Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State Of The Air 2012

Date: April 24, 2012
From: Jane Warner, President & CEO

This morning, our 13th annual State of the Air 2012 report was released. California again tops the list of the worst polluted areas in the country. However, this report shows real progress is being made. In fact many cities show the best air quality in the 13 years of the State of the Air report. We owe this success to the federal Clean Air Act and progressive state and local measures to reduce emissions from cars, trucks, buses, diesel equipment, fuels, wood burning and other key sources. California Much is yet to be done however, as over 90 percent of our population still lives in areas with unhealthy air.

As part of our effort around the report, we have been aggressively reaching out to the media to share our key messages, especially on the progress that we have made. We held a successful teleconference briefing for reporters yesterday and will hold a press conference at our San Diego office today. The San Diego press conference will focus both on our State of the Air report and our partnership with leading solar firms to install solar panels on our San Diego office this May. We are pleased that the 10.5 KW solar installation to be donated by Everyday Energy, Trina Solar and Sonepar Energy Solutions will supply 25% of our building’s power through clean, renewable sources.

The State of the Air 2012 is an American Lung Association signature report and I’m proud of the tremendous effort our staff does to take it to the next level. I hope that you’ll share the report with your colleagues and family. The full report, our statewide press release, regional fact sheets, and some of the key charts and maps including the list of the most polluted cities in California is available at here.

Thanks for your support! Pass it on!


NAFTC First Responder Safety Training Webinar

NAFTC First Responder Safety Training Webinar (PDF).
Clean Cities Learning Program First Responder Safety Training Webinar on April 24.

Attached you'll find a PDF handout of the presentation. The entire video that we debuted can be viewed here. (The video is at the top of this page.) We encourage you to pass along the PDF handouts and video link to other stakeholders that may be interested.

Monday, April 23, 2012

LNG Ferry Contract Awarded

Chart Ferox, a.s., fully owned European subsidiary of Chart Industries, has received a contract to design, build and deliver an LNG fuel system for a fast ferry to be built by Incat, Australia. The boat will be the first catamaran powered by 27,000 HP gas turbines fueled by natural gas. Chart Ferox says the catamaran, measuring 325 feet in length, will be the world’s fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient, high speed ferry. The boat will be operated in Latin America. Chart is contracted to supply the on-board LNG fueling system, including the storage tank, piping and control system as well as the bunkering system. The bunkering system is designed to load two cryogenic LNG trailers simultaneously in less than one hour, creating a virtual LNG pipeline to the ferry.

BAF Celebrates 20,000th CNG Vehicle Conversion

On Thursday, BAF Technologies marked the company's 20th Anniversary and the completion of its 20,000th CNG vehicle conversion. On hand for the event was NGVAmerica Chairman Doug Clark (President of the Omaha, NE Metropolitan Utilities District), who officially took possession of BAF's 20,000th CNG conversion, a dedicated Ford F-250 pickup truck for use in the District's service fleet.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

News from the California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership

News from the California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership.
March welcomed several advancements spanning the local, regional, and national natural gas vehicle industry. The California Energy Commission recently awarded over $8.5M in funding to bring natural gas and propane powered cars, trucks, and shuttle buses to the thoroughfares of California. Funded by the Energy Commission's Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, this funding benefits individual consumers as well as public and private fleet operators. Elsewhere in the state, the Los Angeles Dodgers will offer its fans cleaner fuel transit service through the deployment of 40-foot state-of-the-art compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses as of April 3, by way of a $300,000 grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

As a testament to the federal government's support of NGVs, President Obama used a recent visit to one of Daimler's natural gas truck manufacturing plant in North Carolina to extol the benefits of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure, with an intent focus on promoting natural gas vehicles within his proposed energy agenda. Furthermore, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu proposed widespread adoption of natural gas in fueling commercial vehicle fleets at the Green Truck Summit on March 5 in Indianapolis.

Among CNGVP member news, Honda plans to collaborate with regulators in California, currently the largest and most promising market for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, to install CNG pumps to offer the alternative fuel to customers at two or more Honda dealerships this year. In addition, Clean Energy also recently designed and built a new CNG fueling facility for Saddle Creek, the first freight company in Florida to introduce CNG to its fleet. Given the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas, we are sure to see continued momentum for its use across a wide array of industries.

Los Angeles Dodgers offer fans CNG shuttle service.
Along with Metro, the baseball team will once provide a clean fuel transit service from Union Station to the stadium this season through a $300,000 grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). Service will begin on April 3 before the Dodgers' exhibition game against the Angels and continue throughout the season. The Dodger Stadium Express bus service will be provided by Veolia Transportation under contract to Metro, which will deploy state-of-the-art 40-foot compressed natural gas powered vehicles.

California Energy Commission Awards More Than $8.5 Million To Bring Natural Gas and Propane-Powered Vehicles To California.
The California Energy Commission approved funding of $8,554,000 to help bring natural gas and propane-powered shuttle buses, cars and trucks to California's roadways. The awards are funded by the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The Energy Commission already has awarded nearly $20.5 million to help buyers afford new, alternative-fueled passenger vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty buses and trucks. The on-road vehicles meet all the emission requirements of the Air Resources Board and are fully warranted by the original equipment manufacturer.

President Obama visits the Daimler plant in North Carolina to promote natural gas vehicles.
President Obama used a visit to a Daimler plant in North Carolina that makes trucks that run on natural gas as a platform to promote his energy agenda, and in the process continued to push the green-vehicle envelope. Among other things, the president touted a $1 billion "Race for the Top"-type challenge for alternative vehicle infrastructure development in up to 15 cities and a boost in the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit from $7.500 to $10.000. These are ideas the President has talked about before, but they were offered with new twists this time around-an enthusiasm for including natural gas vehicles in the programs.

Honda Looks to Dealers to Boost Natural Gas Station Network.
Honda Motor Co. (7267), the only automaker selling compressed natural gas-powered cars to U.S. drivers, wants some of its dealers to also install pumps to sell the fuel as its seeks to double sales of CNG vehicles. Boosting sales of Indiana-built Civic Natural Gas sedans requires more fuel stations, Steve Center, U.S. vice president for environmental business development, said in an interview. Honda is negotiating with regulators in California, the biggest U.S. market for CNG vehicles, seeking to have pumps placed at two or more Honda dealerships this year, he said yesterday.

DOE's Chu: Natural Gas Is a "No-Brainer".
Natural gas is "no longer a debate" for fueling commercial vehicle fleets, said U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu at this year's Green Truck Summit, which opened March 5 in Indianapolis. Chu likened America's fuel crisis to a beef-eater who can no longer afford to buy beef. With crude oil prices at well over $100 per barrel, producers are investing in riskier sources, Chu said. Arctic or deepwater oil wells cost as much as $5 billion each to start up, so producers want to get the highest price possible for the investment.

Florida freight company Saddle Creek unveiled new CNG-powered trucks and filling station.
The company invested about $22 million in the 40 vehicles and the fueling facility and expects to add another 80 such natural gas trucks in coming months. "It's going to take over 4 million pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere every year," said Saddle Creek President Michael DelBovo. "That's huge." According to Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, who attended the unveiling ceremony, Saddle Creek is an example that other local companies can emulate to achieve a cleaner, safer environment. "It's a big commitment to see private companies stepping forward to do their part," he said.

American Gas Association Operations Conference; May 1-4, 2012; San Francisco, CA.

2012 ACT Expo; May 15-17, 2012; Long Beach, CA.

WGC 2012: 25th World Gas Conference; June 4-8, 2012; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

NGV 2012 Bologna: 3rd NGVA Europe International Show & Workshops; June 19-21, 2012; Bologna, Italy.

HHP Summit 2012: Natural Gas for High Horsepower Applications; September 26-28, 2012; Houston, TX.

NGV Global 2012: Mexico City; November 7-10, 2012; Mexico City, Mexico.

LNG 17: The Global Event for the Global Industry; April 16-19, 2013; Houston, Texas.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CALSTART Receives $6.6 Million In Support Of Zero Emissions Fuel Cell Buses

CALSTART announced the five awards from the Federal Transit Administration yesterday:
  • Advanced Generation Fuel Cell Bus: Integrates a smaller, lighter, and more powerful United Technologies Corporation fuel cell in a full-size transit bus built by New Flyer Industries, utilizing a BAE Systems hybrid electric drivetrain. CTTransit will operate the bus in Hartford, CT.
  • BUS 2010 Next Gen Compound Hybrid Fuel Cell Bus: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency with BAE Systems will integrate and test an enhanced 30 kW Hydrogenics fuel cell to power the auxiliary systems in a lower cost commercial hybrid powertrain.
  • American Fuel Cell Bus Enhancement: Ballard will develop a more robust and affordable fuel cell for integration and testing in a bus operated by SunLine Transit Agency in the Coachella Valley. SunLine has the long history of deploying and testing fuel cell buses of any transit district in the country.
  • High Voltage Air Conditioning Converter: US Hybrid, a Torrance-based company, will develop and test a high-voltage, high efficiency, converter to power air conditioning systems for hybrid buses. Air conditioning systems are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption beyond the traction system.
  • U.S. Fuel Cell Bus Market Analysis: CALSTART will conduct an analysis to assess the current market viability of fuel cell buses and provide recommendations on actions to accelerate the growth of the segment.

Another use for natural gas

An opinion piece by Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica. "Another use" means, of course, to power motor vehicles.
Until recently, the adoption of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) were most often a response to environmental and pollution concerns. In metropolitan areas, having CNG vehicles at the airport, shipping port, and transit system reduced smog-producing pollutants and cut greenhouse gases compared to diesel and gasoline engines.

While those environmental benefits still exist, the affordability of natural gas as a transportation fuel is now also a driving factor to market adoption.

Specific advantages of CNG include:
  • Affordability: CNG typically costs half the price of gasoline.
  • Abundance: CNG is a domestically produced fuel. There is more than 100 years' worth of natural gas in the United States.
  • Cleaner burning: CNG produces up to 30 percent less carbon dioxide emissions, up to 75 percent less carbon monoxide and 95 percent less particulate matter than gasoline.