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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: April 24, 2017


  • Portland Approves Renewable Natural Gas Project to Fuel City Vehicles
  • First of 29 CNG Fueling Stations Opens Under Statewide Partnership in Pennsylvania
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit Debuts First of More than 400 CNG Transit Buses
  • Airport Authority Opens First Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station at BNA
  • Knoxville Utilities Board Celebrates Opening of First Public CNG Fueling Station
  • Republic Services Celebrates Earth Day with Expansion of CNG Fleet in St. Louis Area
  • Landi Renzo USA Offers CNG Option on Ford’s 2018 F-150 Pickup
  • Upcoming Renewable Natural Gas Symposium Hosted by UC Riverside’s CE-CERT
  • Congressman Kustoff Tests Drives CNG Vehicle at Gibson County Utility District
  • CNG Stations Celebrate Earth Day with Lower Fuel Prices
  • Wärtsilä to Power World’s First LNG-Powered Offshore Construction Vessel


Portland Approves Renewable Natural Gas Project to Fuel City Vehicles

April 19, 2017

The City of Portland, Oregon has authorized the construction of a renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant in north Portland that will recover and clean biogas to pipeline quality for injection into NW Natural’s pipeline. The City also approved a $12 million natural gas fueling station that will fuel its fleet of natural gas vehicles.

The City says this is its single largest climate action project, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 tons annually, generating upwards of $3 million in revenue a year, and replacing 1.34 million gallons of dirty diesel fuel with clean RNG—enough to run 154 garbage trucks for a year.

“Through partnerships like these, our pipeline system can help communities close the loop on waste, which reduces air pollution and carbon emissions, and supports diverse and innovative energy opportunities,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO. “We look forward to this being the first of many renewable natural gas projects that move us toward a low-carbon future.”

NW Natural will build and maintain the fueling station, as well as the pipeline monitoring and interconnection. The City and NW Natural believe this is an important first step toward promoting RNG in Oregon.

“RNG is the lowest-carbon fuel option for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles,” said Bill Edmonds, director of environmental policy and sustainability at NW Natural. “No other technology on the market today provides that combination of environmental benefits all at once.”

The City of Portland will be on Schedule H, a tariff approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon which allows the utility to install and maintain compression facilities for customers who need on-site fueling. The fueling station is projected to be online as early as the end of 2017.


First of 29 CNG Fueling Stations Opens Under Statewide Partnership in Pennsylvania

April 20, 2017

The first of 29 CNG fueling stations under a statewide public-private partnership has opened for business in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf was joined by PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Toby Fauver, P3 Office Director Mike Bonini, and officials from Trillium CNG.

“This innovative P3 is allowing us to help transit agencies save money and take advantage of plentiful supplies of natural gas produced right here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “We applaud Trillium for reaching this first milestone and look forward to continued progress on this initiative.”

Through the $84.5 million project, Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement. The remaining stations will be constructed over the next five years. Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.

CNG fueling will be accessible to the public at six transit agency sites, with the option to add to additional sites in the future. The CNG station in Johnstown is available to the public and truck fleets. PennDOT will receive a 15 percent royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public, which will be used to support the cost of the project. The team has guaranteed at least $2.1 million in royalties over the term of the agreement.

Using the P3 procurement mechanism allows PennDOT to install the fueling stations faster than if a traditional procurement mechanism was used for each site, resulting in significant estimated capital cost savings of more than $46 million.

When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state.

Below is a list of agencies participating in the P3 project, in order of construction-start timeline:

  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Johnstown Facility (2017), includes public fueling.
  • Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, York Facility (2017), includes public fueling.
  • Mid Mon Valley Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Ebensburg Facility (2017)
  • Westmoreland County Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Centre Area Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Beaver County Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Crawford Area Transportation Authority (2017)
  • New Castle Area Transportation Authority (2017), includes public fueling
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Allentown Facility (2017)
  • County of Lebanon Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Altoona Metro Transit (2017)
  • Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Gettysburg Facility (2017)
  • Butler Transportation Authority (2018)
  • Indiana County Transportation Authority (2018), includes public fueling
  • County of Lackawanna Transportation System (2018), includes public fueling
  • Erie Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2018), includes public fueling
  • Mercer County Regional Council of Governments (2019)
  • Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation System (2019)
  • Monroe County Transportation Authority (2019)
  • Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Bradford Facility (2019)
  • Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Johnsonburg Facility (2019)
  • DuBois, Falls Creek, Sandy Township Joint Transportation Authority (2020)
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Easton Facility (2021)
  • Luzerne County Transportation Authority (2021)
  • Schuylkill Transportation System (2021)
  • Transit Authority of Warren County (2021)
  • Capital Area Transit (2021)
  • Port Authority of Allegheny County (2021)


VIA Metropolitan Transit Debuts First of More than 400 CNG Transit Buses

April 20, 2017

VIA Metropolitan Transit officially introduced the first of more than 400 new CNG buses, signaling a historic conversion of the agency’s fleet. The change to cleaner, more environmentally friendly buses is part of VIA’s multi-year plan to significantly reduce vehicle emissions, decrease operating costs, and allow VIA to carry out planned service enhancements.

“Today, we celebrate the move toward a new, environmentally sustainable era in public transportation for our region,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “VIA’s conversion to an all-CNG fleet is where the rubber meets the road for VIA’s commitment to drive innovation and connect our region with a cleaner, ‘greener’ future.”

The new 40-foot buses, manufactured by Nova Bus, have a 67-passenger capacity and will replace aging diesel buses in the current fleet. VIA will replace more than half of its existing fleet by late summer 2017, with the ongoing fleet conversion expected to be complete by 2020. The annual fuel cost savings once the new fleet is completed is estimated at $8.5 million.

VIA says a new 10-pump CNG fueling station will be the largest in the nation once it’s completely operational later this year.

VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association in 2016 as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 90 routes. Last year, VIA provided 40 million rides across the region.


Airport Authority Opens First Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station at BNA

April 21, 2017

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) officially opened its first CNG fueling station at Nashville International Airport (BNA) to fuel all BNA parking lot shuttles and CNG-fueled company vehicles.

Since the start of 2017, all 28 of BNA’s parking shuttles have been fueled by CNG. The conversion from petroleum-based fuels to cleaner burning CNG across the airport’s shuttle bus fleet is anticipated to reduce the bus fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 14 percent. MNAA is also currently in the process of transitioning all company vehicles to CNG.

“Sustainability is always a top priority in every project the Airport Authority takes on,” said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO. “We officially transitioned to CNG-fueled shuttles in early January, so from a sustainability perspective, it only made sense that we also open and operate a compressed natural gas fueling station for our new fleet.”

MNAA has been recognized for the scope and quality of its sustainable practices in recent years. Some recent awards include 2016 Airports Going Green, 2016 Airport Council International – North America Environmental Achievement Award, 2015 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in the Sustainable Performance category and “Game Changer” by the American Society of Civil Engineers.


Knoxville Utilities Board Celebrates Opening of First Public CNG Fueling Station

April 19, 2017

The Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) celebrated the grand opening of Knoxville’s first publicly accessible CNG fueling station. KUB President and CEO Mintha Roach was joined by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and other local officials for the grand opening event that included a fueling demonstration. The station will be open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This station bolsters our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and make Knoxville greener,” Rogero said. “In addition to providing service to the City of Knoxville’s CNG vehicles, it fills a void in the state’s network of public CNG stations by adding service near the junction of interstates 40 and 75.”

KUB’s commitment to sustainability was the impetus behind the decision to invest $2.5 million to open the CNG fueling station. It replaces an outdated station that was available only for KUB’s fleet.

“Opening this station means that customers now have a cleaner and more affordable transportation fuel option,” KUB President and CEO Mintha Roach said. “This is not only good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense because the average cost of CNG is lower than gasoline or diesel.”

KUB also received receipt of a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to help expand KUB’s fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. TDEC officials were on hand at the opening to present KUB a $67,500 grant, which will help fund conversion of three KUB trucks to operate on CNG. This supports KUB’s plan to double its CNG fleet to approximately 100 vehicles by 2020.


Republic Services Celebrates Earth Day with Expansion of CNG Fleet in St. Louis Area

April 21, 2017

Republic Services announced the unveiling of a CNG fueling station and the addition of 20 new CNG-powered trucks to serve customers throughout Bridgeton, Missouri. The new CNG trucks replace older diesel-powered trucks, and bring the total number of natural gas vehicles operated locally by Republic to 133.

“We are dedicated to providing our customers with outstanding service while doing business in the most sustainable manner possible,” said Casey Powers, general manager at Republic Services. “This expansion embodies the responsibility we assume, as a large vocational fleet operator, to do our part to preserve the natural beauty of our environment for future generations. It also represents a Company-wide effort to reduce carbon emissions whenever possible.”

Republic Services operates a total of 181 collection trucks supporting more than 36 local municipalities and open market areas in Bridgeton. More than 73 percent of Republic’s fleet serving the local area is now powered by the domestic natural gas fuel source. Clean Energy Fuels, who originally designed and built the station, provided the upgrades and modifications to accommodate the increase in natural gas trucks.

Nationwide, Republic operates a fleet of more than 2,500 CNG vehicles and 38 natural gas fueling stations. Republic’s CNG fleet helps to save roughly 18 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. As the operator of the 8th largest vocational fleet in the country, Republic has a number of initiatives to reduce overall fuel usage, including its continued commitment to operating CNG powered trucks.


Landi Renzo USA Offers CNG Option on Ford’s 2018 F-150 Pickup

April 21, 2017

Landi Renzo USA will offer a dedicated CNG version of Ford’s 2018 F-150 pickup with multiple CNG tank configurations through its facility in Torrance, California. The truck will use the 5.0L V-8 engine with a gaseous prep package that powers the F-150 SuperCrew cab with the long box.

Landi Renzo will offer several options for fleet operators, including the various VNG tank configurations. The modifier has been working to expand its use of Ford’s ship-through logistics chain that helps expedite delivery of vehicles to fleet customers.

Landi Renzo will start taking orders for the 2018 CNG F-150 in May. Landi Renzo also said its 2018 model year products will include the F-250/350, F-450/550, F-650/750, F-53/59, and E-450 models.


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

April 24, 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.


Congressman Kustoff Tests Drives CNG Vehicle at Gibson County Utility District

April 18, 2017

Congressman Kustoff and his staff recently visited the Gibson County Utility District (GCUD) located in Trenton, Tennessee. Congressman Kustoff was fulfilling a campaign promise to General Manager Pat Riley that was made at a question and answer event. After a great discussion about natural gas and natural gas vehicles Kustoff promised Pat that he would come by to visit GCUD and tour their CNG refueling station.

The visit started with a quick tour of the facility and all the technology that GCUD employs, followed by a power point presentation about the natural gas industry in general and a focused emphasis on CNG vehicles and the national road rally that APGA and NGVAmerica hosted in 2016.

The tour then moved across the street to inspect the CNG station and fill up a CNG truck. The Congressman drove the truck to see first-hand how it operated and was impressed with the power and the smooth ride that the vehicle offered.

“I am very impressed,” said Kustoff of his visit. “We need to look at alternative forms of energy. One incident, one military action can change the price of oil and gasoline tremendously. It makes this all the more important.”


CNG Stations Celebrate Earth Day with Lower Fuel Prices

April 24, 2017

On Earth Day, April 22, drivers of natural gas fueled vehicles in Nebraska and Iowa were able to fill up their gas tanks for 99 cents a GGE at regional filling stations. Participating stations included the CNG station at the Lincoln Airport, Krueger’s BP Amoco in Lincoln, I-80 Fuel in Omaha, and Krueger’s BP Amoco in Grimes.

The stations selected Earth Day to raise awareness of CNG as an alternative transportation fuel to gasoline or diesel. In 2012, the stations collectively displaced 219,330 gallons of petroleum, which eliminated 400 tons of carbon dioxide and displaced 4,984 barrels of oil.

“We are excited to promote the economic and environmental benefits of CNG while highlighting the availability of filling stations along the Interstate 80 corridor,” said Doug Clark, president of Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) of Omaha, which opened two CNG stations in 2011. “The momentum for natural gas as a transportation fuel is growing every day, and we are seeing more interest as gasoline and diesel fuel prices continue to rise.”

M.U.D. also offered the special price at its North Gate public station in Omaha. The District operates 145 CNG fleet vehicles, including service vans, sedans, pick-up trucks, medium-duty service trucks, crew trucks and dump trucks.


Wärtsilä to Power World’s First LNG-Powered Offshore Construction Vessel

April 18, 2017

Wärtsilä says it will supply the engines and other propulsion machinery for a new offshore construction vessel being built at the Cosco shipyard in China. The ship owner is Belgian operator Dredging International (DEME), and it will be the first vessel of its kind to be fueled by LNG. Wärtsilä will also provide its LNGPac fuel storage and supply system and propulsion systems.

“The decision to utilize clean burning LNG fuel represents our commitment to provide environmentally sustainable solutions for our operations,” says Jan Gabriel, Head of newbuilding and conversion department at DEME.

The nearly 700 foot long vessel Orion will be powered by four 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel electric propulsion engines, and two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in the latter part of 2017. The Orion is expected to be delivered to the owners in 2018 and will undertake operations involving the installation of offshore windfarms in locations around the world.