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NYPA Partners With Solvay to “Green” Its Vehicle Fleet
Village Adds a Hybrid Bucket Truck That Will Help to Greatly Decrease Fuel Expenses

Christine Pritchard

May 27, 2009


SOLVAY—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel was joined today by Solvay Mayor Kathleen Marinelli to announce the addition of a hybrid-electric bucket truck to the Village’s already impressive hybrid electric vehicle fleet.  The innovative, heavy duty vehicle, equipped with an aerial bucket body, will join four other vehicles making Solvay, the municipal electric system with the second largest hybrid electric vehicle fleet in New York State.

“The Village of Solvay should be commended for its commitment to establishing a green fleet of vehicles,” said Kessel. “Reducing the costs of fuel for municipalities will save taxpayer money, will help to keep our environment clean and will advance Governor Paterson’s ambitious clean energy goals.”

"The Village Board of Trustees and I have been avid supporters of building a ‘Green Hybrid Fleet’ for the Village of Solvay Electric Department,” said Solvay Mayor Kathleen Marinelli.

The International® DuraStar® hybrid bucket truck is among the first aerial hybrids in New York State. The truck utilizes the Eaton Corporations’ hybrid-electric drive system with an electric motor that assists the MaxxForce diesel engine with supplemental torque for up to 32 percent fuel economy gains in local haul applications. The system stores energy during stopping, through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. Fuel use, emissions and noise are greatly reduced.

The hydraulic system that operates the aerial bucket has the capability of a 60-foot vertical working height and is powered primarily from the electric motor and battery pack. While in use, the truck can remain silent and emission-free with the engine off for approximately 90 minutes. The diesel engine needs to run for only five minutes to recharge the batteries, at which point the truck returns to full electric mode. By reducing engine idle time in this way, the truck can achieve up to 80 percent in total fuel savings. The amount of fuel saved depends on the number of hours the aerial lift is operated.

As a result of the electric motor assistance, the truck’s diesel engine was also downsized to 225 horsepower from the typical 285 horsepower commensurate with a 33,000-pound truck.

The Village of Solvay has aggressively pursued opportunities to “green” its vehicle fleet. Earlier this spring, Solvay purchased a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid through NYPA’s Municipal and Rural Cooperative Electric Drive Vehicle Program that will save 27 percent on fuel costs.  In addition, the Village of Solvay has acquired, with the assistance of NYPA, three Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup trucks. These vehicles are used by its electric department for maintaining the system, inspections and other departmental functions.

The vehicles are all part of the Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program, a $3 million loan fund established by NYPA to provide loans to municipal electric utilities and rural cooperatives seeking to purchase all-electric or hybrid electric vehicles for their fleets. In addition to zero-percent financing through this program, NYPA provided a grant of $55,800 toward the total cost of the hybrid bucket truck.

NYPA’s clean transportation programs have placed more than 1,000 hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the fleets of numerous public entities. Through these programs, the Power Authority has helped to avoid 4,615 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 32,000 barrels of oil.

In addition to these vehicles, the Village of Solvay has purchased a GEM vehicle, an all-electric plug-in vehicle, and also utilizes two Honda Civic Hybrids for Village department functions such as meter reading.

The Power Authority is a leader in promoting energy efficiency and new energy technologies. NYPA is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating plants and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines in various parts of the state. 

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.   For more information,

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