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Jindal Administration Invest $10 Million on GPS System for Fleet Savings

The Jindal administration has begun installing a unique GPS system on 10,000 plus state-owned vehicles.  The GPS tracks driver’s routes, driving habits, and monitors speed. The data is then transferred to a computer system that sorts the data.

Jan Cassidy, assistant commissioner of procurement, says that the system is not meant solely to monitor state employees, but to make them more aware of their habits behind the wheel.

The main reason the state invested $10 million into this project is because they expect to see $30 million in savings within the next five years. By optimizing their routes and monitoring driving habits, they expect the savings to come from fuel use reductions, insurance, and maintenance costs. 

In addition to monitoring driving habits, the system also notifies administration when an employee is speeding.

The Department of Agriculture was the first to buy into this system in 2006, and they have had positive results across the board. The GPS system started as a way to keep up with firefighting personnel when they were in dangerous situations. The system expanded from there with Mike Strain, Secretary, installing the technology on tractor-trailers, cars, and other vehicles at the Dept. of Ag.

Strains said in the first year with the GPS system, “the amount of fuel dropped 28.7 percent from 567,212 gallons purchased in 2009 to 404,264 gallons bought in 2010.”  Agriculture had 627 vehicles that first year and currently has 494 vehicles.  Strain said he heard “Big Brother is watching” complaints from employees at first, but those complaints have dropped off.  “It does change driving patterns and it has lowered insurance.” 

About 300 vehicles has the GPS system installed last week, and the administration says that they plan to have the installation process completed by November. 

Read more about the project here: TheAdvocate.com

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Renewable Natural Gas: Making wastewater biogas work for you

Private and public industries in communities across the U.S. are converting their fleets to cleaner-burning, domestically produced alternative fuels. Why not power those fleets with fuel that's already produced by the community? Grand Junction, Colorado did just that, and it’s a huge success.

Biogas, a natural byproduct of landfills and wastewater treatment plants, is usually considered a nuisance that needs to be discarded in a [hopefully] cheap and safe manner. The gas is usually released into the atmosphere or flared off.

However, The City of Grand Junction, Colo., is turning the nuisance gas into a resource for the city by converting biogas into compressed natural gas (CNG).

The City of Grand Junction took its first step toward energy independence in 2010 when it purchased four CNG-powered refuse trucks. One year later, it opened a private slow-fill station to refuel those trucks and a fast-fill facility to serve private CNG vehicles. In that same year, Grand Junction was flaring off 100,000 cubic feet of biogas every day at its Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant. The gas was 64% methane, and while 16% of the gas was used to heat the facility, the rest was flared off, into the atmosphere.   

The city began investigating its options for converting to alternative fuels back in 2006 and eventually decided on a strategy that included converting biogas produced at the Persigo plant into usable CNG.

The decision to convert the biogas into a usable natural gas is largely justified by the biogas recycling plant’s return on investment, Dan Tonello, Grand Junctions’ Wastewater Service Manager, told NGT News.

“Fuel cells had an 81-year payback. Micro-turbines had a 10-year payback and converting biogas to CNG was nine years. Now that we’re up and running, we’re looking at a seven-year payback,” he said.

When this project came to fruition in April 2015, Grand Junction became the only city in the U.S. to convert biogas produced by a wastewater treatment plant into CNG.

Including the cost of a five-mile underground pipeline from the wastewater plant to the refueling station, the entire project totaled $2.8 million, $500,000 of which was paid for by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Now, the biogas that for decades had been burned off and released into the atmosphere is converted into enough CNG to power Grand Junction’s entire fleet of 38 vehicles, and will also fuel the 13 more the city has ordered. The system produces the equivalent of 142,000 gallons of gasoline a year and reduces annual CO2 emissions by 3 million pounds.

An added benefit is that Grand Junction’s refueling station has generated interest and investment in CNG among private fleets and individuals in the area, along with enhancing the nation’s alternative fuel infrastructure.

“Any time you can come up with a project that saves money and shows environmental benefits, I’d say you’ve hit a home-run,” Tonello said.

Learn more about how to start a similar project in Louisiana at the Louisiana Clean Fuels and Energy Vision Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Shreveport on September 23. More details here: http://louisianacleanfuels.org/meetinginfo.php?id=15&ts=1440688602

This blog was adapted from the NGT News post, City ‘Hits A Home Run’ with Renewable Natural Gas Project.

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Baton Rouge Study Shows Delays and Congestion Cost Commuters $1,262 Annually…Learn What You Can Do About It Sept. 16th!

The Baton Rouge Business Report says that Baton Rouge residents are spending $1,262 per year from traffic congestion.  The study completed by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX shows that the city’s traffic is comparable to much larger cities; including Phoenix and Detroit.  Baton Rouge is also ranked as the 11th highest city for most traffic congestion. 

In order to combat the traffic problem, LCF has partnered with the Louisiana Dept. of Energy Quality, the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition, and the Capital Region Planning Commission to promote the new software called Geaux Ride

The software was purchased by CRPC in early 2015, and the partner organizations have been working together over the past few months to promote the program.  Geaux Ride is a carpooling solution that matches riders based off of their workplace, daily routes, and personal preferences for carpooling partners.   By logging your miles traveled carpooling, Geaux Ride calculates individual money savings as well as your environmental impact; i.e. measuring your emission reductions.

To roll out the program, an introductory celebration will be held in Downtown Baton Rouge’s Town Square on September 16th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.   FREE lunch and refreshments will be available to attendees, and while you’re grabbing lunch, watch our Geaux Ride video to see how you can help the traffic problem in Baton Rouge!  

Several state agencies have already signed on to participate in Geaux Ride; including: the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development.  We hope more employers take advantage of this FREE software to assist their employees in carpooling efforts.

Geaux Ride has already caught several news outlets’ attention.  Recently, Geaux Ride was featured by the Baton Rouge Business Report and NOLA.com.  To see what they hype is about, join us in Downtown Baton Rouge Sept. 16th!

In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to LABEQ's Oliver Pollock room. 
Galvez Bldg. (DEQ-HQ)
Oliver Pollock Room C111
602 North Fifth Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

Want to sign up?
Contact JT Sukits at the Capital Region Planning Commission
JTSukits@brgov.com

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MotorWeek Highlights: Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Aid in Emergency Recovery Efforts

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Aid in Emergency Recovery Efforts

In honor of National Preparedness Month in September, this week’s Auto World segment “Emergency Alternatives” features Clean Cities emergency preparedness efforts. These include stakeholder fleets that have assisted in times of need as well as program efforts with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to increase visibility of the need for emergency planning, helping emergency fleet managers to make alternative fuels a key part of their disaster preparedness strategies.

Produced by Maryland Public Television's MotorWeek program, this Auto World segment will air on PBS stations nationwide starting August 28, 2015. For show times in your area, check the MotorWeek and Discovery Channel websites. MotorWeek is also available in high definition on Velocity by Discovery.

Recent Additions

New Hampshire Railway Makes Tracks With Biodiesel

Cleveland Car Dealership Working Toward a More Sustainable Future

Watch previous MotorWeek videos on the Alternative Fuels Data Center and subscribe to updates on the Clean Cities YouTube channel.

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Member Services Representative

Are you passionate about sustainability and have "mad" CSR skills? Apply to LCF for a part-time/contract position today!

Member Services Representative & Stakeholder Outreach Coordinator:  part-time, contract position with a statewide non-profit organization located in Baton Rouge, LA.

15 Hours / Week    |    $20.00 / hour

Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) is a US Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, supported by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and member organizations. By providing fleets with objective data, technical resources and the right connections, LCF helps public and private fleets adopt cleaner burning, domestically produced alternative fuels, vehicles and fuel saving technologies.

This position reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for overseeing member services and stakeholder engagement.

Ideal candidate posses excellent communication and organizational skills and a passion for sustainability and alternative fuels. Fund-raising and sales experience a plus, but not required. Must have working knowledge of MS Office and be comfortable with public speaking. Responsibilities include: cold calling fleets and prospects, recruiting new members, attending networking events and workshops as well as some administrative tasks.

Candidate must have a college degree and a valid Louisiana driver’s license. After 6 months, contractor may have the opportunity to amend their contract to include additional tasks and hours.

Send Resume with references to: Ashaneyfelt@louisianacleanfuels.org. No calls or walk-ins please.

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New Green Dorm for LSU Students

If you’ve noticed a sudden traffic increase in Baton Rouge this week, it’s because of LSU move-in week!  Classes begin Aug. 24th, so thousands of students are making their way to campus dorms and apartments. 

Some incoming students get to experience the newest in living arrangements on campus in Cypress Hall which is the 1st eco-friendly dormitory hall at LSU.  It’s built from the ground-up with recycled materials and is designed to be energy efficient.  The dormitory features solar panels and sensor lighting in each room.  Cypress Hall will be the new home for more than 300 students this year.  LSU officials say they plan to submit for LEED certification with the potential to reach silver status. 

“What makes Cypress different from our other facilities on campus are the preparations that’s went into everything from taking this previous parking lot and building this beautiful facility, to the constructions products that were used, to recycling the construction products,” said Catherine David, Associate Director of Communications and Development of LSU Residential life.

The dorm features an indoor bike storage area and Bio swells to control storm water as well as to filter storm waste. 

LCF is especially excited about the dorm’s electric vehicle charging stations!! We will be working with residential life to promote these stations and record their usage to track alternative fuel use in the state of Louisiana.  

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NGTNews: Would Proposed Heavy-Duty Truck Rules Help or Hurt a Fleet's Bottom Line?

Fleet operators in the U.S. will ultimately save money if higher federal fuel-efficiency requirements for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are put in place, according to a new report from the clean transportation organization CALSTART.

The study comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hold a public hearing today in Long Beach, Calif., on proposed Phase 2 mileage and greenhouse-gas emissions standards for such vehicles.

The Obama administration unveiled the Phase 2 proposal in June, and the new standards would apply to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, tractors, trailers and engines manufactured in model-years 2021 to 2027. The EPA and NHTSA recently held its first public hearing on the proposal in Chicago.

CALSTART, a national organization whose members include 150 firms, fleets and agencies, says it commissioned the report to find out whether more aggressive fuel-economy standards would help or hurt fleet-based businesses’ bottom lines. From big delivery companies, to shipping and moving companies, to regional businesses like dairies and food-supply companies, to local firms that rely on delivery and service vehicles, businesses depend on heavy-duty vehicles to get the job done.

“Our report, Higher Fuel Economy - Working for Fleets, makes a strong economic case for increased fuel economy,” says Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president of CALSTART. “Our business case modeling approach was developed with fleet owners and operators who are on the front line of this issue. And based on our survey, they believe that investing in more fuel-efficient trucks up front can be good for business in the long run.”

“Fleet managers support improved fuel efficiency in their vehicles, but they also have to account for any increased purchase costs, as well as be aware of any potential increase in maintenance costs,” adds Phillip E. Russo, CEO of the NAFA Fleet Management Association, which collaborated with CALSTART to gather feedback from fleets for the report. “By showing fleets that fuel-efficiency savings may exceed any additional up-front costs for efficient new vehicles, this report addresses head-on one of the primary concerns the industry has had about boosting fuel efficiency.”

CALSTART worked with NAFA member fleets to validate key metrics and develop models to show what higher gas mileage requirements would mean for companies’ cashflow. The report finds that even when higher fuel-economy standards result in higher truck costs up front, fleet-based businesses will come out ahead in the long run because they will save even more money at the pump, according to CALSTART.

The report looked at increasing fuel economy by up to 40% over 1990 levels for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by 2025 - in most cases, a more ambitious target than the EPA and NHTSA are now discussing. CALSTART says the report found different payback periods for different classes of trucks, but viable business cases.

For example, long-distance big rigs can travel 125,000 miles a year. CALSTART says the study found switching to more fuel-efficient trucks could save up to $20,000 annually per truck, with a payback period for the extra investment in more fuel-efficient technology of as little as nine months.

Utility trucks, on the other hand, don’t travel as far, but they spend a lot of time idling at work sites. The study found utility trucks could see fuel cost savings of up to $9,000 annually per truck and that some fuel-saving technologies - including plug-in hybrids and engine configurations that allow for “engine-off” mode while driving - could deliver payback within 3.5 years. The most common fleet trucks - gasoline pick-up trucks and cargo vans - could see fuel cost savings of $1,600 annually per vehicle, with a break-even point for extra money spent on a more-efficient vehicle of 1.3 years.

As part of the report, CALSTART surveyed fleets on higher fuel-economy standards for trucks, to see what the people who work where the rubber meets the road think. The survey found the following:

- 87% of fleet operators would support regulations that call for higher fuel economy;

- 86% said the up-front cost of a new vehicle is the biggest concern when making a purchasing decision; and

- 89% said they would be willing to pay a higher up-front cost as long as there will be cost savings over the life of the vehicle.

As a group, medium- and heavy-duty trucks - from the largest pickup trucks and vans to the largest 18-wheelers on the road - make up the transportation sector’s second-largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions. CALSTART says improving gas mileage will decrease these emissions, which contribute to climate change.

“Truck and bus emissions are significant, but can be improved through innovation and technology,” states CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel. “This report reassures fleet owners and operators that higher fuel-economy standards can provide substantial benefits not just for the global climate and for air quality, but also for the bottom line.”

Article via NGTNews

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LPGas Magazine: New Propane Partnership Expands First Responder Training Opportunities

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) partnered with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to reformat PERC’s Propane Emergencies training program onto the IAFC website and promote it to thousands of first responders.

Stuart Flatow, vice president of safety and training for PERC, says IAFC is the first national association with which the council has partnered to advance first responder training. PERC already partners with state associations to host industry responder conferences and train first responders on propane emergencies.

“PERC has, for a long time, wanted to partner with IAFC and large firefighter organizations,” Flatow says. “We believe this partnership will effectively reach thousands of first responders that we might not be able to get to otherwise.”

IAFC reports the online program will be especially beneficial to volunteer, combination and fire-brigade first responders who might not have the time or resources to receive instructor-led training on propane properties.

PERC provided $219,417 to help IAFC develop a two-hour Propane Emergencies course on the IAFC Academy website and promote the program at fire service industry conferences. Propane Emergencies is a training handbook that was developed in 1998 to educate first responders on how to handle propane-related incidents.

Richard Miller, IAFC program manager, says IAFC released a similar website several years ago to train first responders on hydrogen emergencies.

“Our goal for that site was to get 1,000 people to take the course, but we had around 8,000 people take it,” he says. “Our pilot project with the hydrogen training site showed us the fire service needs these training materials for continued education in a flexible format.”

Miller anticipates about the same number of first responders to show interest in the propane curriculum through IAFC’s platform. If the online course can lead first responders to take a hands-on propane emergencies class, the partnership has achieved its mission of furthering the education for fire service personnel, he adds.

“We determined what they need to know about propane as a hazard,” Miller says. “By no means can every responder just sit, take this online class and be fully capable to take on one of these emergencies, but it’s background education.”

Miller says IAFC plans to promote the online learning platform at its annual conference and expo this month.

Aricle by Megan Wilkinson LPGas Magazine

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Cummins Westpot Inc. Introduced 2016 Natural Gas School Bus at STN Expo. Full Production Expected Mid 2016.

Cummins Westport Inc. introduced the 2016 ISB6.7 G, a 6.7-liter MidRange, factory-built, dedicated natural gas engine, to the Type C School bus market at the North American School Bus Show – STN Expo Conference and Trade Show July 25-28 in Reno.

The ISB6.7 G natural gas engine is based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine platform – the industry leader in the Cummins MidRange engine family and the top-selling engine in the school bus market. The ISB6.7 G is fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG), utilizing Cummins Westport's proprietary spark-ignited, stoichiometric combustion with cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (SEGR) technology. Currently in field trials, the ISB6.7 G will be in full production by mid-2016.

An important feature of the ISB6.7 G is Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) aftertreatment, which is packaged as a muffler, and is maintenance-free. No Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) or Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) aftertreatment will be required.

Preliminary specifications include a range of ratings up to 260 hp and 660 lb-ft torque, and automatic transmission capability, to meet customer and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements. The ISB6.7 G will be manufactured at the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Whitakers, N.C.

The ISB6.7 G will be certified at launch to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) emissions standards of 0.20 g/bhp-hr nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 0.01 g/bhp-hr particulate matter (PM), and 2017 U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel-economy regulations.

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NGT News: Louisiana CNG Station Reopens After Major Facelift

Louisiana Clean Fuels members Sparq Natural Gas and Entergy, along with Lavigne Oil Co., have completed site upgrades and facility improvements at an existing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Baton Rouge, La.

Last November, Sparq announced it was spearheading the upgrade and expansion of the CNG site, which is owned by Lavigne Oil Co. Sparq says the newly commissioned project, located at 8968 S. Choctaw Dr., marks the first CNG station publicly accessible to Class 8 heavy-duty vehicles in South Louisiana.

The scope of work included the removal of the existing compressors and associated infrastructure (which had been in place since 1996) and the installation of modern components.

The Sparq/Lavigne station now features a 200 hp compression package from ANGI, two Gilbarco Encore dispensers (one heavy-duty hose and three light-duty hoses), a dryer from PSB Industries, and on-site CNG storage vessels manufactured by CP Industries. Meanwhile, the Entergy pipeline has been improved for faster pressure and flow.

11003_sparq_1.jpg
“CNG fueling stations encourage regional economic development and clean transportation,” comments Norman Herrera, CEO of Sparq Natural Gas. “CNG is a cleaner, affordable, Louisiana-produced alternative to petroleum fuels.”

“This station opening marks great progress for alternative fuels in Louisiana,” adds Ann Shaneyfelt, executive director of Louisiana Clean Fuels. “Seeing these stations pop up in our state is going to show companies in our area that CNG and other alternative fuels are a viable option.”

According to Sparq, AT&T, Republic Waste, Waste Management and Core-Mark are among the several businesses, as well as county and state entities, that are converting their fleets to CNG vehicles in the greater Baton Rouge area.

Furthermore, Sparq notes the company recently partnered with Stephe Yborra, a long-time natural gas vehicle industry veteran, to hold a CNG Educational Briefing in Baton Rouge.
 
Yborra, who formerly served prominent roles at NGVAmerica and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, recently launched Yborra & Associates LLC.

According to Sparq, the event shared the CNG story with attendees from the trucking sector, government, dealerships and conversion companies. Sparq says it plans to continue to engage Yborra’s services to further promote its station development.
Article via NGT News.

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