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Texas Agency Backs Natural Gas Vehicles

September 11, 2015 in CNG, Conference/Meeting, LNG, money available, NGVs by Mark Conolly  |  No Comments

Coming Solicitations Will Support Both NGVs and Fueling Infrastructure

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues to aggressively support the greater use of natural gas vehicles in the state. TCEQ has launched and is preparing multiple solicitations under TERP, the Texas Emission Reduction Plan, to bankroll both NGVs and their associated fueling infrastructure for the next two fiscal years.

The Questar CNG station in Dallas is the company’s third in Texas, joining Houston and DeSoto.

TCEQ would like to see more NGV fueling outlets like this Questar CNG station in Dallas.

Each program will likely be offered in two annual stages.

TCEQ is targeting such heavily trafficked areas as the Texas Clean Transportation Triangle roughly bordered by Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, and nonattainment areas in the state.

“Texas is a model for how a state can affect the market, conducting feasibility studies and then moving ahead with a multi-year program, supporting both fueling infrastructure and vehicle purchases in a strategic manner,” says Karen Mann, senior VP at Fleets & Fuels publisher Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), a long-time supporter.

Onward and Upward

Texas sales of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas rose 78% in fiscal 2015, the Railroad Commission of Texas reported this past summer. Fiscal 2014 had itself seen a doubling from fiscal 2013 (F&F, August 20, 2014).

Looking to maintain the momentum, TCEQ is preparing the $37.8 million Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program – accounting for about 16% of overall TERP funding – to replace diesel vehicles of greater than 8,501 pounds GVWR with NGVs, reimbursing up to 90% of the incremental cost depending on mileage. Repowers are covered.

TNGVGP Opening Next Month

More than 60 nonattainment counties are eligible. The vehicles must be used 75% in the Clean Transportation Triangle and Texas non attainment areas.

TCEQ is currently accepting applications from dealers who want to participate in the TNGVGP, which is expected to open in October. The agency is a holding workshops in Austin on November 5, Arlington on November 9, and Houston on November 11 to acquaint dealers with the program.

Among the other standout solicitations pending, with their TCEQ allocations

  • Twin $11.8 million infrastructure initiatives – one for the Clean Trnasportation Triangle and another for non attainment counties – with as much as $400,000 for compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas fueling outlets, and $600,000 for communed CNG-LNG facilities.
  • $9.5 million for the Texas Clean School Bus Program, aimed at retrofitting pre-2006 vehicles for natural gas. Converted buses must then operate for a minimum of five additional years. Public and charter schools in Texas are eligible to apply. TCEQ sets the eligible counties within each grant round, with an emphasis on nonattainment areas.

Separately, the Houston-Galveston Area Council has $6 million to support the replacement of older, highly polluting Class 8 vehicles and $325,000 for alternative fuel school buses (school districts only) in an eight-county area.

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Source: TCEQ with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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