Category: Renewable Energy

Renewable natural gas producer announces Pixley expansion

PIXLEY – Calgren Dairy Fuels and Southern California Gas Co. today announced four additional Central Valley dairies have started sending methane produced from cow manure to Calgren’s biogas operation in Pixley, where it’s processed into renewable natural gas (RNG) and injected into SoCalGas’ system. 

The Calgren facility now collects methane— a potent greenhouse gas that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change — from more than 66,000 cows at 10 area dairy farms. The additional dairies are projected to nearly double the amount of RNG produced at the facility, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing more traditional natural gas. Calgren partnered with Maas Energy Works to develop these four new dairy digesters as well as the previous six dairy digesters that have been operating since 2018.

“Over the last five years, renewable natural gas use in the transportation sector has grown by almost 600 percent,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president and chief environmental officer. “We’re looking to build on that success by delivering more renewable energy options to our customers, including renewable natural gas produced at farms, hydrogen made from surplus solar energy, and advanced fuel cell systems that can provide energy in extreme weather events. Each of these technologies will be essential to promoting the long-term reliability of our energy systems and to meeting California’s ambitious climate goals affordably.”

“Calgren is leading efforts in California on this front, working with both dairies and SoCalGas to mitigate emissions,” said Lyle Schlyer, president of Calgren Renewable Fuels. “This facility alone will eventually capture methane produced from the manure of more than 75,000 cows, preventing about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road annually.”

Renewable natural gas can rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) because it takes more climate pollution out of the air than it emits as an energy source. The RNG produced at Calgren’s facility today is used as a carbon-negative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses and long-haul trucks. RNG can also be delivered to customers to generate clean electricity and heat homes and businesses. Last year, SoCalGas committed to delivering 20 percent of the natural gas it buys for homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030.

More than 80 percent of all methane emissions in California come from organic sources like wastewater treatment plants, landfills, food and green waste and farms. In California, a 2016 law requires a 40 percent reduction of methane emissions from waste sources such as landfills and dairies, with provisions to deliver that energy to customers.

The law is expected to bolster the supply of RNG that’s already growing rapidly as cities and towns across the country look to divert organic waste from landfills. Scientists at the University of California, Davis estimate the state’s existing waste could produce enough RNG to meet the needs of 2.3 million homes. Nationally, a just-released study by ICF estimates 4,450 Trillion Btus of renewable natural gas will be available by 2040, about 90 percent of the nation’s current residential natural gas consumption.

RNG is already helping eliminate emissions from trucks and buses. Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, helping displace more than seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (how GHG emissions are measured). That’s equal to the emissions from more than a million homes’ electricity use for one year.

Research shows replacing about 20 percent of California’s traditional natural gas supply with RNG would lower emissions equal to retrofitting every building in the state to run on electric only energy and at a fraction of the cost. Using RNG in buildings can be two to three times less expensive than any all-electric strategy and doesn’t require families or businesses to purchase new appliances or take on costly construction projects.

In recent years, energy providers across the country and around the world are capturing methane emissions — from farms, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills — to create renewable energy that displaces traditional natural gas. For example:

Dominion Energy and Vanguard Renewables recently announced a $200 million partnership that includes RNG projects in five states, with additional projects planned nationwide.

CR&R, a waste management company in Southern California is using green waste diverted from landfills to make RNG being injected into SoCalGas’ pipelines.

UPS last year agreed to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG through 2026, the largest commitment for use of RNG thus far by any U.S. company.

French utility Engie plans to switch all of its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen by 2050.

SoCalGas is also working to build on RNG’s success in the transportation sector here by making it available to fuel the homes of the company’s 21 million customers across Southern California. Earlier this year, SoCalGas’ committed to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030 – as part of a broad, inclusive and integrated plan to help achieve California’s ambitious climate goals.

To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas is pursuing regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program with a goal of replacing five percent of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022. SoCalGas also recently filed a request with the CPUC to allow customers to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/renewable-natural-gas-producer-announces-pixley-expansion/article_f07bf676-37ad-11ea-8e19-bbed0fe791c1.html

Tesla’s Semi, solar and battery storage to help Frito Lay cut emissions at CA plant

American snack company Frito Lay has announced that they will make its Modesto, California distribution plant eco-friendly in an attempt to significantly decrease the amount of carbon-emissions the company is producing during its day-to-day operations. The snack-maker will utilize a number of companies to complete the operation, including Tesla.

“We are going to replace 75 pieces of distribution equipment with zero, or near-zero, emissions new equipment across forklifts, tractors, yard tractors within our Modesto operation,” Vice President of Supply Chain for PepsiCo. Michael O’Connell stated in an interview with The Modesto Bee. Frito Lay is a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Frito Lay has already put down a deposit on 100 Tesla Semi units, 15 of which will be deployed to the Modesto site. The company placed these deposits down on the Silicon Valley-based manufacturer’s new Semi when it was unveiled on November 16, 2017.

The new plan that will cut emissions significantly will be funded by a $15.4 million grant from the California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB. Along with the grant, Frito Lay is investing $13.5 million of its own money, as well as $1.8 million from American Natural Gas. The combined total of the project is $30.8 million.

https://www.teslarati.com/teslas-semi-solar-megapack-frito-lay-modesto-plant/

Multi-million dollar project aims to clean Fresno’s air, improve neighborhoods

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — From the soon-to-be cleaner air, you can see workers installing a landmark.

The solar panels on a southwest Fresno home represent the first step in a multi-million dollar journey for the city of Fresno.

“It feels good to see the first project get off the ground and benefit residents, but the best part is it’s going to allow residents to continue having affordable living in Fresno,” said City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

Jose Ledesma owns the home, but his family’s budget was getting squeezed by the high cost of electricity.

He says that in the past he’s had very high utility bills and he anticipates the installation of solar it’s going to drop significantly.

GRID Alternatives installed the panels Saturday with money from a Transformative Climate Communities grant.

“The work that we do as an organization really affects people, planet, and employment,” said Jesse Arreguin. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The company is finding people who could use solar panels to save money in three zip codes — 93706, 93721, 93701 — in southwest, southeast, and downtown Fresno.

They’re training people to install them, and they’re cutting down on fossil fuel use.

The company has $1.9 million in grant money for residential installations, so they plan to do this about 60 more times, including some bigger projects like apartment complexes.

Ledesma’s home is the first domino to fall in a huge $200 million Transform Fresno plan.

“People are going to start seeing a lot of groundbreakings, a lot of shovel ceremonies and that’s a good thing because the money is being put back into the community the way it was intended,” Arias said.

An affordable housing project in Chinatown, a community garden, and a bike trail should also get started soon.

But the biggest project will be the West Fresno Center, a satellite campus of Fresno City College in southwest Fresno.

The city has five years to finish the projects if it wants to cash in on state grants to cover about a third of the total costs.

South Valley Industrial Summit

Join us Wednesday, November 14th for the
optional pre-summit workshops offered free of
charge to industry partners. Come and learn about
new technologies and processes.
Thursday, November 15th is designed to be a
full-day event that will feature vendor booths,
keynote speakers, and various breakout sessions
offered by industry experts and practitioners.
Keynote Speakers
 President & CEO, California Dairies
 Faraday Future
 Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater Wave Company
NEW! Optional Pre-Summit Workshops
Nov. 14
 Lean Principles
 ABB Inc in Robotics
 Variable Frequency Drive Basics & Control Methods
 Intro to Machine Vision
 Safety Solutions: Introduction to Automation Safety

Could autonomous car testing be the rebirth of Castle Airport in Atwater?

September 03, 2018 12:22 PM

San Joaquin RTD picked for new PG&E electric vehicle pilot program

Central Valley Business Times

June 23, 2018

In a first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it will conduct an electric vehicle pilot program to support RTD’s long-term electric transportation needs with chargers and infrastructure improvements.

Recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, this pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new “FleetReady” program, which supports electric charging for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts, and delivery fleets.

For this new pilot with San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency.

Seeking to partner with a transit agency located in a disadvantaged community which already had electric buses and plans for more in the future in order to meet the timelines of the project proposal, PG&E chose RTD.

“Because we already had a plan for adding more electric buses to our fleet and have a long-term goal around electrification, PG&E approached us with this pilot opportunity,” says CEO Donna DeMartino. “Due to our focus on electric transportation, PG&E can jump right into creating the specifics of the pilot, which aligns with our goal of being powered by 100 percent electric vehicles by 2025.”

The budget for this pilot is $3.35 million, which includes:

  • Design of the sites
  • Cost of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Construction from the electric grid to the chargers and battery system
  • Installation of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Software for charge management
  • Collection of data
  • Ongoing analysis and evaluation
  • Handbook that other transit agencies can use to learn more about electrification

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/1708b9fc-8b7e-4db7-a9f1-408e3ef3f803.pdf

PORTERVILLE PAYS FOR FIRST TWO OF 10 ELECTRIC BUSES

Two out of an order of 10 all-electric buses have been received by the city of Porterville at a cost of about $820,000 each.

Published On March 16, 2018 – 4:57 PM
Written By David Castellon

Porterville is a step closer to becoming one the first U.S. cities with a primary fleet of all-electric commuter buses.

On Wednesday, the city made its payment on the first two of 10 38-passsenger buses ordered from GreenPower Motor Co., which did the final assembly of the buses at its temporary manufacturing facility within two large hangars at the Porterville Municipal Airport.

Portions of the assembly also occurred in Taiwan and China.

The Canadian-based electric bus manufacturer is in the process of building a 125,000-square-foot factory across the street from the Porterville airport, where it plans to fully assemble up to 150 buses a year. And depending on how many bus orders go through in the coming years, the factory could expand up to 300,000 square feet and double its rate of bus production, said Brendan Riley, GreenPower’s president.

Porterville actually took possession of the two $822,000 buses on March 8, but the cost isn’t coming from city coffers. Instead the purchases are fully funded through $9.5 million in grants from the California Air Resources Board, which besides paying for the 10 buses also will cover the purchase and installation of 11 charging stations for them.

“Funding for this project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution,” Leslie Goodbody, an engineer for the Air Resources Board, said in a written statement.

Porterville Transit Manager Richard Tree said one of the charging stations will be installed at the Porterville Transit Center, while the rest will be installed at the city maintenance yard, where most city buses are parked overnight.

For this order, GreenPower enlarged the batteries from the normal size of its EV 350 buses, extending their capacities to 400 kilowatt hours from 320 and the buses’ driving range to 250 miles on a single charge.

Riley said the Porterville buses will travel up to 230 miles a day on their routes, so they shouldn’t have to recharge until they’re finished for the day, eliminating the need to swap out buses to charge them during the day.

Though the city has the two of the new buses, Tree said they may not be put into service for another 45 days, as Porterville Transit logos still need to be adhered to them, while GreenPower will help the city conduct field tests and train transit drivers on the new buses.

Once they’re on the road, two diesel buses will be retired, and the Porterville’s 16 compressed natural gas-powered buses will continue to be used while they’re retired at a slower rate through 2029, said Tree, adding that once all the GreenPower buses are delivered, they will be the primary buses working city bus routes.

Riley said GreenPower will make another bus it owns available to Porterville on occasions when the city needs it.

As for the rest of Porterville’s bus order, Riley noted that the first two buses took six months to build, and the next three are expected to be ready in May, while the remaining five could be ready in mid summer.

As for the new GreenPower factory, he said the initial facility could be finished by the end of summer.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/porterville-pays-first-two-10-electric-buses/