For Immediate Release: August 25, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards $3.5 million for Alternative Vehicle Technologies
Natural Gas, Electric and Waste Water Technologies Demonstrated with State and Private Funds

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today approved four awards that leverage more than $3.5 million in state funding with $9.5 million in private funds. The projects will reduce petroleum use, cut pollution and provide jobs by demonstrating the possibilities of installing advanced electric and natural gas vehicle charging stations, and capturing natural gas from wastewater sludge. The awards are funded from the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program.

"California absolutely must invest in low-carbon alternatives to petroleum today if we are to achieve our clean energy and environmental goals," said Energy Commissioner Anthony Eggert. "The projects the Commission approved today, which add biofuel, electric, and natural gas infrastructure, represent some of the most promising options to improve energy and economic security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector."

Here is a summary of the four projects, their costs and benefits:

  • E-85 Dispensers - The Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program is providing $1,000,000 to Propel Fuels, Inc. to add ten new publicly accessible E-85 dispensers that will help create a statewide network of alternative fueling facilities. The dispensers will displace an estimated 3,240,000 gallons of petroleum-based fuels per year, replacing it with low carbon, domestically-produced fuel throughout California. The project participant will provide $2,945,188 in additional funding. E-85 is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 44 million pounds each year and create or retain over 60 direct and indirect jobs across multiple trades and disciplines.
  • Ecoliner Electric Bus - The Energy Commission will provide $200,000 to help the Foothill Transit District create quick-charge stations for electric buses. Additional funding of $3,200,000 will be provided by the project participants. Currently operating 314 buses, Foothill Transit is one of the largest municipal public transportation providers in Los Angeles County, and is the first transit entity in California to commit to using 35-foot composite body electric transit buses for everyday service. The Foothill Transit Ecoliner electric bus demonstration project will build two quick-charge stations in West Covina for up to 12 Ecoliner buses manufactured by Proterra LLC. Three of the buses have already been placed in service. The project will install "halo" inductive charging systems that can recharge the bus batteries from 10 percent to 95 percent charge in ten minutes or less. The project will provide information to the manufacturer on battery life and performance with this type of charging.
  • Biomethane facility - The first biomethane award from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program will provide $1,830,132 to Eurisko Scientific to demonstrate a process that increases the rate of biogas production from municipal wastewater sludge. Project participants will provide additional funding of $1,870,824. This patent-pending anaerobic digestion process, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, will produce high-quality renewable fuel (either liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas) while reducing greenhouse gas, ammonia and particulate emissions. The project will use an anaerobic digester at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's wastewater treatment demonstration site in Elk Grove, California. If adopted by all wastewater treatment plants in California, this process could displace 870 million gallons - or 29 percent - of all diesel fuel consumed in the state and eliminate more than 7.3 million tons of CO2 each year.
  • Compressed Natural Gas fueling station - The City of Reedley will receive $480,400 to install a compressed natural gas fueling station as the first phase of the Central Valley Transportation Center. Working with the Kings Canyon Unified School District, Reedley is building a state-of-the-art Leader in Environmental Design (LEED) facility that will house, repair and maintain a fleet of green vehicles. The publicly accessible facility will eventually include compressed natural gas, biodiesel, E-85 dispensers and electric charging stations. Additional funding of approximately $1.5 million will be provided by the project participants. This project is expected to displace a total of more than 1.1 million gallons of petroleum fuel, reduce CO2 emissions by 8,000 pounds each year, and provide more than 300 direct and indirect jobs in the Central Valley.

Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help achieve the state's climate change policies.

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