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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: February 22, 2016

 

  • LA Metro Opts for Additional 350 New Flyer CNG Buses
  • New Mexico Legislature Passes Two Pro-NGV Bills
  • Pennsylvania Offers Grants to Support Alt Fuel Transportation Projects
  • LA Metro Opens Large CNG Bus Maintenance Facility
  • New CNG Station Opens near San Antonio International Airport
  • California Workshops Examine Feasibility of Off-Road Natural Gas Vehicles
  • NGVi Adds Station Codes and Standards Course to E-Learning Program
  • Canada Opens New Round of Funding for Canadian Cleantech Companies
  • Hexagon Composites Acquires Brazilian Fuel Systems Provider

 

LA Metro Opts for Additional 350 New Flyer CNG Buses

February 22, 2016

New Flyer announced that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA Metro) has exercised options for 350 heavy-duty 40-foot CNG buses.

These exercised options, valued at approximately $180 million, represent the remaining options from New Flyer’s contract with LA Metro executed in 2013. All 550 buses from the original firm order have been successfully delivered, and management expects that these additional 350 buses will be delivered to LA Metro by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

LA Metro’s transit fleet includes a total of 2,160 heavy-duty buses currently in operation, nearly 95 percent of which have been built by New Flyer or its subsidiary NABI.

 

New Mexico Legislature Passes Two Pro-NGV Bills

February 22, 2016

Last week, two NGV bills that NGVAmerica has been supporting both passed unanimously through the New Mexico House and Senate. The Governor has stated that natural gas and NGVs are a priority for New Mexico and that the state needs to remove barriers and to offer viable incentives. House Joint Memorial 5 calls for a study to be done that will provide recommended vehicle and station incentives for the 2017 Session, as well as define the needed corridor of natural gas fueling stations to coordinate with the national corridor called for by the FAST Act. House Bill 176 (HB176) raises the allowed weight limit on heavy duty NGVs operating on the roads in New Mexico.

Joint Memorial 5 (HJM5) recognizes the need to increase the use of NGVs in the U.S. Specifically, the HJM5 requests that the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, the Economic Development Department and the General Services Department develop a report that identifies:

  • How New Mexico can increase the use of natural gas vehicles (NGV) within the state including what types of incentives are needed;
  • Obstacles to increasing the use of NGVs by large fleet operators and individual consumers;
  • The methods being used by other states to promote their NGV markets;
  • The potential for New Mexico to receive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program funding and other federal funding to increase NGVs; and
  • A plan for alternative fuel corridors within the state.

The Departments are to consult with members of the New Mexico Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, and the report is to be presented prior to November 15, 2016. New Mexico currently ranks number five in the U.S. in terms of natural gas production. Increasing the use of natural gas in general, and more specifically in transportation, is seen as a key economic driver for the state.  One area where NGVs could play a major role in New Mexico is in supporting the build out of the state’s inland port, Santa Teresa, which is currently experiencing significant growth.

HB176 directs state authorities to provide a weight allowance for natural gas trucks based on the additional weight of their natural gas fuel systems and storage tanks. HB176 updates New Mexico law to allow a greater weight allowance for NGVs, bringing the allowable weight up to 82,000 pounds to compensate for the weight of natural gas fuel systems.

NGVAmerica thanks NGVA members TECO (New Mexico Gas Co.), Clean Energy and Waste Management, as well as other New Mexico NGV stakeholders for their work with legislative leaders during this process.

 

Pennsylvania Offers Grants to Support Alt Fuel Transportation Projects

February 16, 2016

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging Pennsylvanian business and community leaders to be better caretakers of the environment by offering incentives for the purchase and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program offers funding for innovative fuel and vehicle technology projects within the commonwealth.

“The use of alternative fuels and deployment of advanced alternative transportation technologies is a key component to making Pennsylvania the country’s energy leader in the use of domestic alternative fuels—and in cleaning the air we breathe and protecting our climate,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley.

The AFIG Program will assist school districts, municipal authorities, nonprofits, corporations, LLCs, and partnerships registered to do business in Pennsylvania in offsetting the costs of implementing alternative fuel using transportation projects. The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program is funded by annual gross receipts tax on utilities.

DEP is offering grants in the following project categories:

  • Vehicle Retrofit or Purchase – To offset the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuel vehicles or retrofitting existing vehicles to operate on alternative fuels.
  • Alternative Fuel Refueling Infrastructure – To assist in the costs to purchase and install refueling equipment for fleet or home-based refueling.
  • Biofuel Use – To support a portion of the cost to purchase high content biofuels.
  • Innovative Technology – To support research, training, development, and demonstration of new alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles.

New this year, and in response to feedback from prior applicants, the AFIG program will remain open to receive applications throughout 2016. Applications will only be accepted online through the eGrants System. Hardcopy applications will not be accepted.

For more information and to further assist potential applicants, DEP is hosting two webinars:  March 7, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 p.m., and March 8, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. to review key elements of this grant program.

To register for the March 7 webinar, click here, and to register for the March 8 webinar, click here. For program guidelines, application instructions, and more information on the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, click here.

 

LA Metro Opens Large CNG Bus Maintenance Facility

February 18, 2016

Earlier this month, LA Metro inaugurated Division 13, a new state of the art bus maintenance and operations facility in downtown Los Angeles. Division 13 will serve as a bus maintenance, operations and service facility with a multi-level parking garage that accommodates 200 CNG buses, fueling equipment, transportation offices and support areas. The facility, which sits on a 7.4 acre footprint, received $53.2 million in federal funding toward the $120 million total project cost.

“Maintenance buildings have the potential to go beyond the significant function they serve in ensuring that our transportation system operates in a safe and reliable manner, to being models of great design and sustainability,” said Metro Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Division 13 bus maintenance bays use sustainable design features that will achieve a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the US Green Building Council.

                           

New CNG Station Opens near San Antonio International Airport

February 16, 2015

GGG Stations recently celebrated the grand opening of the newest CNG station in San Antonio, Texas, with a ribbon cutting ceremony that welcomed state, city, and county officials and local business leaders.

The GGG facility, which is conveniently located near the San Antonio International Airport, is the fifth CNG station to open in San Antonio in the last two years. Designed as a light-duty station, the station can also service heavy-duty trucks with room to expand as demand increases. The station is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is equipped with ANGI Energy Systems equipment.

San Antonio, which has previously teetered on the edge of acceptable air quality, is now dangerously close to being classified “Non-Attainment,” which could come with increased costs to the community. The expanded use of natural gas as a transportation fuel will help combat this trend of lowering air quality.

“This new facility is an important step as San Antonio moves forward to restoring acceptable air quality and responsible environmental controls,” said GGG Partner Maryanne Guido.

The GGG Stations is a local, private company, owned in partnership by Gus Beck, Tom and Maryanne Guido, and Nat G CNG Solutions. Nat G CNG Solutions is an up-fitter for CNG vehicles as well as a station designer and installer. Nat G is also a Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) for Ford.

 

California Workshops Examine Feasibility of Off-Road Natural Gas Vehicles

February 17, 2016

The California Energy Commission hosted public workshops in Long Beach on February 19 and in Fresno on February 22 to gather comments on the development of natural gas engine technologies for off-road vehicles.

The workshops aim to provide insight on the current off-road vehicle market, advanced technology needs and the market potential for natural gas-powered off-road vehicles.

Two of California’s most severely polluted regions are the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basins, and off-road vehicles are one of the largest sources of Nitrogen Oxide (Nox) emissions in those areas. Later this year, the Energy Commission will release a grant solicitation aimed at developing and demonstrating cleaner engine technologies.

 

NGVi Adds Station Codes and Standards Course to E-Learning Program

February 16, 2016

The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi) has launched its new e-learning course: CNG Fueling Station Codes and Standards. This video-based course is designed for companies interested in or responsible for designing and building natural gas fueling stations, as well as those involved in permitting CNG stations, including code officials or state and local fire marshals.

Participants learn about the applicable national codes and standards pertaining to CNG fueling stations, including NFPA 52, NFPA 30A, NFPA 70, NFPA 496, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Sections VII, VIII, IX, X and XI, ANSI B31, ANSI/CSA NGV1, 2, 3 and 4 and SAE J1616.

CNG fueling stations use different design and construction practices that necessitate different building materials and unique components. To ensure safety during both construction and operation, CNG fueling stations must be designed to meet the requirements of a number of codes and safety standards.

CNG Fueling Station Codes and Standards E-Learning is approximately two hours in length. The course is self-paced with a quick knowledge check at the end of the course. Individuals who complete the course and successfully pass the knowledge check receive an NGVi certificate of completion.

“We are excited to add this class to our e-learning program,” said NGVi Executive Director Leo Thomason. “It is a great tool for anybody who wants learn about major fire, mechanical, electrical and building code applications to the design and construction of CNG stations and to be able to fully assimilate this sometimes perplexing information.”

For more information about the CNG Fueling Station Codes and Standards E-Learning course, click here.

 

Canada Opens New Round of Funding for Canadian Cleantech Companies

February 17, 2016

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced new funding for Canadian cleantech development and demonstration projects. STDC’s two key funds—SD Tech Fund and SD Natural Gas Fund—are now open and applications will be accepted through April 13, 2016.

The SD Natural Gas Fund acts in collaboration with the Canadian Gas Association and supports the development and demonstration of new downstream natural gas technology. For 2016, the Fund is focused on technology that works to meet, among others, transportation and renewable natural gas goals and objectives.

SDTC’s mandate is not only to fund promising Canadian technology projects but to also coach the companies that lead them as they move their technologies towards market.

“SDTC helps bridge the gap between research and market entry for Canadian cleantech projects,” said Leah Lawrence, CEO of SDTC. “We encourage cleantech innovators and pioneers to find out how SDTC can help support them in their next stages of project development and demonstration.”

SDTC’s portfolio is comprised of 285 clean technology projects representing an investment of over $740 million and a market capitalization of over $2 billion. To apply, applicants must contact a Funding Advisor at 613.234.6313 to initiate the funding process prior to completing a Statement of Interest.

Further information on our funds and funding portal can be found online at sdtc.ca.

 

Hexagon Composites Acquires Brazilian Fuel Systems Provider

February 15, 2016

Hexagon Composites has agreed to acquire 67 percent of a Brazilian entity to pursue fuel systems opportunities for transit buses and heavy-duty trucks. The company, to be named Hexagon Composites Brazil, will address market opportunities primarily in South America and Africa. The remaining 33 percent of the company will be held by Mr. Tony Bermudo. The Bermudo family, owner of a leading Brazilian CNG integrator, will transfer all activities concerning bus and truck systems building to Hexagon Composites Brazil.

Hexagon says the global market for CNG bus systems is growing strongly due to political priorities and stable, affordable natural gas prices. Hexagon Composites is has become a global leader in type 4 CNG bus fuel systems through Hexagon Bus Systems in Norway and Hexagon Lincoln in the U.S.

“Brazil houses several of the world’s leading OEMs with significant bus building capacity,” said Jon Erik Engeset, CEO of Hexagon Composites ASA. “We look forward to strengthening our relationships with customers and suppliers in the region.”

The initial purchase price is $1 million, and Hexagon Composites will increase its ownership to 100 percent according to an earn-out model at a later stage.

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