Campus News

College Joins Community’s Fuel Forward Project

February 13, 2013

Amanda Nagy

The college has joined in a collaborative project with the city of Oberlin to improve energy efficiency and plan for alternative fuels for its fleet of vehicles.

The city, along with Oberlin College and eight other local partners, recently applied for an $86,000 grant from the Local Government Innovation Fund. The city will select an independent consultant to develop fuel- and cost-saving strategies, and to assess the feasibility of alternative fuels. The project will result in action plans to reduce fuel costs and emissions by 15 percent over three years, as well as logistical and infrastructure plans for the shared use of alternative fuels — including compressed natural gas, propane, electric/hybrid, and biofuels.

Fleet efficiency and alternative fuels are important measures toward achieving Oberlin’s goal of becoming the first climate positive city in the United States, says Oberlin City Manager Eric Norenberg. As signers of the Clinton Foundation Climate Positive Development Program, the city and college are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions below zero by 2050 and 2025, respectively.

“We are committed to good stewardship of the city’s financial resources and the environment, and this grant will help us do both,” Norenberg says. “The city and its partners in this effort will learn how to operate our fleets more efficiently and develop plans to further reduce emissions with alternative fuels and technologies. Combining these strategies in one project will help move our community towards carbon neutrality.”

To promote the expanded adoption of alternative fuels in Lorain County and throughout Ohio, a case study about each fleet’s progress, as well as the complete process and methodology for calculating potential demand for alternative fuels will be published on cityofoberlin.com.

In addition to the city and college, the Oberlin Fuel Forward Project includes Oberlin City Schools, New Russia Township, Kendal at Oberlin, Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Lorain County Community College, Republic Services, Custom Cleaning Services, and Lorain County Metroparks.

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