Florida city fuels municipal fleet with E85

By Protec Fuel Management LLC | May 25, 2017

Protec Fuel Management LLC recently announced the completion of a project to enable the city of Hollywood, Florida, to run all flex-fuel capable vehicles on the cleaner-burning biofuel E85. Protec, the largest distributor of higher ethanol blend fuels to independent retailers and government fleets in the United States, worked closely with city management to design a customized, turnkey solution to meet the needs of city of Hollywood's fleet. Importantly, the switch to the ethanol product contributes strongly to the city's cost management efforts, while delivering significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, improving hurricane preparedness, and supporting American jobs. Leading the way in the region, Hollywood becomes the first municipality in South Florida to adopt the high octane, E85 fuel to power its fleet.

"As a city, we have been focused on sustainability and implementing green initiatives city-wide that our residents have enjoyed," said Wazir Ishmael, city manager. "Reducing greenhouse gases by 43 percent with ethanol instead of gasoline delivers additional, important results," he added citing a USDA Climate Change Program Office study released Jan. 12. In concert with cutting edge projects like permeable pavement and Bioswales used to filter storm runoff, the city of Hollywood has stepped forward as a clear leader in South Florida. Such projects seek to deliver a healthier environment and improved quality of life for residents today and into the future.

As a coastal community, storm preparation is key. Gasoline is delivered to the area by cargo ship, and severe weather or a hurricane can delay fuel shipments to the area. By diversifying fuel delivery and incorporating rail-transported ethanol, the city is positioning itself as storm-ready. "Ensuring our fleet, including police will be fueled and operational in times of a weather-related emergency is a public safety measure of paramount importance," said Mayor Josh Levy. "This is a great example of responsible, forward-thinking civic stewardship, with concrete benefits city-wide."   

While environmental and other benefits often take the limelight with alcohol-based fuels such as E85, for municipalities the contributions to cost reduction and pricing risk management are very meaningful. Protec applies decades of experience to manage costs and deliver transparent pricing. "We are unique in our ability to offer clients a clear picture of their pricing for months instead of moments," said Protec CEO Andrew Greenberg. "Typically over a year we can lock-in E85 at a significant discount below the price of gasoline, which is always fluctuating. Over time that is a game changer for city budgets."

The project began with an assessment of Hollywood's current fleet and fuel usage, as well as an evaluation of existing equipment in the city's fuel yard. By utilizing existing infrastructure, the city realized real costs savings. Protec also managed the installation of the two new, Wayne dispensers, to replace outdated equipment. The turnkey solution was installed and running at full capacity within 48 hours.