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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: September 28, 2015

 

  • Colorado Opens New Round of Funding for Alt Fuel Vehicles
  • Senate Democrats Unveil Wide-Ranging Energy Bill
  • NGVAmerica and Trade Allies Express Continued Support for DGE Standard
  • House Speaker John Boehner Announces Pending Resignation
  • California Air Resources Board Reauthorizes Low Carbon Fuel Standard
  • Iowa Truck Center Orders 35 Glider Dual Fuel Systems
  • California’s Burbank Airport to Add 13 CNG Shuttles to Service Fleet
  • TruStar Energy Opens Public CNG Fueling Station in Louisiana
  • New Jersey Natural Gas and Waste Management OpenNew CNG Fueling Station
  • SoCalGas and City of Monterey Park Launch New Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station
  • Hexagon Lincoln Introduces Next Gen Type 4 Tank
  • BC Ferries to Conduct Sea Trials for LNG Conversion Project

 

Colorado Opens New Round of Funding for Alt Fuel Vehicles

September 23, 2015

The ALT Fuels Colorado program is making available another $14.5 million in funding for the incremental cost of alternative fuel vehicles on October 1. The program is managed in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). CEO will administer infrastructure grants and RAQC will administer vehicle grants.

Eligible fleets include public, non-profit and private fleets that predominately operate in Colorado’s ozone nonattainment areas and carbon monoxide maintenance areas, which include Adams, Araphoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties, as well as parts of Larimer, Weld, El Paso and Teller Counties. Vehicle funding will be provide up to 80 percent of the incremental cost of OEM Class 2–8 vehicles that run on CNG or other alternative fuels. Applications are due October 29, 2015 by 5:00 p.m. MST.

All applications must be completed and submitted online. Visit the Online Application page to apply.

 

Senate Democrats Unveil Wide-Ranging Energy Bill

September 28, 2015

Last week, the Senate Democrats unveiled a wide-ranging energy bill, titled the American Energy Innovation Act. The bill incorporates many of the Democratic-sponsored energy bills that were not included in Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Murkowski’s energy bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.  The 437-page bill includes several sections pertaining to alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

The Democratic bill does not have a chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress, but it will serve as a starting point in negotiations on amendments to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 and it provides an indicator of what is to come if the Democrats take over the Senate in 2016.

Sections of the bill would incentivize the manufacture of advanced technology vehicles that reduce motor fuel consumption, improve fuel efficiency and emission, and create a grant program to improve freight efficiency.

The bill’s full text is available here.

 

NGVAmerica and Trade Allies Express Continued Support for DGE Standard

September 28, 2015

On Thursday, NGVAmerica was joined by eight other trade allies representing natural gas interests as well as fuel retailers, truck providers, and vehicle users.  The letter was addressed to the chairs of the four regional weights and measures associations.  The regional associations are meeting over the course of next several weeks to plan for next year.  The regional meetings will include discussion of whether to support retaining issues, like the diesel gallon equivalent, that are currently on the agenda of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). Our request to the regional associations is that they support retaining the DGE as a voting item.  The earliest the DGE can be voted on is next summer in Denver when the NCWM meets for its annual meeting.  The other purpose of our letter was to signal that our organizations support the DGE standard and will be continuing our efforts to seek its adoption.  The other organizations included on the letter were the American Gas Association, American Public Gas Association, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, American Trucking Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Truck Stop Operators, Society of Independent Gas Marketers of America, and Truck Renting and Leasing Association.

 

House Speaker John Boehner Announces Pending Resignation

September 28, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner has announced he will resign his Speakership and seat in Congress on October 30. The announcement came amidst congressional leaders trying to prevent a potential government shutdown on October 1 by offering short-term plans to pay for most government operations. The Speaker stated he would like to finish several items before he leaves office, including tax extenders and completing a highway bill.

“It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House,” said Boehner. “It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.”

 

California Air Resources Board Reauthorizes Low Carbon Fuel Standard

September 28, 2015

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously to reauthorize the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.  The LCFS requires a 10 percent reduction by 2020 in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.  The requirements are based on gasoline and diesel carbon intensity and rely on a full-fuel cycle assessment of fuels.  Fuels like natural gas and renewable natural gas that that have lower carbon dioxide equivalent emissions compared to gasoline and diesel fuel earn credits under the program. The program has become increasingly important to the promotion of natural gas as a larger percentage of renewable natural gas is sold in California for transportation. Reauthorization of the program includes a number of measures intended to strengthen the program including a cap on the price of credits, adjustments to the carbon intensity values of fuels, and a revised phase-in schedule among other things.  In addition to supporting extension of the program, natural gas interests worked with California regulators to ensure that the carbon intensity calculations represent the value provided by natural gas.  Over the past year, NGVAmerica has joined with the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas to submit numerous letters and comments to CARB.

More information about this program is available here.

 

Iowa Truck Center Orders 35 Glider Dual Fuel Systems

September 21, 2015

American Power Group (APG) has received follow-up purchase orders from Harrison Truck Centers (HTC) for 35 of APG’s turbocharged natural gas dual fuel systems for HTC’s new line of dual fuel heavy-duty and severe-duty glider kits. In collaboration with WheelTime Network’s Interstate Power Systems, HTC will install APG’s Dual Fuel systems and associated natural gas storage tanks at HTC’s glider kit production facility in Elk Run Heights, Iowa. Deliveries are scheduled for September and October. Harrison Truck Centers is an Iowa-based, full service Freightliner/Western Star dealership and a leader in the production of Freightliner Glider Kits.

The Freightliner Glider Kits are designed, engineered and assembled alongside new Freightliner trucks. The fleet owner can either recapitalize any of the driveline components from their existing unit or specify a factory installed remanufactured engine or remanufactured rear axle.

“Since our APG dual fuel product launch last spring, we have seen significant interest in the benefits of our APG dual fuel glider,” said Brian Harrison, Harrison Truck Center’s President and CEO.

 

California’s Burbank Airport to Add 13 CNG Shuttles to Service Fleet

September 21, 2015

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority awarded a $11.97 million fixed-price, five-year contract to MV Transportation for courtesy shuttle services at the Burbank Bob Hope Airport. MV Transportation, which currently operates BurbankBus and the Glendale Beeline, will provide the Airport with a fleet of 13 2016 ADA-compliant vehicles that will seat 14 passengers each and will be powered by CNG.

The Airport’s current fleet of 14 shuttles is owned and maintained by the Authority and operated by Standard Parking Corporation. Currently, 11 of the 14 shuttles run on diesel engines, one shuttle was retrofitted with a CNG engine and two of the shuttles have been nonoperational due to engine issues since 2014.

 

TruStar Energy Opens Public CNG Fueling Station in Louisiana

September 23, 2015

TruStar Energy has opened a company-owned public CNG fueling station in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Lafayette TruStar Energy CNG station has two traffic lanes and two fast-fill fueling pumps, providing access for commercial vehicles and private CNG-powered consumer vehicles. The station accepts commercial fuel cards such as Comdata or Fuelman, as well as all major credit cards.

TruStar Energy has constructed numerous CNG fueling stations across the country and is now embarking on a strategy to open dozens of company-owned public CNG stations along high-traffic U.S. corridors over the next several years. TruStar Energy opened its first company-owned public fueling station in Orlando, Florida, in July, followed by stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma;Houston, Texas; and now Lafayette.

“Louisiana is a one of the nation’s leading producers of natural gas and fueling fleets with state-produced CNG brings economic vitality, reduces transportation-related emissions and creates more local jobs,” said Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, Clean Cities Co-Coordinator, Louisiana Clean Fuels. “We applaud TruStar Energy’s investment in Louisiana’s CNG fueling infrastructure and want to thank them for helping to create a clean fuel future for our state.”

 

New Jersey Natural Gas and Waste Management Open New CNG Fueling Station

September 24, 2015

New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) announced the opening of Ocean County, New Jersey’s first public-access CNG fueling station at the Waste Management facility in Toms River. Previously, there had been only eight CNG fueling stations open to the public in New Jersey.

The construction of the CNG fueling station in Toms River is part of NJNG’s pilot program. With approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, NJNG invested a total of $10 million to build, own and maintain the infrastructure for three public CNG fueling stations in its service territory. The station at Waste Management’s Toms River facility is the first to become operational.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with Waste Management to help stimulate the state’s market for compressed natural gas vehicles and the benefits they provide,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas. “CNG vehicles are a proven, energy-efficient alternative to gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, help to improve air quality in our communities and support the country’s goal of energy independence.”

 

SoCalGas and City of Monterey Park Launch New Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station

September 23, 2015

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has successfully completed the company’s first project under its Compression Services Tariff, a new CNG fueling station for the City of Monterey Park.

The public-access facility will support the operation of the City’s clean Spirit bus fleet and other NGVs. The facility is designed to meet the needs of the Spirit bus operations as well passenger NGVs, parking shuttles, taxis, and other fleet vehicles, providing fuel to the public during the day when city vehicles are not scheduled to be fueled.

“Natural gas vehicles can have an immediate and positive impact on the issues of air quality and public health and SoCalGas is delighted to celebrate Monterey Park’s fueling facility,” said Rodger Schwecke, vice president of Customer Solutions for SoCalGas.

 

Hexagon Lincoln Introduces Next Gen Type 4 Tank

September 21, 2015
Hexagon Lincoln debuted its all-carbon 16 inch Type 4 pressure vessel for the transit bus and refuse market in Denver, Colorado, last week at the 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo. The tanks are the company’s highest gas capacity and lightest weight tanks for this market to date. The new tanks are 70 percent lighter than steel and have a polymer liner that is corrosion free.

Hexagon Composites, which was a platinum sponsor of the conference & expo, also marked its 52nd Anniversary at the conference, celebrating its long history as the world’s largest manufacturer of Type 4 pressure vessels.

 

BC Ferries to Conduct Sea Trials for LNG Conversion Project

September 27, 2015

Last week, BC Ferries’ Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia conducted sea trials in the Saanich Inlet in order to demonstrate the performance of the vessels for the three shipyards bidding on the mid-life upgrades including conversion to dual-fuel so the ships can operate on LNG.

Each vessel underwent two days of sea trials to demonstrate the operational profiles of the ships including vessel maneuverability, acceleration and speed. These trials provided the shipyards with data on control system parameters as well as peak power loads in variable weather, tide or current conditions experienced when transiting Active Pass.

“This is an important step in the bidding process for the shipyards so they can measure and verify vessel performance to provide the optimal propulsive machinery arrangements they submit as part of their bids,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering.

BC Ferries is planning for the Spirit of British Columbia to be the first ship through the MLU and LNG conversion process and commence actual conversion from the fall of 2017 through the spring of 2018, and the Spirit of Vancouver Island’s to follow the following year from the fall of 2018 through the spring of 2019.

Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.