A $2.2 million stimulus funded program will allow public and private fleets in Arkansas to apply for rebates to purchase or convert vehicles that rely on compressed natural gas, Gov. Mike Beebe and state officials announced Friday.
Beebe announced the launch of the Compressed Natural Gas Conversion Rebate Program funded by the federal stimulus. The program is open to state agencies, higher education institutions, cities, counties, school districts and private fleets with at least 10 vehicles.
"We're not going to replace oil and we're not going to replace coal, but to the extent that we can broaden our portfolio whether it's biomass or compressed natural gas or wind power or solar power or electric generation, all of the things we can do as a state with regard to creating less dependence on foreign energy and more reliability on our American energy sources, the safer our people will be," Beebe said in a news conference at the state Capitol.
Through the program, rebates will be given to applicants following the conversion to or purchase of compressed natural gas powered vehicles. Recipients can receive up to $25,000 per vehicle with a limit of $440,000 per entity. The rebates are available until December or until the fund is depleted.
Beebe also announced that $470,000 from state funds will go toward the development of two compressed natural gas refueling stations around Arkansas. The state energy office will partner with public and private entities on the installation of the two stations.