The California Energy Commission late last week unanimously approved $35 million worth of funding for “a diversity of alternative fuel and vehicle types,” paving the way for contracts to be signed.
The technologies being fostered will be necessary for the state to meet its own efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals, says Calstart president and CEO John Boesel, whose organization is the largest recipient.
The various projects cover biodiesel production, natural gas vehicle technologies and incentives, and E85 fueling. “The California Energy Commission is serving as a model for other states in making this investment,” Boesel told F&F Friday.
These awards are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The program, created by Assembly Bill 118, provides approximately $100 million annually.
Among the major awards, Calstart is to receive $14,469,304 to demonstrate medium- and heavy-duty advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles. Altogether, 29 vehicles of nine different types will be used and evaluated, ranging from all-electric battery vehicles to hybrid diesel-electric work trucks, shuttle buses, and construction equipment.
Propel Fuels, as expected (F&F, May 7) is to receive $10.1 million toward installation of 101 new E85 (ethanol) fueling facilities “at existing gas fueling stations statewide,” CEC says, noting that California currently has just 51 public access E85-ethanol stations.
SacPort Biofuels Corp will receive $5 million toward a pilot facility to demonstrate a modern variant of the Fischer–Tropsch gasification process to produce renewable biomass diesel from local municipal solid waste, including green refuse, railroad ties, construction and demolition waste, and plastics. “Annually, the facility is slated to eventually produce 365,000 gallons of renewable diesel” at the Port of West Sacramento, CEC says. SacPort Biofuels is a Sierra Energy affiliate.
The Illinois-based Gas Technology Institute, is to receive $4,562,532 for two projects: a demonstration of three plug-in hybrid trucks in partnership with US Hybrid Corp and a demonstration of a natural gas version of the heavy-duty Navistar MaxxForce 13 diesel engine, in partnership with Clean Air Power.
Chico, Calif.-based Springboard Biodiesel is to receive $758,200 to help develop and build a pilot biodiesel production facility. Used cooking oil and other waste material will be diverted from landfills and used to produce up to 1,000 gallons a day of biodiesel to be used locally.
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