California Grant Funds Targeted Primarily At CNG Stations, Biofuel Development


The California Energy Commission (CEC) is investing more than $23.11 million in a number of projects aimed squarely at bolstering the state’s complement of alternative fuel options for transportation.

The funds are channeled through the CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which is designed to ‘encourage the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels and new vehicle technologies,’ the commission says.

Award recipients include the following:

  • Clean World Partners LLC, $6 million: An anaerobic digester system will be used at the Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station to turn 100 tons per day of food waste into renewable natural gas to replace more than a half a million gallons of diesel fuel annually.
  • EdeniQ Inc., $3.9 million: The company will modify an existing biorefinery to produce cellulosic ethanol from various plant materials and production processes. The project includes the demonstration of a two-ton per-day ethanol biorefinery.
  • The University of California, Davis, $2.77 million: The university will use the funds to research the comparative value, benefits and drawbacks of all types of alternative fuels in California.
  • tmdgroup Inc., $2.21 million: The award will go toward an outreach and marketing campaign designed to accelerate the market acceptance and use of alternative fuels and low-carbon vehicle technologies. Outreach will focus on commercial and public fleet owners and managers.
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory: $2.15 million: NREL will assess the effectiveness of the CEC’s investments in alternative and renewable fuels and vehicle technology to help the commission track its progress and plan future investments.
  • Aemetis Inc., $1.88 million: A cost-share program for the development of a facility that will demonstrate and analyze the production of ethanol using various crop refuse, including wheat straw, cotton gin waste, sugar cane and corn waste. The ethanol will be mixed with conventional gasoline.
  • Kent BioEnergy Corp., $1.5 million: The grant will fund research to develop processes with commercial potential for producing fermentable sugars from algal biomass that has been grown on land that is not suitable for agriculture, in brackish water, and fed nutrients from waste.
  • Sysco Food Services of Los Angeles Inc.: $600,000: The company will develop a 24-hour, publicly accessible liquefied natural gas (LNG) station in Riverside to help serve vehicles moving goods at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
  • North Star Biofuels LLC: $500,000: The funds will be directed toward developing a commercial-scale biodiesel blending facility at a biodiesel production facility in Watsonville.
  • The Pacific Southwest Research Station, $361,716: Grant money will help support an existing $1.5 million project that is examining the sustainability of using forest biomass in the production of biofuels.
  • Atlas Disposal Industries: $300,000: Atlas will construct a new natural gas fueling station, using pipeline and renewable natural gas, at the Sacramento South Area Transfer Station. Atlas currently has a fleet of more than 60 trucks, 14 of which use compressed natural gas (CNG). The station will be open to private, public and school fleet operators.
  • Bear Valley Unified School District: $300,000: The school district will install a new CNG fueling station to service the district’s existing natural-gas fueled school buses and to allow the district to acquire more natural-gas fueled buses.
  • The Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis: $227,000: The institute will address facility siting and life-cycle issues associated with using forest biomass to produce alternative fuels in California.
  • The South Coast Air Quality Management District, $217,000: The grant is aimed at developing a CNG station in Murrieta near Interstates 15 and 215. The 24/7, publicly accessible station will be installed at a Southern California Gas Co. facility.
  • The City of Riverside, $200,000: The city will construct a CNG station at its water quality control plant to be used for city fleet vehicles and the public.
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