N.C. group lands federal grant to study alternative fuel stations

The money will be used by The Alternative Fuel Implementation Team.
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The money will be used by The Alternative Fuel Implementation Team.

The North Carolina Solar Center said it’s getting a $500,000 federal grant to study how to add more alternative fuel stations in the state.

The money will be used by The Alternative Fuel Implementation Team to study how best to encourage an expanded network of stations that provide biodiesel fuel, high-ethanol blends, and electric charges for vehicles, according to the Solar Center, an autonomous organization within N.C. State University.

AFIT in North Carolina is led by the Solar Center and includes partners such as local governments in the Triangle and Mecklenburg County, Charlotte-based Duke Energy Inc. (NYSE: DUK), the gas utility PSNC and Holmes Oil Co. in Chapel Hill.

Several dozen electric charging stations are already installed in the Triangle, including on Nash Square in downtown Raleigh, near REI at Raleigh’s North Hills shopping center, and at a McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) restaurant on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. One recent priority for alternate-fuel advocates has been to add charging stations along highways, since some cars’ range is as short as 100 miles.

Meanwhile, a few local companies have focused on propane gas as a cleaner-burning fuel that has become cost-competitive with gasoline and diesel in the last five years.

The Solar Center has studied alternative fuels and other energy technologies in addition to solar power for several years.

From the Triangle Business Journal.

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