The Energy Commission approved Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) projects, which must demonstrate the viability of bringing advanced fuels technology to the marketplace. More than $2.7 million distributed to seven school districts and cities will fund projects that establish or expand infrastructure necessary to store, distribute and dispense compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in natural gas vehicles.
The solicitation, ref. Natural Gas Fuelling Infrastructure – PON-14-608, sought proposals from school districts and other public entities to fund projects that establish or expand infrastructure necessary to store, distribute and dispense compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Seven out the 13 Approved Proposals are to receive funding as follows:
- BEAUMONT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: $500,000 grant to replace an existing and outdated CNG fueling station. This new filling station will have additional CNG fueling capacity to accommodate the growing needs of the School District and City of Beaumont.
- FONTANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (FUSD): $500,000 grant to install and operate new CNG fueling equipment at their existing CNG station. The new equipment is necessary to accommodate expected increases in the number of CNG buses in the FUSD fleet and supplement existing compressors which are currently operating beyond designed limits to meet required throughput.
- FRESNO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: $500,000 grant to expand infrastructure necessary to store, distribute and dispense CNG to school busses currently owned and operated by the district and support the future deployment of additional CNG school buses.
- LINDSAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: $245,418 grant to replace decommissioned CNG fueling equipment at their existing CNG station. LUSD’s current CNG vehicle fleet has been forced to travel many miles off-site to refuel, preventing the school district from achieving the full cost benefits of CNG vehicles.
- RIALTO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: $500,000 grant to construct and operate a CNG fueling station that will serve the school district and surrounding community.
- CITY OF SACRAMENTO: $250,000 grant to install CNG fueling infrastructure at their North Area Corporation Yard. The City currently has 21 CNG vehicles and has plans to replace up to 53 diesel vehicles by 2020.
- CITY OF SAN DIEGO: $250,000 grant to install and operate a new CNG fueling facility at the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Operations Station in order to support the planned transition of the fleet’s refuse and recycling vehicles from diesel to CNG fuel. According to the city’s declared goals for 2016 and beyond, approximately 20 vehicles wil be transitioned on an annual basis until all vehicles have been replaced.
In the CEC’s 2015-2016 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, published May 2015, the section on Natural Gas states: “The long-term goal for ARFVTP vehicle incentives is to increase consumer familiarity and supplier production to a point where various natural gas vehicle types can grow in the market without further subsidy. In the longer term, these vehicles can also be paired with the increased production of biomethane for a lower carbon intensity, and with other advanced vehicle technologies (such as low-NOx engines or hybrid-drive technology) to further lower all emissions. While continuing to monitor revisions to life-cycle GHG emissions, the Energy Commission allocates $10 million for FY 2015-2016 to support natural gas vehicle deployment. In using these funds, staff will continue to seek opportunities for more efficient per-vehicle incentives that can affect the sales of more vehicles.”
In September this year, ARFVTP made it possible for the City of Monterey Park to open a new compressed natural gas (CNG) station, upgraded from an outdated fueling station at City Yard, which had slow fueling capacity and functional challenges because replacement parts were no longer available. The station is one of 60 CNG or liquefied natural gas stations and five renewable gas stations in the state that have been funded through the California Energy Commission’s ARFVTP.