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New charging, alternative fuel stations coming to the First State

Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media

Getting around in an alternative fuel vehicle will be easier for those living or visiting Delaware in the near future.

DNREC announced about $1 million in grants to five companies and organizations Tuesday, which will install compressed natural gas, propane and electric car charging stations.

19 total new locations are set to open throughout Delaware, with most open to the public.

Royal Farms will install 10 fast charging electric stations in Dover, Georgetown, Laurel, Milford and Smyrna with its roughly $350,000 award.

Other charging stations will be built in Newark, Wilmington and Indian River Marina.

Propane-powered school busses can refuel at three new locations and Chesapeake Utilities will open a compressed natural gas pump to the public in Dover.

DNREC Secretary David Small says the grants program is a continuation of the state’s goal to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions – a critical aspect to reducing the threat of sea level rise.

“That infrastructure needs to be in place in order to provide that additional incentive for folks who are willing to make that investment and want to make that investment. As we’ve seen, that market continues to get stronger even with lower fuel prices,” Small said.

That's especially critical, as Delaware is the lowest-lying state in the country and faces significant threats from a rising ocean that could swallow homes, farmland and valuable beachfront destinations which are essential to the local economy. 

The state is currently working towards dropping its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030. Transportation makes up 34 percent of Delaware's greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have as much to gain and lose as anybody, so I think it certainly is incumbent upon us to show that we are and want to continue to be among the leaders – not only in planning for, but actually mitigating greenhouse gas emissions," Small said.

The grant money comes from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s cap-and-trade program. Small says his agency has no plans to ask for taxpayer money to award similar grants in the near future.

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