT intends to continue to pursue alternative fuels and technologies that will result in a cleaner fleet and reduced emissions."
UNH Interim President J. Bonnie Newman was on hand to highlight on-going transportation initiatives at UNH to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to showcase UNH’s new clean fleet logo - the Eco-Cat - and cleaner diesel fleet, which includes biodiesel and alternative fuels like compressed natural gas, hybrid and full electric.
"Biodiesel is one of UNH’s many climate change initiatives, which signal our commitment to be a model sustainable community," said Newman. "The diesel vehicles you see here today, and the majority of our remaining diesel fleet, will be transitioned to B20 biodiesel over the next few months."
Attendees at the event had the opportunity to ride in the advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles that are part of the UNH transit fleet and witness the fueling of a DOT vehicle with biodiesel from the new pump.
UNH and DOT are both members of the Granite State Clean Cities Coalition, a group of over 65 stakeholders promoting the use of alternative fuel vehicles and associated fueling capacity.
"I am pleased to recognize the efforts of the many stakeholders here today from both the public and private sectors. Indeed your work and interest in this project represents a significant step in reducing air pollution and improving our energy independence," noted the Governor.