The Department of Energy has designated the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition as an official coalition under DOE’s National Clean Cities program.
Dennis Smith, National Clean Cities Director in the Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy cited the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition as already a highly functioning coalition, with a diversified portfolio of ongoing alternative fuel projects.
The North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition is a non-profit organization, staffed and supported by the North Florida TPO. It encourages petroleum reduction through the use of alternative fuels for business, government and non-profit agencies in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. Known initially as the North Florida Clean Cities Coalition, it was rebranded in 2013 to better reflect its mission. The Coalition developed an Alternative Fuels, Vehicles and Infrastructure Master Plan in 2014 and the North Florida TPO announced major investments in alternative fuels infrastructure and vehicles. Since 2009, the North Florida TPO has invested over $5 million in Coalition support and projects.
In the official designation letter DOE officials said that the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO’s) support of the coalition through staff and project funding is impressive, and its incorporation of alternative fuels into the TPO’s Master Plan is evidence of a commitment to the Clean Cities mission. They commended both the TPO and Coalition for their strong partnerships with the State DOT and Energy Office, the JAX Chamber and stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. They further added the inclusion of alternative fuels and clean vehicles in the logistics and transportation industries, as part of the region’s economic development strategy, is a model for coalitions across the country.
Becoming a designated member of Clean Cities is not a simple process. The recent designation ceremony culminated in several years of hard work, bringing together local stakeholders that include vehicle fleet managers, policymakers, utilities, alternative fuel supplies, vehicle manufacturers and trade groups. Led by a Clean Fuels Board and coordinator the Coalition created a strategy specific to North Florida by researching the local market, setting goals and developing action items to help the region use less petroleum in transportation. The Coalition is committed to educating stakeholders on all aspects of alternative fuels through presentations, workshops, stakeholder meetings and public events. The North Florida Coalition is among approximately 100 designated across the country.