The California Energy Commission has approved funding of $23,110,015 for projects that will advance the development of green fuels, and the installation of fueling stations. These investments will help California to fulfill its pioneering climate change policies, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and improve the environment. This round of grants includes allocations ranging from scientific research to the development of fuelling stations.
“These awards support innovative projects that provide a crucial boost to emerging fuels and vehicle technologies,” said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. “They also benefit all Californians by creating jobs and improving air quality while helping to develop a diverse range of transportation options the state can rely on in the future.”
The awards are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. The program provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels and new vehicle technologies. By leveraging outside funding, many of these projects also attract additional investment in clean energy technology.
Amongst the list of recipients are:
Research and Outreach
- The University of California, Davis, will receive $2,770,072 to research the comparative value, benefits and drawbacks of all types of alternative fuels in California. The multidisciplinary research will be based at the university’s Institute of Transportation Studies. Findings will be used to inform the Energy Commission’s investment plans for AB 118 funds.
- tmdgroup, Inc., will receive $2,210,000 for an outreach and marketing campaign to accelerate California market acceptance and use of alternative fuels and new efficient low-carbon vehicle technologies that reduce petroleum dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. Outreach will focus on commercial and public fleet owners and managers. tmdgroup is based in Sacramento.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will receive $2,152,273 to assess the effectiveness of the Energy Commission’s AB 118 investments in alternative and renewable fuels and vehicle technology. Among the questions to be considered: How much investment is needed to bring the alternative fuel vehicle market to maturity, and when can that be expected? A summary of the most promising emerging technologies and the best strategies for attracting private investment will also be provided. This project will help the Energy Commission track its progress in reaching energy security and petroleum reduction goals as well as improve the future AB118 investment portfolio.
Natural Gas Fuelling Stations
- Sysco Food Services of Los Angeles, Inc., will receive $600,000 to develop a 24-hour publicly accessible liquefied natural gas station in Riverside. This station along the I-215 corridor in the Inland Empire will serve vehicles moving goods at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and will complement clean truck programs at the ports. The station, which will make liquid natural gas trucks more attractive to hauling operators, is expected to displace more than 812,500 gallons of diesel fuel per year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,400 metric tons per year. Sysco Food Services of Los Angeles, Inc., is based in Walnut, in eastern Los Angeles County.
- Atlas Disposal Industries will receive $300,000 to construct a new natural gas fueling station, using pipeline and renewable natural gas, at the Sacramento South Area Transfer Station on Fruitridge Road. Atlas is a waste and recycling hauler in the Sacramento region with a fleet of more than 60 trucks, 14 of which use compressed natural gas. The station will be open to private, public and school fleet operators, and is expected to serve about 155 vehicles a day, including 20 trucks.
- Bear Valley Unified School District will receive $300,000 to install a new compressed natural gas fueling station to service the district’s existing natural-gas fueled school buses and to allow the district to acquire more natural-gas fueled buses. Bear Valley Unified School District is in Big Bear Lake, in San Bernardino County.
- The South Coast Air Quality Management District will receive $217,000 to establish a compressed natural gas fueling station in the city of Murrieta in the Riverside area, near Interstate 15 and Interstate 215, along which many goods are hauled. This area has limited natural gas fueling options, creating a barrier for increased use of natural gas-fueled vehicles, including heavy-duty trucks. It is projected that this single station will displace 184,569 gallons of imported diesel fuel per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 24/7 publicly accessible station will be installed at a Southern California Gas Company facility.
- The City of Riverside will receive $200,000 to construct a compressed natural gas station at the city’s water quality control plant. The station will be used for city fleet vehicles and also be accessible to the public 24/7. Currently, the city has just one publicly accessible station for natural gas fueling. It is frequently so busy that school buses line up in the street waiting to fuel. The quantity of fuel dispensed at the station has increased 19-fold since it opened in 2004.
(This article compiled using information from a California Energy Commission press release)