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In Search of Affordable Alternatives: How can school districts solve the dilemma of costly fueling & energy infrastructure?


Written By Debbie Curtis


D


espite budget constraints during the COVID-19 outbreak, some school districts are still continu- ing forward with new alternative fuel and power purchases. And for them, there are many factors


to consider when transitioning from diesel or tradition- al gasoline to alternative fuels or even electric. Which energy source will best suit a district often boils down to infrastructure costs and the resources that are locally available? Checking local ordinances is also vital, since these vary by state and type of fuel. For example, a compressed


32 School Transportation News • AUGUST 2020


natural gas (CNG) maintenance bay may need meth- ane detectors tied to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It’s also wise to consider the resiliency of fuel supplies. Power outages or natural disasters may interrupt fuel delivery or make dispensing the fuel into the buses impossible. Many districts are keeping their diesel buses for field trips while adding various alternative fueled buses to their fleets. “Diversity is good,” said Scott Hanstedt of renewable


natural gas developer and distributor U.S. Gain, “espe- cially when we’re talking about fuel supply and pricing.”


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