Louisville School Buses Fuel with Biodiesel
The Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition (KCFC) played a key role in initiating biodiesel use by JCPS. It helped the district develop bid specifications for the fuel and line up distributors. More importantly, KCFC helped convince Marathon Oil Company to start blending biodiesel at its fuel terminal in Louisville and obtained grants (from the Kentucky Soybean Board, National Clean Cities Inc., and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program) to help it do so. This is only the second fuel terminal of the nation’s fifth largest refiner to blend biodiesel. Marathon is now distributing B2 and B5 (5% biodiesel, 95% diesel) for a variety of other customers. “Fuel availability was a huge factor for the school district’s move to biodiesel; it started using it shortly after Marathon started blending it,” says KCFC Coordinator Melissa Howell.
According to Howell, JCPS fuels the buses from its own fleet facilities at seven depots where many of the district’s students transfer from one bus to another. This depot system makes the air quality benefits of using biodiesel particularly important because students have to switch buses in a location where hundreds of buses are operating.
With an incremental cost of only $.02 per gallon, 35 Kentucky school districts are now using biodiesel in their buses. The state offers a tax credit for biodiesel producers and is looking forward to the opening of a major biodiesel production plant within the coming months. Owensboro Grain expects to have a 50-million-gallon-per-year facility–far larger than existing plants in the state–operational in Owensboro, Kentucky, sometime this summer.
For further information, contact Melissa Howell, KCFC Coordinator, 502-452-9152.