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Element Markets for OCTA Biomethane

March 21, 2016 in Biomethane, CNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$7.81 Million Contract for Fuels and Consulting Services

The board of the Orange County Transportation Authority in Southern California last week approved Houston-based Element Markets Renewable Energy for a $7.81 million contract to supply biomethane fuel and related consulting services for the agency’s natural gas buses. updated March 25

OCTA is moving to use renewable natural gas, aka biomethane, to fuel hundreds of CNG buses.

OCTA is moving to use renewable natural gas, aka biomethane, to fuel hundreds of CNG buses.

Element will supply fuel for the agency’s network of fueling stations, and will handle the complex matter of federal RIN/RFS and California LCFS (low carbon fuel standard) credits.

“It’s way too complicated for us to even wrap our heads around,” says one OCTA source – who notes that when all is said and done, the agency expects to save money by switching to the renewable fuel.

More than $900,000 Worth of Credits in Hand

The agency has generated 10,539 LCFS credits since opting into the California program in March 2014, states an OCTA staff report, which adds that the average market price of LCFS credits of this past November was $86 per credit and that “to date, OCTA has not sold any of its generated credits.”

Staff estimates that between California’s LCFS and the federal RFS program, the agency stands to gain approximately $10.2 million over the next three years (based on current market prices for fuel, LCFS credits and federal RINs).

Applied, New York City, Trillium CNG

Agreement C-5-3636 between OCTA and Element is for a three-year initial term with a pair of two-year option terms. Element clients, notes the staff report, include Applied LNG, the New York City Department of Sanitation, and Trillium CNG – which operates CNG fueling facilities for OCTA.

OCTA said last year that it wanted to switch to renewable fuel to power its existing fleet of more than 340 CNG buses and 202 new ones. Estimated demand for three years at four fueling locations was stated at about 20 million DGE/diesel gallon equivalents (F&F, September 29, 2015).

The 202 new CNG buses will replace the agency’s 192 remaining LNG buses, says fleet manager Cliff Thorne. They will join 337 existing CNG buses, he told F&F, fueling at one Clean Energy Fuels and three Trillium CNG facilities.

In addition, 16 diesel-fueled articulated buses are expected to be replaced with CNG vehicles this year.

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Source: Orange County Transportation Authority with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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