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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: February 1, 2016

 

  • Ryder to Provide Shell with 15 LNG Heavy-Duty Tractors
  • North Carolina CMAQ Funding Deadline Extended
  • Senate Moves Forward on Energy Bill
  • Update: Waste Truck Incident in New Jersey
  • NGVAmerica Sponsors Upcoming Energy Independence Summit
  • Pennsylvania Transit Authority Deploys Eight CNG Buses
  • JTA and Clean Energy Open Public Access CNG Fueling Station
  • Love’s Travel Stops Opens Seventh Fast-Fill CNG Station on I-40 
  • Freedom CNG Opens New Fueling Station in Houston
  • Consortium to Test Compression Technology for CNG Refueling
  • Wärtsilä to Deliver 100th Dual-Fuel 34DF Engine for Marine Applications

 

Ryder to Provide Shell with 15 LNG Heavy-Duty Tractors

January 27, 2016

Ryder announced that Shell Oil Company signed an agreement for 15 LNG heavy-duty vehicles supporting oil and gas logistics operations in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas. As a longtime Shell logistics provider, Ryder currently manages road transportation for Shell’s freight hauling activities across its U.S. exploration and production (E&P) activities, including a dedicated fleet that directly supports its Gulf of Mexico operations.  The new 15 LNG fueled vehicles will replace Ryder diesel-powered vehicles in the existing fleet and will be serviced out of Ryder’s Lafayette facility, which is being equipped to accommodate natural gas.  As part of this initiative, Ryder has signed a five-year fuel agreement with Shell.

Ryder worked with Shell to develop a customized truck specification that was weight-sensitive to maximize freight revenue, while assuring durability and operability in the field. The natural gas vehicles are being made available through Ryder’s participation in the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP), funded by the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) initiatives and administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

“We are excited to work with Ryder to transfer diesel vehicles to LNG,” said Dan Flynn, Shell Vice President Logistics.  “It is great to see Ryder’s drive for Shell LNG, a clean burning fuel that meets emissions regulations without the need for after treatment systems used in diesel engines.”

Ryder Dedicated Transportation Solutions provides companies with vehicles, maintenance, drivers, management and other value-added services.  The oil and gas industry relies on Ryder to take costs and risks out of transportation and logistics, enabling customers to maximize uptime, keep supplies and goods moving, and bring costs down.

Ryder is the leader in natural gas vehicle solutions for the commercial transportation industry, with more than 50 million miles of experience, 18 natural gas vehicle maintenance facilities, and more than 6,000 natural gas vehicle trained maintenance and support personnel.

 

North Carolina CMAQ Funding Deadline Extended

February 1, 2016

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University recently announced that its request for proposal (RFP) concerning $1.5 million in funding for alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure projects has been extended.  The new deadline for funding requests is March 1, 2016.  The funding will be made available through the 2016-2017 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The CFAT project is supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds provided by the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT).

North Carolina authorities recently announced that the state was awarded $4.5 million in new CMAQ funding.  A total of $3 million is expected to be made available for new transportation related projects.  The RFP here is the first two expected announcements. The primary purpose of CFAT projects is to reduce transportation related emissions in 24 eligible North Carolina counties.

According to the announcement, the $1.5 million will be provided for on-road and off-road mobile source projects including alternative fuel vehicles.  Projects must be for a minimum of $30,000 and no more than $250,000.  The announcement also indicates that project awardees will be required to participate in the NC Smart Fleet Initiative or the NC Clean Transportation Coordinating Committee. Fees and sponsorship costs for these activities begin at $2,000 for a 2 year affiliation.

Natural gas powered vehicles and refueling equipment qualify for funding along with other alternative fuels.  In order to be eligible, a project must reduce transportation-related emissions within the 24 eligible counties with the exception of natural gas refueling equipment and electric vehicle recharging infrastructure which, in accordance with federal guidelines, can be located anywhere within the state. Funding is limited to incremental cost.  There also is a 20 percent cost share requirement and Buy America provisions apply.

Conversions qualify but must be certified to EPA or CARB standards.  Bi-fuel vehicle qualify but at a discounted rate compared to dedicated vehicles. For more details, view the NC notice here.

 

Senate Moves Forward on Energy Bill

February 1, 2016

Last week, the Senate started debate on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S.2012). The bill, sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), is the first major bipartisan energy bill to hit the Senate floor in almost a decade.  Members of Congress have indicated that they may offer amendments to lift the coal leasing moratorium on federal lands and separately increase incentives for carbon capture and sequestration, among other things.  These provisions are likely to be controversial due to their nature and impact on the bill’s current deficit-neutral status.  Some of the proposed measures are controversial enough that they could derail the bill in Congress or result in a White House veto.  Possible NGV-related amendments that NGVAmerica has been working on include a measure to adjust the Inland Waterways Financing rate on LNG so that the tax is imposed on a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) basis rather than on a per gallon basis, and an amendment that would improve the fuel economy calculation for bi-fuel natural gas vehicles. The pro-NGV amendments are not expected to be controversial.

 

Update: Waste Truck Incident in New Jersey

January 29, 2016

On January 26, 2016 around 2:00 p.m. EST there was an incident involving a CNG refuse truck, owned by Central Jersey Waste.  Since learning of the incident, NGVAmerica has been leading the industry effort to investigate and identify the root cause.  NGVAmerica has had conversations with multiple parties with knowledge of the incident, along with others interested in the safety of our vehicles.  We have also had conversations with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) / National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL), both of whom are interested in participating in the investigation.  The vehicle is currently being reviewed by the insurance provider for Central Jersey Waste, and NGVAmerica is working to coordinate an on-site review with DOT and DOE, as soon as the vehicle becomes available.

NGVAmerica’s utmost priority in this incident is to identify the cause and ensure that it is properly covered in codes and standards to prevent this from occurring in the future.  Following the investigation, the lessons learned will be shared with the industry.  NGVAmerica has also been working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to ensure that first responders are equipped with the proper training when dealing with alternative fueled vehicles.

 

NGVAmerica Sponsors Upcoming Energy Independence Summit

February 1, 2016

NGVAmerica is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Energy Independence Summit that will be held in Washington, DC on February 8–10.  The 2016 Summit is a great way to meet and interact with more than 150 of the nation’s top clean transportation leaders, including almost 50 Clean Cities Coalitions Coordinators representing over 14,000 grassroots stakeholders, including leaders from the NGV industry, leaders in the broader alternative fuel industries, and state and local government innovators. The Summit will feature educational sessions and presentations from the nation’s leading clean transportation experts:

  • Future of the alternative fuels industry;
  • Federal funding and incentives to promote alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure;
  • Successful alternative fuels and vehicle projects across the country; and
  • Innovative state and local policies and programs that are advancing markets for cleaner fuels and vehicles.

In addition, the Summit will include a day of briefings and meetings on Capitol Hill where Clean Cities leaders and industry partners will spend time talking with Congressional and federal agency officials about alternative fuel, advanced vehicle and infrastructure projects, as well as other successes achieved with the support of government leaders and industry. The day will close with a networking reception hosted by UPS and attended by key Members of Congress and their staff.  To register for the Summit, click here.

 

Pennsylvania Transit Authority Deploys Eight CNG Buses

January 28, 2016

The Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority (MMVTA) in Pennsylvania purchased eight new Gillig buses that will run on natural gas. The MMVTA was among several authorities which piggybacked on to a mass bid started by Red Rose, a Lancaster-based transit authority. The eight CNG buses replace four 40-foot commuter buses which service the Valley to Pittsburgh routes and four 35-foot local service buses.

The eight buses cost roughly $3.2 million, and the bulk of the local funding came from Westmoreland County. In addition, the transit authority is eligible to receive a $125,000 federal Clean Air green grant.

MMVTA hopes to tap into a Peoples Natural Gas CNG pipeline in the Donora Industrial Park by mid-February. In the meantime, CNG will be delivered from Bentleyville.

The transit authority operates a fleet of 30 buses that typically have a lifespan of 12 years or 500,000 miles. Some buses in the transit authority’s fleet, though, have amassed more than 600,000 miles. “We will replace six more buses within two years,” said Donna Weckoski, executive director of the MMVTA. “Eventually, all of our buses will be CNG.”

 

JTA and Clean Energy Open Public Access CNG Fueling Station

January 29, 2016

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and Clean Energy Fuels celebrated the opening of the public-access CNG fueling facility at JTA’s Myrtle Avenue operations campus in Florida. The CNG project was made possible through a Public-Private Partnership with Clean Energy. This station, adjacent to the existing, private JTA-dedicated CNG station, will provide access to fueling for both public and private vehicles. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting and fueling demonstration.

“With this new CNG station, JTA is taking a leadership position in its industry—and improving Northeast Florida’s economy and environment,” said JTA Chairman Scott L. McCaleb. “This station was specifically designed to meet JTA and the public’s fueling needs today and tomorrow as more CNG vehicles become part of the community.”

“By allowing the public and other agencies to fuel their vehicles, the Authority will begin contributing to the available supply of CNG in the region, which in turn will help make our region cleaner by eliminating fewer pollutants into the air we breathe,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

JTA’s goal is to have a fleet of 100 CNG buses over four years, and JTA currently operates 23 CNG buses. This CNG project, one of the JTA’s transformative Blueprint 2020 initiatives, also included a modification to the bus maintenance facility and a bus fueling facility. Fueling of the CNG buses began in December 2015 with the rollout of the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit “Green Line.”

The Clean Energy station is easily accessible for heavy-duty fleet trucks and passenger vehicles. The new CNG station will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and uses a public access card reader system. The station includes one single hose dispenser, with the capability of adding an additional three dispensers.

 

Love’s Travel Stops Opens Seventh Fast-Fill CNG Station on I-40 

January 26, 2016

Professional drivers and motorists traveling from Tennessee to California on Interstate 40 now have access to CNG at seven Love’s Travel Stops. The travel stop company’s seventh location with Love’s Fast-Fill CNG for heavy-duty trucks and a CNG fueling option for motorists is now available at its existing travel stop in Williams, Arizona.

“Our locations are strategically placed on I-40 spanning from West Memphis, Arkansas, to Williams, Arizona, to make it easier for over-the-road drivers to run on CNG,” said Bill Cashmareck, Love’s general manager of natural gas. “Our customers can now travel nearly 1,400 miles along one of the nation’s major thoroughfares.”

Love’s operates 10 additional fast-fill CNG locations on other major interstates, combining for a total of 17 fast-fill CNG locations. Fast-fill CNG will be available at Love’s existing travel stop in Guthrie, Oklahoma, along I-35 this spring.

With Love’s Travel Stops located directly on interstates and highways, drivers have easy access to CNG adjacent to stores with all the amenities necessary to support their needs, such as parking, restaurants, showers and other driver services. CNG is available in-lane along with diesel and diesel exhaust fuel (DEF). It offers a fill rate of greater than 10 gallons per minute, meaning a driver can fill a 100 gallon equivalent tank in 10 minutes or less.

 

Freedom CNG Opens New Fueling Station in Houston

January 28, 2016

Freedom CNG has opened its third Houston-area CNG fueling station in the new Pinto Business Park on the north side of the city, serving both private and public fleets. The new station, open 24 hours, also will fuel METRO’s new fleet of 50 CNG transit buses.

Houston is home to 15 CNG fueling stations, three of which are owned and operated by Freedom CNG including its newest north Houston station. About 2,000 vehicles fueled by CNG currently operate on Houston roadways, around two percent of all short-haul diesel vehicles in the area, according to Bill Winters of Freedom CNG. “When it comes to encouraging the adoption of compressed natural gas for local fleet vehicles, we’ve barely scratched the surface,” says Winters. “There’s a strong argument to be made for compressed natural gas both from an environmental and economic point of view.”

Besides the environmental benefits, grants from the Houston-Galveston Area Council allow fleet owners to recover up to 75 percent of the cost to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle. Grants from the Texas Emissions Reduction Program and the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants Program also are available.

 

Consortium to Test Compression Technology for CNG Refueling

January 26, 2016

Northwest Natural Gas Company (NW Natural) of Portland, Oregon, and Carnot Compression based in Scotts Valley, California, have formed a consortium to build and test an innovative CNG refueling unit.

“This path could lower the infrastructure costs for vehicle refueling while increasing reliability, and that could drive greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

The planned 2 GGE per hour prototype compressor will use Carnot’s proprietary isothermal micro-bubble compression technology, which uses the weight of a working liquid in a centrifugal (g-force) environment to compress natural gas. The Carnot compressor will be designed to approach isothermal or constant temperature compression and is projected to cut the energy utilized for compression by 30 percent or more over conventional technology.

Carnot will engineer, design and manufacture the prototype CNG refueling unit (HRA/VRA range) in collaboration with NW Natural and the consortium. According to Carnot CEO, Todd Thompson, “Carnot’s system is designed to deliver dry and pure output gas, superior reliability, and scalability within a relatively small footprint.” The project will validate system performance for Carnot’s patent-pending technology in a real-world setting. Empirical data will be collected and verified by the University of Portland and George Fox universities under a separate grant.

 

Wärtsilä to Deliver 100th Dual-Fuel 34DF Engine for Marine Applications

January 26, 2016

The 100th Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel marine engine will be delivered from the factory in early 2016. This delivery will represent part of an order for three new large escort tugs being built for Norwegian operator Østensjø Rederi. The ships will operate at Statoil’s Melkøya terminal near Hammerfest in Norway.

“Within its power range, the Wärtsilä 34DF has become the workhorse of the marine industry, thanks to its superior reliability and lower operating costs,” says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. “It is a highly efficient engine that is also making a notable contribution to environmental compliance.”

The Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine was upgraded in 2013 with a higher MCR (maximum continuous rating) and better efficiency than its earlier version, the first of which was delivered in 2010. The dual-fuel capability means that it can be operated on either LNG or conventional diesel fuels. This fuel flexibility is a major contributor to the marine industry’s move into the gas age.


The development of the Wärtsilä 34DF was based on the successful Wärtsilä 32 engine platform. In 2013, it was upgraded to provide 11 percent more power and increased efficiency without changing the physical dimensions. The upgraded version has a power output range from 3,000 to 10,000 kW at 500 kW per cylinder.

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