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TruStar Energy awarded contract to build and maintain first CNG station in Long Beach

TruStar Energy was awarded the contract to build and maintain the first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station for the City of Long Beach, California.

The new CNG station supports the City's commitment to using cleaner, safer and domestically produced fuels for its vehicles. The City, which is in midst of shifting from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to CNG for its fleets, currently has 24 CNG-fueled vehicles. Over the next six years, the City plans to acquire an additional 307 CNG vehicles.

"Using alternative fuels for our refuse trucks and street sweepers is an important part of the City of Long Beach's commitment to more environmentally sustainable city services for residents," said Oliver Cruz, Fuel Operations Program Officer for the City of Long Beach. "Compressed natural gas is cost effective and cleaner than other fuels, and safer than liquefied natural gas."

The City's fleet was recognized as the 12th best government fleet in the United States for 2016 by Government Fleet Magazine, and was ranked the No. 1 North American Government Green Fleet in 2008.

The CNG station, which will be located at the City's Fleet Services lot at 2600 Temple Avenue, is projected to be completed by TruStar Energy in November 2016.

The station will have 100 time-fill posts, three 200 HP Ariel compressors, packaged by ANGI, and a PSB gas dryer. The time-fill system will allow the City to plan more efficiently and to store more fuel in vehicles, keeping vehicle downtime to a minimum.

Source: US Gas Vehicles

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Question of the Month: What are the key considerations when installing ethanol equipment at a fueling station?

What are the key considerations when installing ethanol equipment at a fueling station?

Answer: For those new to ethanol fueling, installing the necessary infrastructure may be unchartered territory. From fuel specifications to dispensing regulations, the recently updated Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85 and Other Ethanol-Gasoline Blends(http://www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/ethanol_handbook.pdf) is the go-to source for all your ethanol station installation needs. The Handbook is designed for those who blend, distribute, store, sell, or use ethanol blends above E10 (90% gasoline blended with 10% ethanol). Below is a summary of some of the top infrastructure considerations: 

Blend Level
If you are considering an ethanol fueling station, one of the first decisions to be made is the blend level. Specifically:

  • Low-level blend: E10
    • Regulations and Specifications: E10 is subject to the same regulations and specifications as regular gasoline.
    • Equipment: E10 can be stored and dispensed in existing gasoline fueling equipment.
    • Vehicle Applications: Any gasoline-powered vehicle
  • Mid-level blend: E15 (10.5% to 15% ethanol); other common offerings include E25 (25% ethanol) and E30 (30% ethanol)
    • Regulations and Specifications: ASTM International (ASTM) D4806 -Standard Specification for Denatured Fuel Ethanol for Blending with Gasoline for Use as Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel
    • Equipment: For underground equipment, stations must adhere to federal code, which requires compatibility. The majority of tanks and pipes are compatible with all ethanol blends. For above-ground equipment, stations must use equipment listed for the fuel being sold. A list of compatible equipment is available in the Handbook.
    • Vehicle Applications:
      • E15: Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), model year 2001 and newer conventional light-duty cars and trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles
      • E25 and E30: FFVs
      • Note: FFVs can operate on any blend of gasoline and ethanol, up to 83% ethanol.
    • High-level blend: E85 (51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season), also called ethanol “flex fuel”
      • Regulations and Specifications: ASTM D5798 - Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines
      • Equipment: E85 fueling equipment is subject to the same requirements as mid-level blend equipment.  
      • Vehicle Applications: FFVs

 

Fuel Quality
Most transportation fuel sold in the United States is blended to ASTM specifications, the fuel quality standard. These standards are recognized by federal and most state government agencies as the primary means of ensuring fuel quality. Fleets and retailers should work with their fuel suppliers to confirm that the fuel provided meets these requirements. After the installation of ethanol fueling equipment, operational precautions, such as periodic checks (e.g., once every one to two months) of fuel properties, should be performed to help assure fuel quality.

Infrastructure Requirements
An ethanol station consists of approximately 60 interconnected pieces of fueling equipment necessary to deliver fuel to vehicles, including tanks, pipes, pump, dispenser, and hanging hardware. UL (www.ul.com) is the primary third-party safety certification labora­tory that has developed standards for listing fueling equipment. 

As stated above, stations must meet federal compatibility requirements for underground equipment, which includes a letter stating compatibility from a manufacturer with specific biofuel blends or listing from a third party laboratory, such as UL. The majority of existing tanks and pipes are compatible with all ethanol blends. Some associated underground storage equipment, such as leak detection and prevention or fill equipment, may need to be replaced.  

Above-ground equipment must be listed for the fuel blend being dispensed. UL listed above-ground equipment is available for E10, E25, and E85 blends. A complete list of compatible equipment is available in the appendices of the Handbook.

Note that some stations have UL-listed E85 blender pumps capable of legally dispensing ethanol blends between E0 and E85, including mid-level blends like E25 or E30, for FFV owners.

Labeling
Federal law requires dispenser labels for ethanol blends above E10 to follow Federal Trade Commission specifications (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/8060). Labels must be placed on the front panel of the dispenser in a position that is clearly visible. Approved labels are available free of charge from the Blend Your Own website (http://byoethanol.com/dispenser-labels-available.html). Some states have additional labeling requirements; check here to see if your state does: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/state.

Safety
When handling ethanol, it is important to keep safety procedures in mind. Like gasoline, ethanol is flammable, poisonous, and may contain addi­tives that can be harmful even with casual contact. To avoid risk, personal exposure to ethanol should be minimized. To fight an ethanol fire, specific equipment, materials, and training is required. Before offering blends above E10, consult your local fire marshal to determine regula­tions governing safe ethanol handling procedures. It is also important to be familiar with specifications detailed in the E85 material safety data sheet (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/SSA_MSDS.pdf).

For additional information on installing ethanol equipment at a station, such as a full list of codes and regulations, as well as a checklist for installing and dispensing ethanol blends, refer to the Handbook.

In addition, check out the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) ethanol pages for general information, on ethanol fueling stations:

  

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

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Clean Cities Welcomes New North Florida Coalition

Wanda Forrest, Coordinator of the Northern Florida Clean Fuels Coalition in Jacksonville, and Mike Scarpino, of Clean Cities, standing next to a compressed natural gas vehicle. | Photo courtesy of Clean Cities

 

WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTS?

  • The Northern Florida Clean Fuels Coalition in Jacksonville has joined the Energy Department’s Clean Cities Program.
  • North Florida Clean Fuels launched ChargeWell, an initiative to install 27 plug-in electric vehicle chargers.
  • By offering applicants a free charging station and $7,500 towards installation, the coalition hopes to double access to charging infrastructure in the area.
Author:
Communications Manager, Clean Cities Program

 

The Energy Department’s Clean Cities program combines technical expertise from our national laboratories with local expertise from our regional coalitions. This week, we welcomed the Northern Florida Clean Fuels Coalition in Jacksonville into our network of nearly 100 coalitions across the country. As part of Clean Cities, this group will continue to minimize the use of petroleum in transportation throughout their area.

This process is so rigorous that the program’s last designation was in 2014, when we brought in North Florida’s neighbor, Tampa Bay Clean Cities. When a community wants to establish a coalition, it gathers together stakeholders interested in alternative fuels and fuel efficiency, including vehicle fleets, city governments, fuel suppliers, electric and natural gas utilities, dealerships, and other non-profit organizations. This group chooses a coordinator, who leads the effort to understand the local market and demand for advanced vehicles and alternative fuels. If the conditions aren’t right, even the best of efforts will flounder. Based on this analysis, the group sets goals and action steps with support from the national Clean Cities program. 

The North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition is well on its way towards achieving its ambitious goals. With 38 stakeholders, 2,000 alternative fuel vehicles, and 80 alternative fueling and charging stations in the region, they’re starting with a solid base. Working with 25 organizations that use alternative fuels or vehicles, in 2014 alone they reduced more than 2.4 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum.

The coalition has enabled a number of these efforts through $5 million in incentives distributed to local fleets and infrastructure providers.

The Jacksonville Transit Authority plans to adopt more than 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by 2020 as well as develop a CNG fueling station. St. John’s County is purchasing 130 medium-duty CNG vehicles and has found a developer to build and operate a public CNG fueling station.

The coalition has also supported some seriously innovative projects. They’ve provided funding for the Florida East Coast Railway to test four locomotives that can run on liquefied natural gas, potentially displacing up to 80% of their diesel use. Because the coalition helped the City of Jacksonville purchase compressed natural gas trucks, the city is now exploring producing renewable natural gas from two closed landfills.

In partnership with the local utility JEA, North Florida Clean Fuels launched ChargeWell, an initiative to install 27 plug-in electric vehicle chargers. By offering applicants a free charging station and $7,500 towards installation, the coalition hopes to double access to charging infrastructure in the area. JEA is offering an additional $500-$1,000 incentive for plug-in electric vehicle buyers. The coalition hopes these efforts can further accelerate the market.

On the other end of the spectrum, the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition is working with the Jacksonville Port Authority to understand the types and ages of trucks that use the port. Based on this data, they hope to launch a Clean Truck program to reduce air pollution from these vehicles. They are also working with shipping companies that are using liquefied natural gas in their container ships.   

From plug-in electric vehicles for consumers to the biggest ships, the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition is already finding creative ways to use less gasoline and diesel in their area. We know that they’ll be a great asset to Clean Cities now and into the future. 

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