N.C. electrification project to save truckers fuel, improve air quality

More than 25,000 gallons of truck fuel is projected to be saved annually as part of a $300,000 Duke Energy project to fund electrification at a North Carolina truck stop.

Big Boy's Truck Stop, in the Johnston County town of Kenly, will soon have 24 truck electrification stations where drivers can pay to plug in and avoid idling engines. This will be an economical way to provide electricity and hot or cold air during overnight stays, according to a press release. Additionally, four plugs will provide standby power for refrigerated cargo to avoid the need to run diesel compressors.

"It allows drivers to use technology to lower their own carbon footprint in the course of their daily work that benefits our environment," said Melisa Johns, Duke Energy's vice president of business development.

On an annual basis, the project should reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 500 tons and reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than two tons, the release said.

IdleAir, of Knoxville, Tenn., will install and maintain the stations. They are expected to complete installation before this summer.

"This is a common-sense feature that helps truckers get a cleaner, quieter night's sleep, while saving them money and sparing the community from significant emissions," said Mark Miller, president of Convoy Solutions, provider of IdleAir.

Each year, more than two billion gallons of diesel are wasted by overnight idling, according to a study from Argonne National Labs. Idling is the industry standard method of providing overnight comfort to the more than a million drivers who sleep in their trucks each night.

"We're eager to attract new drivers, and give all guests an alternative to idling," truck stop owner Walter Powell Jr. said. "This will help us be better neighbors in our community, which means a lot to our business."

The Duke Energy program was part of a 2015 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups.


Topics: Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Energy Saving Products, Environmental Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Transportation Buildings

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