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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: May 1, 2017


  • Federal Transit Administration Announces $55 Million for Low or No Emission Buses
  • California Transit Authority Debuts First Near-Zero Emission Engine
  • Quantum Expands Line of Back-of-Cab CNG Fuel Modules
  • Kraus Global Introduces Optima Line of CNG Fueling Dispensers
  • Fortistar CNG Stations and Other Projects Avoided 2.1 Million Tons of GHG Emissions
  • S. Survey Ranks Piedmont Natural Gas a Top Utility Environmental Champion
  • Quantum Expands CNG Virtual Pipeline Trailer Capabilities, Container Product Line
  • Upcoming Renewable Natural Gas Symposium Hosted by UC Riverside’s CE-CERT
  • SoCalGas to Host Next Generation Natural Gas for Transit Operations Webinar


Federal Transit Administration Announces $55 Million for Low or No Emission Buses

May 1, 2017

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity to apply for $55 million in FY 2017 funds for the Low or No Emission Bus Discretionary Grant Program. The funds will be awarded competitively for the purchase or lease of low or no emission vehicles that use advanced technologies, including natural gas fuel systems, for transit revenue operations. The funds can also be used for related natural gas equipment or facilities.

Projects may include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce development and training activities, and project administration expenses. FTA may award additional funding that is made available to the program prior to the announcement of project selections. Only $31.5 million is available under the Continuing Resolution that expires on April 28, 2017.

Eligible applicants include a designated recipient of FTA grants, states, local governmental authorities and Indian Tribes. Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the grants.gov website by June 26, 2017. Instructions for applying can be found on FTA’s website. The funding opportunity ID is FTA-2017-003-LowNo.

webinar for this opportunity will be held May 11, 2017 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT. For more information, contact Tara Clark, FTA Office of Program Management, at 202.366.2623 or tara.clark@dot.gov.


California Transit Authority Debuts First Near-Zero Emission Engine

April 27, 2017

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) has unveiled its first near-zero natural gas vehicle, a 40-foot bus equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL G 280 NZ engine. RTA says the new engine has a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, compared to its already clean-burning engines.

The new engine gets better performance due to an enhanced control system that monitors sensors on the fuel and ignition systems. Other factors include a three-way catalyst that’s packaged as part of the muffler and provides consistent emissions control, and closed crankcase ventilation system that reduces emissions.

“RTA is proud to be a long-time advocate of cleaner, greener technologies,” said RTA Chair Linda Krupa. “This is another example of how we are exploring new and innovative ways to travel.”

The new engine was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.


Quantum Expands Line of Back-of-Cab CNG Fuel Modules

April 27, 2017

Quantum Fuel Systems announced it will be manufacturing a new CNG fuel module called the Q-Cab60. Quantum’s new module provides up to 60 DGEs and allows for back-of-cab window visibility. Additionally, the Q-Cab60 is equipped with one Q-Lite cylinder, which was developed by Quantum and is one of the lightest tanks in the industry weighing only 135 lbs.

Quantum’s Q-Cab and Q-Rail CNG storage modules are integrated CNG fuel systems for heavy duty truck applications. The Q-Cab product line is installed behind the cab allowing for a larger capacity of CNG. The Q-Rail product line is installed on the traditional open rail-space of the truck. Both systems have integral fuel receptacles, pressure relief devices, pressure gauges, fuel metering subsystems (including pressure regulator and thermal management), and a single harness truck-wiring interface to use the OEM fuel gauge.

Quantum will be showing its products at the ACT Expo in Long Beach, California, May 2 to 3.


Kraus Global Introduces Optima Line of CNG Fueling Dispensers

April 26, 2017

Kraus Global has introduced the new Optima CNG fueling dispensers. Featuring Pulse, a proprietary new companion display, and a powerful new MICON NEXTGEN 1.0, Optima enables enhanced station control and performance with its data and communication capabilities.

Optima is the result of three decades of CNG focused dispenser experience and feedback from the field. Recognizing a need for easily accessible data and configuration tools, Optima provides full access to error codes, software upgrades, and fill parameter set points either locally or remotely from the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Real time data is visible on the Pulse display, allowing users to follow fill progression as it communicates the starting and ending parameters of their filling process, reassuring that a target was established and then safely met.

“We have been beta testing Optima for approximately 18 months and have received positive feedback from our customers,” said President and CEO of Kraus Global Ossama AbouZeid. “Their support has been tremendous and we appreciate their loyalty.”

AbouZeid stated Optima is currently being used by a number of CNG fuel providers, including Alternative Vehicle Services Group (AVSG), Clean Energy, Independent Fueling Systems, Love’s Trillium, Nopetro, PG&E, Timco, US GAIN, and others.


Fortistar CNG Stations and Other Projects Avoided 2.1 Million Tons of GHG Emissions

April 24, 2017

Fortistar, who investments in energy sources primarily focused on the transitioning to a zero-carbon economy, announced that it avoided 2.125 million tons of GHG emissions in 2016.

“For nearly 30 years, Fortistar has been focused on the transition to lower carbon energy sources. We believe strongly that sustainable energy generation done right makes financial sense—for private companies, municipalities and for federal agencies,” said Mark Comora, President, Fortistar.

For more than three decades, Fortistar has built, invested in, owned, and managed a portfolio of low-carbon energy initiatives in the United States and Canada. Fortistar’s investment and operational successes include: More than 100 CNG fueling stations built or managed in states across the US, including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and California by portfolio company TruStar Energy; 31 renewable landfill gas to energy facilities with 180 megawatt capacity for municipalities in Los Angeles, California, Prince William County, Virginia, and various locations for the Department of Defense; and 65 megawatt of renewable energy capacity generated by biomass in Canada.

Fortistar recognized the opportunities and challenges at the intersection of significantly increasing demand for energy and rising environmental concerns. Recognizing this, the company developed an investment strategy connecting people, capital and low-carbon energy solutions to return positive and sustainable results.


U.S. Survey Ranks Piedmont Natural Gas a Top Utility Environmental Champion

April 26, 2017

A new survey of utility customers nationwide has named Piedmont Natural Gas a Top Utility Environmental Champion of 2017 for initiatives such as slashing emissions in its vehicle fleet and making its facilities more energy efficient.

This is the third consecutive year Piedmont has earned the designation, which is based on a study of nearly 58,000 customers among 130 of the nation’s largest residential gas and electric utility providers. Piedmont is one of 40 companies on the list released by Cogent Reports and Market Strategies International.

Cogent Reports conducted surveys among residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers between the second quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, asking them to rate their utility company’s dedication to environmental stewardship.

“Environmental stewardship is a core value for Piedmont, and we are gratified to know that our customers are aware of and value the many ongoing initiatives Piedmont has undertaken to reduce our impact on our environment and help our customers do the same,” said Frank Yoho, head of gas operations for Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy.

Piedmont has taken a lead role in championing the use of cleaner, lower-cost CNG as a transportation fuel, resulting in a surge in CNG demand from trucks and other fleet vehicles. Piedmont is nearing completion of its 11th public CNG refueling station, located near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321 in Hickory, North Carolina. The company has also converted about one-third of its own corporate fleet of approximately 900 vehicles to run on CNG.


Quantum Expands CNG Virtual Pipeline Trailer Capabilities, Container Product Line

April 27, 2017

Quantum Fuel Systems announcecd its Virtual Pipeline Trailers for CNG will have expanded gas transportation capabilities including biogas, hydrogen and flare gas in 2018. By adapting its current design, Quantum’s Virtual Pipeline Trailers are able to better meet the expanding needs of the industries transporting CNG, biogas, hydrogen, and flare gas.

In addition, Quantum Fuel Systems will produce a new Virtual Pipeline Trailer—the VP-20—in early 2018. These 20-foot modular containers will have a gaseous capacity of approximately 220,000 Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) and weigh less than 25,000 lbs. fully loaded. This smaller-sized container enables increased flexibility for customers that require smaller onsite storage capacity and the adaptability between trailers to be transported in tandem for future onsite customer demands.

Currently, Quantum is delivering VP-650TM and VPLITE Virtual Pipeline Trailers to customers. The VP-650TM trailer has a gaseous capacity of approximately 650,000 SCF. With Quantum’s product line expansion, customers now have the flexibility to haul CNG in the size and capacity that meets their needs.

“For some Quantum customers, bigger is better, but for others, the need to transport a really large amount of gas just isn’t there,” said Mark Arold, President of Quantum. “The VP-20 addresses industry needs for a smaller, modular trailer, and allows Quantum to expand our customer base.”

Quantum’s virtual pipeline solution for transporting CNG and other gaseous fuels uses industry-leading, high capacity tanks that are easily transportable domestically and globally.


Upcoming Renewable Natural Gas Symposium Hosted by UC Riverside’s CE-CERT

May 1, 2017

The College of Engineering—Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the University of California Riverside will be hosting its Renewable Natural Gas Symposium on May 17, 2017 at the Bourns Technology Center in Riverside, California. The in-depth symposium is designed for an engaging discussion on the key benefits and challenges of moving the production of RNG from pilot-scale demonstration projects to widespread commercial production and utilization.

In keeping with the mission of newly opened Center for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG), the symposium will examine opportunities to improve technology—production efficiencies—and mitigate common barriers—regulatory issues, feedstock logistics/pretreatment challenges, and high capital costs). Discussions will include:

  • RNG Policy in California – Past & Future
  • Renewable Hydrogen – Nexus of Fuels and Power
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Decarbonization
  • RNG’s Role in Mitigating Short Lived Climate Pollutants
  • Utility-Scale Power-to-Gas
  • Thermochemical RNG Production
  • A ribbon cutting ceremony and CRNG tour will be held.

For more information, visit the event website.


SoCalGas to Host Next Generation Natural Gas for Transit Operations Webinar

May 1, 2017

SoCalGas will be hosting a complimentary one-hour webinar titled Next Generation Natural Gas for Transit Operations on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will explore the economic and environmental benefits of near-zero NOx natural gas engines and renewable natural gas, the most important developments for sustainable transit operations in decades.

Webinar speakers will include:

John Drayton, Director, Vehicle Technology, LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) — In the fall of 2016, LA Metro deployed commercially available near-zero-emission natural gas engines from Cummins Westport. After several months of daily operations, hear how these ultra-clean engines are performing (power, range, emissions, reliability). Additionally, hear how LA Metro is procuring a steady supply of renewable natural gas to fuel its CNG bus fleet and further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Patrick Couch, VP, Technical Services, GNA (Clean Transportation & Energy Consultants) — Understand how a heavy duty vehicle with Cummins Westport’s near-zero-emission natural gas engine (the world’s first heavy duty engine certified to meet CARB’s lowest-tier optional low-NOx emission standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx) has NOx emissions that are equivalent to a heavy-duty battery-electric vehicle, even in states with the cleanest electrical grids in the nation—California, Oregon, and Washington.

David Cox, Esq., Director of Operations & General Counsel, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas — Gain insight on how renewable natural gas, which can offer some of lowest carbon intensity ratings of key transportation fuels, enables fleet operators to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent to 400 perent. Additionally, hear an update on the projected RNG supply opportunities in California, and how this ultra-low carbon fuel could viably offset the diesel consumed by heavy duty vehicles throughout the state.

To register for the webinar, visit the event website.