Local alternative energy research is taking the next step towards application with the opening of Monroe County’s second hydrogen fueling station.
County Executive Maggie Brooks along with representatives from Rochester Institute of Technology and General Motors recently unveiled the new Monroe County Green Fuel Station on Scottsville Road. The new facility includes a hydrogen fuel cell station, several grades of ethanol fuel and B-20 biodiesel. The hydrogen station joins the fueling center at GM’s Honeoye Falls facility as the only in the county and is also one of only a handful of hydrogen fueling stations in New York state.
“This innovative alternative fuel station demonstrates Monroe County’s continuing commitment to go green,” says Brooks. “Our work with alternative fuels is indicative of the potential our region has to be a national leader in alternative energy and is an important step in our efforts to protect the environment by reducing the impact of our vehicle fleet. In addition, as energy prices continue to skyrocket, these alternative fuels will help us cut costs and protect taxpayers.”
Monroe County’s “Green Fleet” consists of more than six dozen flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles. The county plans to fully convert its entire fleet to alternative fuel vehicles and phase out traditional gas vehicles by 2012. Whenever possible, every new vehicle purchased by Monroe County will be powered by E-85 flex-fuel, an electric-gasoline hybrid, biodiesel or other alternative energy source.
Monroe County’s initiative has been augmented by its partnership with RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and General Motors to evaluate and test multiple alternative fuel technologies and their feasibility in the county’s vehicle operations.
“The project with Monroe County to explore and evaluate the use of alternative fuels in the county’s vehicle fleet is one of several initiatives underway in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability,” notes RIT President Bill Destler. “We are confident this partnership will create new economic growth and establish this region as a global hub for talent and expertise in alternative energy.”
Monroe County also participates in GM’s Chevrolet Project Driveway by driving and evaluating the performance of a hydrogen fuel cell Chevy Equinox. The fuel cell Equinox is a true zero gas, zero emissions vehicle that only emits water vapor into the air. The county and GM will evaluate fuel cell technology and vehicle performance on a day-to-day basis.
“Monroe County is one of only a handful of counties in the U.S. – and the only in upstate New York to be selected by GM to take part in Project Driveway,” adds Brooks. “Through this unique partnership and cutting edge program, Monroe County is leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”