Colorado's Larimer County Eyes Move to Alt-Fuels
FORT COLLINS, Col. --- Larimer County in Colorado has adopted the goal of reducing its use of conventional diesel fuel and gasoline by 20 percent in the next three years, according to the Coloradoan newspaper. The county intends to make this transition with alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol.
During a meeting last week with county commissioners, Director of Public Works Marc Engemoen explained plans to make side-by-side comparisons of how some county vehicles, including snow plows, perform using bioldiesel versus conventional fuel. If the vehicles perform well and maintenance costs are acceptable, the county will take steps to transition as much as 25 percent of its diesel-powered fleet to biodiesel within a few years, Engemoen told commissioners. Ultimately, the entire diesel-powered fleet might run on biodiesel.
Concurrently, the county plans to add more hybrid vehicles to its fleet and power more vehicles with fuel that’s 20 percent ethanol. The county’s fleet includes 160 heavy trucks and other vehicles powered with diesel fuel. About 390 county vehicles use gasoline. The cost of changing the fuel mix to include biodiesel and ethanol would be about $60,000 more a year. In 2005, the county spent about $1.4 million on diesel fuel and gasoline to power its fleet, the newspaper quoted Engemoen as saying.
The county plans to partner with the city of Fort Collins and other parties to ensure a reliable source of alternative fuels. Fort Collins made the switch to biodiesel this year.