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Parks get grant to go electric

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The park will use these vehicles as an opportunity for outreach to their annual 14.5 million visitors.
  • The park will use these vehicles as an opportunity for outreach to their annual 14.5 million visitors.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the Golden Gate National Recreation Area $229,550 for five new electric vehicles and chargers and an upgrade to its heavy duty maintenance equipment to run on a biodiesel blend.

The grant will replace five of the park’s sedans with electric vehicles and the five chargers will be installed at Fort Mason to start.

 “Through these efforts the GGNRA expects to reduce more than 3,000 gallons of petroleum and reduce more than 32 tons of greenhouse gases each year,” said Niketa Kumar, Spokesperson for the Department of Energy.

The park will use these vehicles as an opportunity for outreach to their annual 14.5 million visitors. “We want to show people what they can do to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and that these vehicles are a viable resource,” said Laura Castellini, Sustainability Coordinator for the GGNRA. “Our park is ideally suited for this project — it’s the perfect place to highlight the technology, especially with where we are in the Bay Area.”

The second part of the grant goes toward using a biodiesel blend in heavy duty equipment such as tractors. The equipment used about 12,000 gallons of diesel in 2011. After the switch to biodiesel, it will reduce to 9,600 gallons of diesel, said Castellini.

“This partnership speaks to how we can reduce our dependence on imported oil and make sure we are being responsible stewards of America’s natural resources,” said Kumar.

The GGNRA is collaborating with the DOE’s San Francisco Clean Cities Coalition to write up the proposal and work plans and provide technical assistance, said Bill Zeller, SF Clean Cities Coordinator.

“We are really excited to work with the GGNRA on this project,” he said. “It is the first of hopefully many more projects with the GGNRA.”

kfigard@sfexaminer.com