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Oakhurst’s Launch of New Hybrid Truck the First of its Kind for the U.S. Dairy Industry

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Portland, MaineOakhurst Dairy today announced three new projects in support of its continuing firm commitment to a healthier environment and healthier New England communities. The family-owned dairy purchased a fuel saving hybrid delivery truck, introduced a program to equip 25 of its large semi-trucks with drag-reducing “skirts,” and installed solar panels on a second Oakhurst facility, in Waterville, Maine.

“Taking care of our environment has become second nature for all of us at Oakhurst Dairy. We’re committed to producing the freshest, highest-quality milk while also actively working toward reducing our carbon footprint,” said Stan Bennett, third-generation President of Oakhurst Dairy. 

“As a local, family-owned business, we continue to strive to ensure that when we make an impact on our community, it’s a positive one.  These latest three projects are the next steps in our continuing dedication to helping improve the communities where our neighbors – our employees, our customers, and their families – live,” added Bennett.

Hybrid Delivery Truck an Industry First

The dairy’s new hybrid delivery truck will be the first of its kind for the dairy industry in the United States.  The vehicle, which will be used to deliver Oakhurst Dairy products to locations within 70 miles of the company’s Portland, Maine headquarters, will use between 30% and 50% less fuel – approximately nine gallons per day. This hybrid truck will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 52,000 pounds annually.

Modification of Large Trucks for Major CO2  Emission Reduction

In a major pro-environment project, Oakhurst Dairy will fit 25 of its large semi-trailer delivery trucks with side panel “skirts” to significantly increase aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.  Locally made in Maine of recyclable materials, installing skirts on an Oakhurst truck will result in a fuel savings of 6% - 8%.  A skirt-equipped truck driven an average of 30,000 miles annually – typical for each truck in the Oakhurst fleet – reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 7,200 pounds.  When completely equipped by the end of 2010, the 25-truck fleet will produce approximately 7.6 million fewer pounds of CO2 annually than a non-skirted fleet.

A Continued Investment in Solar Energy

The recently installed new solar photovoltaic energy system at Oakhurst’s Waterville, Maine distribution center is made up of 216 Evergreen solar panels totaling approximately 3,250 square feet, making it one of the largest solar installations in the entire state of Maine.

The system is the second solar installation for the company in 18 months, and marks Oakhurst’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions.  Oakhurst’s Waterville installation will generate approximately 45,000 kilowatt (kW) hours of electricity annually – approximately 15% of the building’s current load of electricity – and will reduce annual CO2 emissions at the facility by an estimated 70,000 pounds.       

"I am proud of the work that Maine companies are doing to reduce our state's dependency on foreign oil and to develop renewable sources of energy," noted Governor John E. Baldacci. "Oakhurst's commitment to this goal means less pollution, greater energy security and a stronger economy. I commend the company for its leadership and hard work."

“Oakhurst Dairy’s latest investment demonstrates their commitment to addressing their carbon footprint, and working collaboratively to develop and implement innovative solutions,” added Bob Sheppard, Chief Operating Officer of Clean Air-Cool Planet. “As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a bill to reduce carbon emissions, it is encouraging to see a prominent Maine-based company that is also helping to educate their suppliers and customers about how action on climate change is both good for business and good business.”

About Oakhurst Dairy

Oakhurst is Northern New England’s truly local brand of milk. As the region’s largest independent dairy company, Oakhurst is committed to the health and wellbeing of the community and the environment. For 88 years, three generations of the Bennett family have stood behind every glass of Oakhurst milk, contributing 10% of profits to local organizations that promote healthy kids and a healthy environment  – just another reason to choose Oakhurst, The Natural Goodness of Maine. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.  

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