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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: December 5, 2016

 

  • Chevrolet and GMC Expand Natural Gas Vehicle Offerings
  • Webinar to Cover Trump Administration Impact on Alternative Fuels and Vehicles
  • Love’s Trillium CNG Fueling Station Opens in Maryland
  • Piedmont Natural Gas Seeing Significant Growth in CNG Demand
  • Westport Expands Offerings with 2017 Ford Product Line
  • University of Chicago Startup Turns Renewable Energy into Natural Gas
  • Clean Energy Subsidiary Adds CEO to Management Team
  • Freedom CNG Names New Director of Business Development
  • ABS Joins Coalition to Advance the Use of LNG as a Marine Fuel

 

Chevrolet and GMC Expand Natural Gas Vehicle Offerings

November 30, 2016

Chevrolet and GMC are partnering with Power Solutions International, a General Motors Fleet’s preferred upfitter for CNG trucks, to introduce heavy duty pickups and full-size vans powered by 6.0L V-8 CNG engines starting in the first quarter of 2017. Chevrolet also will offer CNG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck.

Ship-through will be offered, allowing customers to order and take delivery from the same dealer. GM will supply vehicles equipped with the 6.0L V-8 engine with hardened valves and valve seats to PSI, which in turn will install the fuel system and other hardware and ship directly to Chevrolet and GMC dealers in all 50 states. All PSI-modified vehicles are covered by Chevrolet and GMC’s five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

“Expanding choice is the key to helping more commercial and government fleets reduce their fuel consumption, fuel costs and emissions using alternative fuels and EVs versus using traditional gasoline,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet. “There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions for fleet managers.”

GM Fleet’s partnership with PSI follows customer demand and ongoing investment by companies across the nation in CNG refueling infrastructure.

 

Webinar to Cover Trump Administration Impact on Alternative Fuels and Vehicles
December 4, 2016

NGVAmerica will be taking part in a free webinar hosted by Transportation Energy Partners on what the impact of the Trump administration will have on alternative fuels and vehicles. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at 3:00 – 4:15 eastern time.

The webinar will address the questions: What will this mean for alternative fuels and vehicles?  Who will be the key energy, transportation, and environment leaders for the new Administration?  How will efforts to implement tax reform impact alternative fuels incentives?  What is the outlook for the Renewable Fuels Standard? How do we maintain momentum for the DOE Clean Cities program?

Paul Kerkhoven, NGVAmerica Director of Government Affairs, will discuss strategies to continue the progress made in advancing markets for alternative fuels and vehicles. He will be joined by the following industry experts: Genevieve Cullen, Electric Drive Transportation Association; Phil Squair, National Propane Gas Association; Kaleb Little, National Biodiesel Board; Phillip Wiedmeyer, Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition; and Ken Brown, Transportation Energy Partners.

In addition, the Energy Independence Summit 2017, which is also being hosted by Transportation Energy Partners, will be held in Washington, DC on February 12 – 15. The nation’s premier clean transportation policy summit will provide a timely opportunity for the nation’s Clean Cities Coalitions and leaders in the clean transportation industry to network and build partnerships with each other, and with the key leaders in the new Administration and Congress. NGVAmerica encourages members and other interested parties to take advantage of the early bird registration rates.

To register for the webinar, visit the registration page. For more information on the upcoming webinar or summit, contact Ken Brown at atken@akbstrategies.com or 202.674.7777.

 

Love’s Trillium CNG Fueling Station Opens in Maryland

November 29, 2016

A new, clean fuel option is now available to Maryland residents in Harford County with the addition of a Love’s Trillium CNG fueling station in Aberdeen, Maryland. The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provided $500K funding to assist station construction, and the nearby Frito-Lay plant will serve as the station’s anchor fleet.

“We are pleased to welcome this new compressed natural gas fueling station from Trillium to northern Maryland, which will provide companies like Frito-Lay with a sustainable alternative fueling option,” said Mary Beth Tung, MEA Director. “The increase of compressed natural gas stations in the state demonstrates Governor Hogan’s commitment to protect the environment and promote our economy.”

Representatives from MEA, Trillium and Frito-Lay gathered at the station on Friday, December 2 to dedicate the station and provide a fueling demonstration. Located along U.S. Highway 40, the public station features two CNG pumps. The station is owned and operated by Trillium and open to the public.

“With the help of the Maryland Energy Administration and Frito-Lay, we can continue our mission of providing fleets with clean fueling options,” Bill Zobel, general manager of business development for Trillium CNG said at the ceremony.

Frito-Lay has committed to expanding their CNG fleet and is the recipient of another MEA grant under the Freedom Fleet Voucher Program for a total award of $80K to go towards the purchase of four new delivery trucks.

MEA offers several additional transportation grants to increase energy efficiency including the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program (AFIP)Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (EVIP)Maryland Natural Gas Vehicle Voucher Program and Natural Gas Refilling Station Grant Program. Visit www.energy.maryland.gov for more information and a full list of grants.

 

Piedmont Natural Gas Seeing Significant Growth in CNG Demand

November 28, 2016

Piedmont Natural Gas says it is experiencing growing demand for CNG from commercial vehicle fleets, and it highlighted several initiatives that will give more companies greater access to the cleaner, lower-cost fuel option.

In the Charlotte region, Piedmont has contracted with the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services to install a CNG station for refuse trucks at their existing facility near uptown. In addition, Piedmont’s 11th public CNG refueling station has started construction and is expected to open later this year at a location near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321 in Hickory.

Earlier this year, Piedmont received approval from state regulators in North Carolina and South Carolina to temporarily reduce the price of CNG by 50 cents per GGE—passing through to customers the federal tax credit. Piedmont also passed the savings from the tax credit along to customers in Tennessee, where public CNG prices are unregulated.

“Piedmont Natural Gas has more than doubled its sales of compressed natural gas over the past two years because more businesses are recognizing the economic and environmental advantages of CNG,” said Karl Newlin, Duke Energy’s senior vice president and chief commercial officer, natural gas. “To encourage continued growth, we are helping our customers save money and providing greater access to this superior transportation fuel.”

Other initiatives to accommodate the increase in demand for CNG throughout Piedmont’s three-state service area of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee include: working with municipalities and other local agencies in Charlotte, Nashville, Wilmington and Anderson, S.C., to expand their use of CNG in airport parking shuttles and public transit buses; providing natural gas to private refueling stations for two large corporate fleets in Spartanburg, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C. The facilities are included in a network of CNG refueling stations Piedmont serves for both companies; and adding a third dispenser island at Piedmont’s two-year-old public CNG refueling station in Nashville, Tennessee, to serve a rapidly growing customer base that includes shuttle buses serving nearby Nashville International Airport, a mail-delivery contractor and regional haulers taking advantage of the station’s proximity to I-40.

In the past year, Piedmont Natural Gas has sold, delivered or used approximately 5 million GGEs and expects that volume to grow. About one-third of Piedmont’s own corporate fleet now runs on CNG.

 

Westport Expands Offerings with 2017 Ford Product Line

November 28, 3016

Westport has received certification from the US EPA for its Westport WiNG Power System on multiple 2017 Model Year Ford products. As a leading developer and installer in Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program, Westport says it has the largest line-up of Ford alternative fueled vehicles—offering fleets a diverse choice of fuel from a single provider.

Westport has also streamlined the supply chain through a Ford-approved Ship-Thru process on the F-150, F-250/350 and Transit products, reducing transportation costs and simplifying the ordering process. Once the Westport WiNG Power System is installed, calibrated, and validated, the vehicles are returned to the Ford transportation system and delivered to the customer.

“Ford backed warranty, financing and ship- thru ordering, combined with a nationwide network of trained technicians, provides fleets with a seamless ordering experience and more fuel choices from a single full service provider,” said Paul Shaffer, Vice President & Managing Director of Westport DOEM North America.

EPA certifications have been received for the following CNG models: F-150 5.0L CNG; Transit 3.7L CNG; F-450/550/650/750/53/59 6.8L CNG; E-450 6.8L CNG.

To learn more about Westport‘s CNG and LPG Ford vehicle products, visit www.westport.com/wing.

 

University of Chicago Startup Turns Renewable Energy into Natural Gas

November 30, 2016

A technology developed at the University of Chicago, and now being commercialized by a University startup, is addressing the intermittent nature of renewable energy, sources such as wind and solar power, by converting electricity into methane gas. That gas can be then stored, transported and used wherever natural gas is used, including as a transportation fuel or for the generation of power on demand.

Laurens Mets, associate professor of molecular genetics and cell biology, began developing the technology in the late 1990s. From it, the startup Electrochaea was born with support from the University’s technology transfer office, which is now part of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“Direct scaling at this pace and scale is rare in the energy field,” Mets said. “But we found this technology to be eminently scalable, so I’m very confident about its commercialization.”

Electrochaea was selected for the 2014 Global Cleantech 100—a list of 100 private companies with the greatest potential to solve the clean energy crisis according to the market intelligence firm Cleantech Group.

The process starts with surplus electricity that is coming from a wind farm or solar array. That power is used to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is combined with waste carbon dioxide from any of a variety of sources, such as a biogas or an industrial process, in a proprietary bioreactor in which the microorganisms efficiently catalyze conversion of the mixture into methane and water. The resulting methane can be transported in existing pipelines or converted into CNG or LNG.

Created in 2006, Electrochaea first validated the process in its laboratory in St. Louis. It began field testing Mets’ power-to-gas technology in 2011. Three years later, Electrochaea started constructing a large-scale demonstration facility at a wastewater treatment plant outside Copenhagen, with the treatment plant providing the waste carbon dioxide used in the conversion process. Based on the success of that project, which is called BioCat and went live in June, Electrochaea is building a 10-megawatt plant in Hungary that will be the world’s first commercial-scale power-to-gas plant.

Electrochaea plans to build an additional plant in Switzerland and envisions plants with up to 1,000 megawatts of capacity. Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is building a small demonstration plant at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado.

“Methane could be the primary source for much of society’s energy needs including electricity, heating, industrial processes and transportation,” said Seth Snyder, leader of the Water-Energy-Sustainability Initiative at the Argonne National Laboratory. “Therefore, a robust way to create clean methane from renewable sources has the potential to transform our energy systems.”

 

Clean Energy Subsidiary Adds CEO to Management Team

November 29, 2016

NG Advantage LLC, which is majority owned by Clean Energy announced that it has named Enrico “Rico” Biasetti as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Biasetti succeeds Tom Evslin, who will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Expanding our management team will help us maintain excellent service to our current customers as well as grow our customer base beyond New York and New England,” said NGA Chairman Tom Evslin. “Rico has an entrepreneurial spirit and experience forming and leading companies. He has successfully been selling complex energy products for years and has been responsible for the procurement and delivery of crucial supplies to industrial customers.”

NG Advantage pioneered trucking CNG to end-users in the US and is the leading provider of the “virtual pipeline” service. The company carries natural gas to industrial and commercial customers providing them the environmental and economic benefits of a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, despite their being beyond the reach of natural gas pipelines.

Prior to coming to NG Advantage, Rico was President and COO of Biogenic Reagents/Michigan Renewable Carbon, a company that manufactured carbon from renewable biomass which he co-founded. Before Biogenic, Rico was General Manager of the $25 million Sustainable Division of Cliff Natural Resources. Rico’s early career was focused on business development in energy services to industrial markets, commodity trading, risk management, and M&A.

 

Freedom CNG Names New Director of Business Development

November 29, 2016

Freedom CNG, a leading developer of CNG fueling infrastructure in Texas, announced the promotion of Eddie Murray to Director of Business Development. In this role, Mr. Murray will develop, execute and manage strategies to encourage the adoption of CNG for local fleets at current and future Freedom CNG stations.

“Eddie has been instrumental in expanding Freedom CNG’s customer reach by introducing new CNG fuel users to its existing stations,” said Bill Winters, Freedom CNG Co-Managing Partner. “He is focused on developing long-term relationships with prospective clients, partners, and industry organizations with the goal of establishing Freedom CNG’s reputation as the highest quality CNG provider within the transportation industry.”

Eddie brings more than thirty years of experience in sales, marketing, and logistics to Freedom CNG. Most recently, Eddie led the effort at Southwestern Energy to develop CNG markets for municipalities and transportation companies in Texas and Arkansas. Eddie has served on the American Natural Gas Association Transportation and Equipment subcommittee and the Greater Houston Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance membership committee. He received his Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing and Management from Rider University.

 

ABS Joins Coalition to Advance the Use of LNG as a Marine Fuel

December 5, 2016

ABS, a leading provider of classification services to the global marine and offshore industries, was recently added as one of the newest partners to the SEA\LNG coalition. The objective of the coalition is to accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel.

“We bring to this organization more than 150 years of experience and a strong commitment to helping create a safer and more sustainable shipping industry,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “As a technology and innovation leader, ABS understands future energy demands and the environmental drivers of today’s dynamic markets and takes a forward-looking approach to helping balance those challenges with operational safety and performance needs.”

SEA\LNG brings together key players from across the supply chain, including shipping companies, classification societies, ports, major LNG suppliers, downstream companies, infrastructure providers and original equipment manufacturers to address market barriers and transform the use of LNG as a marine fuel. At the same time that ABS joins SEA/LNG, Keppel Offshore & Marine Gas Technology Development has also joined SEA\LNG as a new partner.

Recognizing the changing landscape and increased industry focus on gas, ABS launched its Global Gas Solutions team in 2013 to support industry in developing gas-related projects. ABS classed the world’s first LNG carrier conversion, the Methane Pioneer, in 1959 as well as the first newbuild LNG carrier, Methane Princess, in 1964 and has extensive experience with the full scope of gas-related assets, including many of the most advanced carriers in service. ABS is the industry leader in LNG carriers and in providing guidance as the use of LNG as fuel for marine applications expands.