Charlotte Water, the largest public water and wastewater utility in the Southeast, is launching a pilot project to run dozens of its vehicles on cleaner-burning renewable diesel produced by Renewable Energy Group (REG).
Thirty-four diesel vehicles in the Charlotte Water fleet began running on REG renewable diesel in May. In the first three months, they reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 75 tons. Over the course of a year, that would calculate to 300 tons. Charlotte Water reports that the vehicles have also performed well, and no equipment modifications were needed for them to run on renewable fuel.
Renewable diesel is an alternative to traditional diesel fuel that is made from renewable resources and helps users lower greenhouse gas and other emissions. Compared with ultra-low sulfur diesel, renewable diesel reduces particulate matter by nearly 40%, carbon monoxide by 25%, nitrogen oxides by 15% and total hydrocarbons by over 10%.
Charlotte Water’s pilot project is expected to last approximately six months. It will be evaluated before a decision is made on whether to continue or even expand the fleet’s use of renewables.