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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: October 31, 2016

  • Los Angeles Metro Receives $10.5 Million for 30 “Near-Zero” Emission CNG Buses
  • NGVAmerica Webinar to Discuss Environmental Opportunities of VW Settlement
  • Renewable CNG Produced from Food Scraps in South San Francisco
  • S. Gain Partners with “O” Ring to Open New CNG Station in Pennsylvania
  • Altech-Eco Selects Cobham Type 4 CNG Cylinders
  • Energy Vision Holds Awards Ceremony for RNG Industry Leaders
  • Registrations Open Online for NGV Global 2017
  • TruStar Energy Hires Aaron Lay as Vice President of Sales

 

Los Angeles Metro Receives $10.5 Million for 30 “Near-Zero” Emission CNG Buses

October 25, 2016

Combined with Metro’s $10.5 million match, a total of $21 million will be invested to replace aging diesel buses with new CNG buses powered by “Near-Zero” emission engines. Grant funding will also pay for CNG refueling facilities, as well as a workplace development program to provide workers with training opportunities to operate and maintain the new buses. Metro is now in the CNG bus procurement process, and anticipates putting the new vehicles into service next year.

“We are appreciative of the U.S Department of Transportation for this grant that will go a long way toward modernizing our contracted bus fleet,” said John Fasana, Metro Board Chair and Duarte City Council Member. “This grant represents the largest award in the state of California under this discretionary U.S. DOT program, and it reflects our close federal partnership to give this region the best air quality and vehicle technology possible.”

As part of its procurement, Metro will purchase the cleanest CNG buses ever made. New CNG engines that will be placed in the new buses are 1,000 times cleaner than the diesel buses Metro operated during the 1980s and ‘90s. They will be particularly well suited to operate on contracted bus lines in the South Bay and Gateway Cities region, since these areas suffer from stubbornly poor air quality in part due to the heavy truck traffic traveling in and out of port areas. There are now only about 66 contracted diesel buses that have reached the end of their useful life remaining in the county. Metro has committed to replacing all of them in the coming years.

Metro currently has the largest CNG bus fleet in the country. In 1992, Metro’s Board of Directors adopted a policy to only purchase CNG buses. The agency now has 2,500 CNG buses that travel more than 85 million miles per year. In total, CNG buses have operated about 1.5 billion miles in the county since the program’s inception, and over the last 15 years, Metro has saved an average of 47 cents per mile on CNG fuel costs.

“Metro is already the nation’s leading operator of clean air CNG buses, but this new funding will help us expedite the replacement of a small number of diesel buses that are still in our contracted service fleets,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “We are now one step closer to completely eradicating diesel buses of any kind from the streets of Los Angeles County. I’d like to thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation for helping us reach that goal.”

 

NGVAmerica Webinar to Discuss Environmental Opportunities of VW Settlement

October 31, 2016

NGVAmerica is holding a webinar for NGVAmerica members to discuss the settlement documents and efforts being made to educate states about the benefit of NGV projects. The webinar will be held on Friday, November 4 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

On October 25, the judge overseeing the Volkswagen settlement issued a decision approving the partial settlement and consent decree provisions related to Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. The decision to approve the settlement terms means that state authorities can now begin to plan in earnest how they will spend the $2.7 billion set aside for their benefit for environmental mitigation projects.

Many state authorities have already begun to discuss a process for how they will consider projects, but now that the settlement is finalized it provides certainty that the funds will actually be available, and it also provides certainty as to the types of projects that are eligible for funding. The decision also approves the $10 billion compensation package for Volkswagen owners and the $2.0 billion Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Fund to be administered by Volkswagen.

The decision included approval of the changes to Appendix D (Environmental Mitigation Trust) that were submitted on September 30 to the court by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Those changes were made in response to the comments it received from the public and state authorities.

The $2.7 Billion Environmental Mitigation Trust program remains largely unchanged:  it relies largely on replacement or the repower of older Class 4 – 8 diesel vehicles with new, cleaner vehicles or engines.  It also includes funding for some non-road projects (e.g., vehicles at airports, port facilities).  Fifteen percent of the funds can be expended on electric vehicle infrastructure.  The court, however, did approve some important changes that are highlighted below.

The key changes to the proposed $2.7 Billion Environmental Mitigation Trust include: 1) clarifying that the funding percentages (e.g., 25 percent for a new truck) are “up to” a certain amount so funding could be less but not more than the specified percentage; 2) up to 15% of funds can now be used for administrative expenses; and 3) the qualifying model years for replacement or repower has been extended to also include 2007 – 2009 as well as 1992 – 2006.

The final decision also clarifies that qualifying new vehicles or repowered engine must be from the model year the project occurs or the previous model year. The court did not make any change to funding levels for low-NOx engines. State authorities however will have discretion to prioritize funding for the types of projects they believe bet serve their goals and this could include prioritizing funding for natural gas engines and vehicles over other available technologies. More details on these changes will be provided during the upcoming webinar.

For more information, contact Jeff Clarke, General Counsel & Director, Regulatory Affairs, at jclarke@www.ngvamerica.org or 202.824.7364.

 

Renewable CNG Produced from Food Scraps in South San Francisco

October 28, 2016

South San Francisco Scavenger Company (SSFSC) and its partner Blue Line Transfer, is operating an onsite system which converts food scraps and yard waste into transportation fuel and compost. The facility, which began operations in January 2015, uses dry anaerobic digestion technology to generate clean-burning CNG that powers the company’s collection fleet. The fully enclosed system process 11,200 tons of material per year, including food scraps and food soiled paper collected from businesses in the company’s service area, including South San Francisco, Brisbane, Millbrae, and San Francisco International Airport.

“We’re excited about the digester because it allows us to turn compostable food scraps into fuel for the very trucks that collect those materials. It’s a truly closed loop system,” said Doug Button, president of South San Francisco Scavenger Company and Blue Line Transfer. “Plus, the process keeps organic waste out of the landfill and cuts greenhouse gas emissions—benefitting the communities we serve, the environment and our company.”

Most anaerobic digesters currently online in California generate electricity from methane. Blue Line Transfer’s system, made by Zero Waste Energy, LLC, is the first dry anaerobic digester in the country to produce CNG transportation fuel.  Besides producing 500 DGEs per day of carbon negative RNG, the process provides digestate, a nutrient-rich substance that will be matured into certified organic compost. Compared to traditional composting, the dry anaerobic digestion process reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants. The launch of the facility is part of South San Francisco Scavenger Company’s expanded business collection program for food scraps and food soiled paper. A campaign is currently underway to increase the number of commercial customers participating in the program. The company plans to expand the food scrap collection program to residents as well.

 

U.S. Gain Partners with “O” Ring to Open New CNG Station in Pennsylvania

October 25, 2016

U.S. Gain has opened a new CNG station built in partnership with “O” Ring CNG Fuel Systems. The station, located in Somerset, Pennsylvania, will be branded as “O” Ring CNG/GAIN Clean Fuel and added to GAIN Clean Fuel’s nationwide infrastructure of CNG stations.

The station will provide fleets and the general public with access to CNG and establishes another strategically located GAIN Clean Fuel CNG fueling site.

“This is the sixth site we’ve developed with “O” Ring and we’re excited about continuing our collaboration on this site,” said Bill Renz, general manager for U.S. Gain. “This location builds upon the strong GAIN Clean Fuel network in the Northeast United States and will provide additional CNG access for both regional and national carriers.”

 

Altech-Eco Selects Cobham Type 4 CNG Cylinders

October 26, 2016

Altech-Eco Corporation, a manufacturer of fuel conversion systems for light duty vehicles, has chosen Cobham as a Type 4 cylinder preferred supplier. Altech-Eco, an approved Ford QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) CNG technology developer, is EPA certifying their Bi-Fuel and Dedicated CNG Systems for the following Ford 2017 models; F-250/350 6.2L, F-150 5.0L, Transit 3.7L and Transit Connect 2.5L.

“With Cobham coming on the market and offering CNG cylinders with no minimum amounts, quick turnaround times and competitive prices, they are helping the natural gas vehicle industry grow and allowing us to be more flexible in meeting the needs of our customers”, said Miles George, Vice President of Altech-Eco. “We really appreciate what Cobham is doing for us and the industry.”

Cobham’s current offering includes a 21″ diameter family of various lengths available in strap mount and newly released boss mounts.  Cobham continues to develop additional sizes including a 17″ diameter family of cylinders that will be available to the market later this fall and a 26″ diameter family in the first quarter of 2017.

 

Energy Vision Holds Awards Ceremony for RNG Industry Leaders

October 24, 2016

Leaders in the field of ultra-low carbon RNG recently gathered at an awards event hosted by the sustainable energy non-profit Energy Vision, which promotes renewable, low-carbon energy and transportation solutions. U.S. business and government leaders who are playing a pioneering role in accelerating the growth of the RNG industry were honored by Energy Vision with awards at the event. The event marked Energy Vision’s 10th anniversary.

“The U.S. fossil gas industry emits some 400,000 tons of it a year, but the methane outgassing from organic wastes is over 25 times that – 11.5 million tons a year,” said Energy Vision founder and chair Joanna Underwood. “If we want to tackle climate change, we have to work on capturing those gases, refining them and making the best use of them: fueling buses and trucks.”

The power and torque heavy duty vehicles require are beyond what electric motors and batteries can deliver, but RNG has the energy density and the production potential to decarbonize heavy transport. As production grows, it has the potential to significantly reduce the U.S. heavy transport sector’s reliance on diesel and gasoline.

Awardees recognized at the Energy Vision event for their leadership in helping advance RNG in the US include Impact Bioenergy, AgEnergy USA and EDF Renewable Energy’s Heartland Biogas project, Louisiana’s St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District and BioCNG, LLC, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Registrations Open Online for NGV Global 2017

October 28, 2016

The Committee for the 2017 NGV GLOBAL Conference and Exhibition announced that registration for the conference is now available online via the event website.

NGV Global says natural gas’ broad appeal and range of applications as a fuel for transportation, enhanced by the growing availability of clean-burning RNG, lead to the event’s theme of “Natural Gas Fuel – The Choice for a Sustainable Future.”

NGV Global looks forward to delivering a multi-stream event that incorporates land and water-based transportation. Whether it be heavy duty transporters, light and medium duty vehicles, inland waterways barges, coastal vessels and ships, LNG bunkering, LNG-CNG-RNG-Bio-methane filling stations, compression, gas storage, small scale LNG and so much more, the world’s leading natural gas for transportation association will bring together all the threads that demonstrate why natural gas is here for at least another 100 years.

“Come and join in the event that marks NGV Global’s 30th Anniversary and 15th biennial conference and exhibition,” says Diego Goldin, NGV Global Executive Director. “We will bring together industry participants and experts from around the world to provide opportunities for learning, discussion, networking, and so much more.”

To register online, go to www.ngv.global/registration.

 

TruStar Energy Hires Aaron Lay as Vice President of Sales

October 25, 2016

TruStar Energy has hired alternative fuel systems veteran Aaron Lay to lead the company’s sales group. Lay, who spent the past 14 years in the trucking industry, served in various chassis sales positions with both McCandless International and MHC Kenworth, as well as a National Accounts Manager with McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing. Most recently, Lay served as the Director of Sales for Agility Fuel Systems, where he was instrumental in the proliferation of CNG fueling systems for Class 6–8 chassis.

“We’re excited to have Aaron join the team and look forward to his taking the reigns regarding future sales efforts,” said TruStar Energy General Manager, Scott Edelbach. “He’s been around heavy equipment and CNG for much of his career—which is something that adds to TruStar Energy’s overall value proposition to its customers.”

Lay, an LSU Alumni, will head up the TruStar Energy team with coordinated sales efforts beginning in early November.

 

 

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