The California Energy Commission has approved funding for a number of projects that will support increased numbers of cleaner, alternative fuel vehicles on California roadways, thereby helping the state meet its climate change goals. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. 2013-2014 funding priorities have also been set, with both programs including support for natural gas vehicle projects.
The state’s investments in these projects are safeguarded by matching fund requirements for awardees, and by making payments on a reimbursement basis, after invoices are reviewed and approved.
Amongst the approved awards are the following natural gas projects, totaling approximately $2.39 million.:
- City of Sacramento will receive $600,000 to install new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling equipment and refurbish existing LNG equipment in the city’s corporate yard in the south area of the city. A minimum of 30 percent of the LNG dispensed for city vehicles will be from renewable sources. The agreement includes $600,000 in match funding.
- City of Santa Clarita (Los Angeles County) will receive $300,000 to install a self-serve, commercial, compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility capable of fueling up to four vehicles at a time. The Santa Clarity Valley currently has one public CNG station, located close to Interstate 5. This project will increase access to CNG fueling along the State Route 14 corridor. The agreement includes $900,000 in match funding.
- County of Santa Clara will received $300,000 to purchase and install a publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at a county fleet management facility in San Jose. This will reduce county fleet operating costs and facilitate the county’s purchase of new CNG buses and vehicles. The county estimates the project will result in eventual fuel cost savings of $266,764 annually. Replacing older, high-polluting buses and vehicles with new CNG buses and vehicles can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement includes $714,000 in match funding.
- Murrieta Valley Unified School District (Riverside County) will receive $300,000 to construct the first phase of its planned compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure. This will support the district’s plan to replace its aging fleet of 50 diesel school buses with natural gas buses. The agreement includes $175,000 in match funding.
- Waste Management Collection and Recycling will receive $300,000 to upgrade an existing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in the city of Moreno Valley (Riverside County). This publicly accessible station, located at 17700 Indian Street, will support Waste Management’s expanding fleet of CNG powered solid waste collection vehicles. The agreement includes $398,564 in match funding.
- Poway Unified School District (San Diego County) will receive $299,157 to replace two compressed natural gas (CNG) station compressors and a control panel to provide reliable refueling for the district’s 35 CNG school buses, as well as provide public CNG vehicle refueling.
- City of Anaheim (Orange County) will receive $292,760 to upgrade an existing compressed natural gas (CNG) station to support the city’s 47-vehicle CNG fleet and provide fueling capacity for the city’s planned acquisition over the next five years of five large CNG work vehicles, such as street sweepers and garbage trucks, and nine passenger-sized CNG vehicles. The agreement includes $342,972 in match funding.
2013-2014 Investment Plan Update
The California Energy Commission has this week also adopted the 2013-2014 Investment Plan Update to support the development and use of green vehicles and alternative fuels. The update sets funding priorities for the approximately $100 million in annual state funds under the Commission’s ARFVT Program.
“This investment plan provides a solid foundation for the continued transformation of California’s transportation sector,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “The plan will guide the Commission in supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, increase fuel diversity to reduce reliance on petroleum, and help create jobs. These efforts benefit all Californians by protecting the environment and public health, and ensuring the state continues to be a leader in green technology.”
The 2013-2014 plan update includes allocation of funding allocates $100 million to projects in the following areas:
- $23 million for biofuels production and supply, with an emphasis on fuels made from waste-based and other low-carbon, sustainable materials.
- $20 million for hydrogen fueling infrastructure. An estimated 68 stations are needed to support the anticipated rollout of these vehicles in 2015-2017. Roughly 24 stations are built or in development.
- $12 million for natural gas vehicle incentives. These incentives help to pay the difference between the cost of alternative-fuel vehicles and conventional vehicles. Buyers must agree to register and operate the vehicles in California at least 90 percent of the time for three years.
- 5 million for manufacturing projects, supporting economic development and clean transportation technology.
- $4 million to emerging opportunities. This allocation is not specifically tied to any single fuel or technology type, with a priority for projects that can leverage federal funding.
- $3.5 million for regional alternative fuel readiness and planning, building on previous projects supporting these efforts.
- $2 million for centers for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles to support collaborative efforts that promote innovation, demonstrate new technologies, leverage venture capital and federal funds, and provide workforce training.
- $2 million to workforce training and development.
- $1.5 million for natural gas fueling infrastructure to support growing use of these alternative fuel vehicles by many entities, including school districts.
(Source: California Energy Commission)
Editor Note: Long Beach, California has been selected by NGV Global as the location for its 14th biennial conference and exhibition – NGV Global 2014 – May 5-9.