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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: June 1, 2015

  • U.S. EPA Releases Volumes for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
  • DART to Rollout 63 Additional CNG New Flyer Buses
  • Ryder Leases CNG Trucks to Eco-Friendly Dairy Farm in Florida
  • North Carolina Awards $300,000 for Alternative Fuel Projects
  • Oklahoma DOL Donates CNG Truck to Community College
  • IMPCO Automotive Awarded Program for Chevrolet Silverado
  • amp Trillium Opens Two CNG Stations in Texas
  • TruStar Energy Wins Bid to Build New CNG Station in Orlando
  • GAIN Clean Fuel to Construct CNG Station in North Carolina
  • New Natural Gas Facilities for Dane County, Wisconsin
  • Prototype of Self-Refueling CNG Vehicle Successfully Tested
  • GE Capital, Canada Contracts with Shell to Advance LNG Trucking
  • Clean Energy Subsidiaries Renamed to Incorporate Clean Energy Brand

U.S. EPA Releases Volumes for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)

May 29, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the long-awaited volume totals for the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS2.  The proposed volumes include levels for 2014, 2015 and 2016. As expected, the total amount of renewable fuel falls short of the targets prescribed by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The chart below shows the comparison between the proposed levels and those set out in the statute:

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
(Billion ethanol gallon)EISA 2014EPA ProposalEISA 2015EPA ProposalEISA 2016EPA Proposal
Cellulosic biofuel1.750.0333.00.1064.250.206
Biomass-based diesel1.631.71.8
Advanced biofuel3.752.685.52.97.253.4
Total renewable fuel18.1515.9320.516.322.2517.4

Note: columns do not add up; conventional ethanol levels not shown.

Because EPA is late in issuing the 2014 levels, it has proposed a level that reflects the actual amount of renewable fuel that was sold in 2014.  A Fact Sheet issued by the agency reveals that it is exercising statutory authority to lower the prescribed levels because the levels set out in the statute “cannot be achieved.”  EPA has indicated that the levels are constrained by limitations on the volume of ethanol that can be consumed in motor vehicles, and also by the ability of industry to produce sufficient volumes of non-ethanol renewable fuels.

NGVAmerica is interested in this program because renewable natural gas qualifies as a cellulosic biofuel and many of our members are actively involved in producing, marketing and using renewable natural gas in their businesses.  Renewable natural gas qualifies for valuable credits under the RFS2 program and these credits help offset the higher cost of producing and marketing renewable natural gas.  In addition to being a domestic, renewable fuel, renewable natural gas provides significant greenhouse gas emission reductions when compared to conventional fueled vehicles.

The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas has estimates that renewable natural gas used for transportation will account for about 295 million qualifying gallons in 2016.  Under the RFS2 gallon requirements are based on ethanol gallons; ethanol has approximately 75,700 Btu (LHV) per gallon whereas gasoline has about 112,000 – 115,000 Btu (LHV) per gallon.

EPA will hold a public hearing on this rulemaking on June 25 in Kansas City, Kansas.  Comments may be submitted until July 27, and a final rule is expected by November 30, 2015. EPA has posted additional information here.

 

DART to Rollout 63 Additional CNG New Flyer Buses

May 22, 2015

New Flyer of America announced that the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has exercised options for 17 40-foot NABI LFW and 46 duty 40-foot New Flyer Xcelsior CNG buses.

DART provides Dallas and 12 surrounding cities in Texas with public transit services with a fleet of 652 buses, servicing 12,000 bus stops in 13 cities across a 700-square-mile service area with annual ridership of some 38 million passengers. The buses exercised in this option will be used to expand DART’s growing ridership needs.

“These buses are part of our fleet renewal and represent our commitment to deliver the best possible customer experience,” said DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas.

 

Ryder Leases CNG Trucks to Eco-Friendly Dairy Farm in Florida

May 28, 2015

Ryder has signed a full-service lease agreement for three heavy-duty CNG trucks with M&B Products, a state-of-the-art eco-friendly dairy farm in Florida. The new CNG trucks will be maintained by Ryder at its service facility in Tampa, which is already engineered to meet the compliance requirements for natural gas.

M&B produces, manufactures, and packages fruit juices, milk, yogurt, and water in a variety of packages including cartons, cups, and pouches under an assortment of brand names. The company will use the new CNG vehicles to support its distribution fleet that services distributors in the South Florida region from Tampa to Miami.

“Adding natural gas heavy duty trucks to our delivery fleet aligns with our efforts to raise the bar on eco-friendly farming,” said M&B Products Transportation Consultant, Mike McGucken.

The natural gas vehicles are being made available through M&B Product’s participation in the Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate Program, funded by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate provides eligible applicants a rebate worth up to $25,000 on each vehicle for the cost of conversion or the incremental cost incurred by an applicant in connection with the conversion, purchase, or lease for a minimum term of five years.
North Carolina Awards $300,000 for Alternative Fuel Projects

May 20, 2015

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) announced the results of a 2015 call for projects through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The $6.2 million initiative, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, is supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). The CFAT project operates in counties that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. With this announcement, more than $300,000 in federal funding is being awarded for eight projects to a variety of public and private entities that will provide over $250,000 in cost share.

The awards span CNG vehicle purchases and conversions, as well as the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and propane vehicle purchases and refueling equipment. In all, 45 alternative fuel vehicles will be supported with this round of funding. These projects will take place in several of the highest emissions-producing counties in the state, including Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg Counties. Funding assistance will be allocated in the form of a reimbursement, which can cover up to 80 percent of the project cost.

“We are thrilled to continue helping to support projects that promote clean transportation throughout North Carolina, as we hope our impact will further encourage others to focus on alternative fuels,” said Steve Kalland, executive director of NCCETC.

NCCETC recently announced the formation of a clean transportation coordinating committee that will facilitate collaboration among industry, academia, state government and advocacy organizations to further its mission in promoting clean fuels. Click here for a list of 2015 CFAT award winners.

 

Oklahoma DOL Donates CNG Truck to Community College

May 26, 2015

The Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) donated a CNG truck to the Oklahoma City Community College’s (OCCC) Professional Development Institute to be used as a teaching tool in the Professional Development Institute’s Alternative Fuels Program. In 2010, OCCC was one of the only community colleges in the nation to offer classes in converting vehicles to run on alternative fuel. Now the Professional Development Institute offers Oklahoma State Certification for CNG automotive technicians as well as other alternative fuels programs, such as CNG fleet management and safety operations.

The programs are already booked throughout June and the truck would enhance the quality of the programs offered by the Professional Development Institute as it continues to grow.

“The alternative fuels program is a path for both young men and women who seek a career that is long lived and beneficial to the ecology, the economy and the overall well-being of Oklahoma,” said Commissioner Mark Costello. “I appreciate being able to cooperate with OCCC in this venture.”

 

IMPCO Automotive Awarded Program for Chevrolet Silverado

May 19, 2015

IMPCO Automotive was awarded General Motors’ bi-fuel Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Cab Chassis three year program for model years 2016, 2017 and 2018. The new Cab Chassis program expands IMPCO Automotive’s existing OEM working class vehicle programs for GM, which include Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and GMC Sierra 2500HD pickups with multiple Cab and bed configurations, and dedicated CNG full-size Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans.

As an extension of GM’s manufacturing process, IMPCO Automotive installs the CNG fuel systems using OEM processes and standards. All of the CNG fuel systems are warranted and validated by General Motors. The 24.5 gallon CNG tank in addition to the 23.5 gallon gasoline tank on the Silverado 3500HD provides fueling flexibility and extended range between fill-ups.

OEM conversion of the vehicles will be done at IMPCO Automotive’s manufacturing facility in Union City, Indiana, with ship to commerce (STC) approval from GM expected to coincide with the gasoline vehicle’s release for MY2016. The Cab Chassis award is added to IMPCO Automotive’s existing OEM contracts and the Ford QVM and Isuzu ship through programs.

 

amp Trillium Opens Two CNG Stations in Texas

May 27, 2015

amp Trillium, the joint venture between ampCNG and Trillium CNG, announced that it has opened two new public-access CNG stations in Texas, located on I-20 in Brock and I-10 in Kerrville. The stations, which are designed to accommodate Class 8 trucks, will operate 24 hours a day.

The new stations, which are capable of fueling three Class-8 trucks simultaneously, will primarily service CNG trucks operated by haulers for the dairy industry.

Together, Chicago-based ampCNG and Trillium CNG now operate seven CNG stations across Texas and 19 CNG stations across the country. The new stations in Brock and Kerrville bring necessary refueling locations to the I-20 and I-10 corridors, respectively.

 

TruStar Energy Wins Bid to Build New CNG Station in Orlando

May 28, 2015

TruStar Energy has been contracted to build a new TECO People Gas fueling station for the City of Orlando. The station will supply CNG to the city’s fleet of refuse trucks and is expected to be in operation by October 2015.

“Through our Green Works initiative, Orlando has become one of the most sustainable Cities in the country and part of that achievement has come from having one of the greenest fleets,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

In 2014, the Florida Public Service Commission created a new rate that allows TECO Peoples Gas to design, construct, own, and maintain CNG stations and dispense natural gas to fuel vehicles. Customers do not make any upfront investment, but instead pay for the service through monthly utility billing. TruStar Energy, under contract from TECO Peoples Gas, will handle the construction of the station at the City of Orlando’s fleet maintenance facility with a 43-truck time-fill fueling area.

To learn more about TruStar CNG fueling stations, visit www.trustarenergy.com.

 

GAIN Clean Fuel to Construct CNG Station in North Carolina

May 21, 2015

GAIN Clean Fuel announced that it has completed its third of five CNG stations that will be built in partnership with Core-Mark, one of the nation’s largest distributors and marketers of consumer goods in North America. The fast-fill GAIN Clean Fuel station located in Sanford, North Carolina, will be publically accessible to all CNG fleets passenger vehicles.

Core-Mark’s commitment to a CNG program began with an initial conversion of its fleet. Today, there are 162 of their CNG tractors on the road with more to come. In addition to the North Carolina location, two more GAIN Clean Fuel stations are expected to open near other Core-Mark Divisions by the second quarter of 2015 in Smyrna, Georgia, and Tampa, Florida. It’s projected that this newest GAIN station will replace the equivalent of 550,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the next year and more than 1.5 million gallons in the next five years.

 

New Natural Gas Facilities for Dane County, Wisconsin

May 28, 2015

Dane County, Wisconsin, announced it has broken ground on a new service facility and natural gas fueling station that will consolidate two existing highway facilities to reduce operating costs. The highway building will provide storage for nearly 70 vehicles, routine maintenance and parts storage for the Dane County Highway Department. The county’s new fleet of CNG snowplows will be among the vehicles housed at the new highway garage.

In addition, a new fueling canopy dispensing unleaded, diesel and compressed natural gas to county fleet will be constructed. The existing CNG filling station located at the Landfill across the road will be moved to this site. CNG equipment relocated from the landfill will provide part of the station requirements.

 

Prototype of Self-Refueling CNG Vehicle Successfully Tested

May 26, 2015

As part of Phase I of the ARPA-E MOVE project, Zahroof Corp has designed, built and successfully tested a prototype engine to prove the concept of selectively repurposing one cylinder of an automobile engine running on CNG to be used as a compressor. This would allow a CNG vehicle to refuel itself at home quickly and with low capital cost. Zahroof Corp is now providing the valve technology for Phase II of this project.

The study, headed by Christopher L. Hagen of Oregon State University, along with researchers from Czero Inc, is titled “Design and Analysis of a Self-Refueling CNG Vehicle to Provide Home Refueling” and can be viewed here.

The study proposes the repurposing of one cylinder of a vehicle’s internal combustion engine (Cummins I6) as a compressor of CNG, at home, to allow the vehicle to refill more quickly and more cost effectively.  By creating a quicker, more efficient way to refuel vehicles, CNG could overcome a major hurdle in its adoption. Natural gas at 1.22 bar is compressed to 3,626 PSI through three stages of compression with the engine running at 1,000 RPM. This is a very difficult application for a compressor valve as the same set of valves had to be used for all three stages of compression, with the final stage compressing gas from 614 PSI to 3,626 PSI (a 3,012 PSI pressure differential). The MRV was able to meet the challenge, resulting in the success of Phase I of this project.

“Innovation will be the key to adoption of compressed natural gas, and it is studies like this one that hold the most promise,” said Zahroof Mohamed, President and CTO of Zahroof Valves.

Learn more about the StraightFlo Valve at www.zahroofvalves.com.

 

GE Capital, Canada Contracts with Shell to Advance LNG Trucking

May 28, 2015

GE Capital, Canada announced the signing of a commercial agreement with Shell Canada Products to facilitate the trucking industry’s adoption of LNG in Canada. Under the agreement, GE Capital and Shell will work together to reduce monthly payments for truck fleets that lease NGVs. Specifically, fleet owners can sign natural gas fueling contracts with Shell and, separately, secure leases for LNG vehicles with GE Capital. The agreement covers equipment that will purchase fuel from Shell’s facilities.

“Through this agreement, we’re giving over-the-road trucking companies the financial incentive to make the shift from diesel to natural gas,” said François Nantel, leader of GE Capital, Canada’s transportation business. “Working with Shell will help address truck operators’ concerns regarding the trucks’ value and incremental capital investments and allow them to access the benefits of LNG vehicles from day one.”

 

Clean Energy Subsidiaries Renamed to Incorporate Clean Energy Brand

May 28, 2015

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiaries, IMW Industries, NorthStar Inc. and Clean Energy Renewable Fuels (CERF), have been renamed and redefined as divisions of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. IMW Industries is now Clean Energy Compression, NorthStar is now Clean Energy Cryogenics and CERF is now Clean Energy Renewables. The transition to the new names will begin immediately.

“The strategic importance of unifying our divisions under a single Clean Energy mark and brand identity cannot be understated,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO, Clean Energy. “This move will eliminate any confusion for our customers and other partners.”

While the name changes affect brand-identity, it will not change operational practices, management infrastructure or business objectives.