CEC Grants Will Go Toward Compressed Natural Gas Stations, E85 Pumps, Electric Vehicle Chargers

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has named proposed awardees for this year's second round of alternative fuel infrastructure grants, which support natural gas and propane autogas fueling infrastructure, diesel-substitute and E85 ethanol pumps, and electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment.

The first round of funding – also a part of California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program – was announced in April. This new round will put an additional $6.9 million into circulation to bolster the state's complement of alt-fuel sites.

Three awards totaling $900,000 ($300,000 each) will help fund compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations. Tulare County Compost & Biomass Inc. is working on an installation of digester-to-pump renewable CNG technology, FirstCNG LLC is building a station in Newport Beach, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is receiving funding for a CNG refueling site.

The CEC notes that RTC Fuels LLC is the proposed recipient of a $1.35 million grant to support the development of 24 E85 ethanol stations. The locations will be branded under the Pearson Fuels name.

EV charging infrastructure projects garnered the heaviest amount of support in this latest round of funding, with a total of $4.66 million in grants being earmarked for California's EV sector.

Level 1 and Level 2 chargers that will be used by fleets, commercial entities and consumers received the majority of funding, including a total of $2 million to AeroVironment Inc. for 12 residential programs and $500,000 to Coulomb Technologies Inc. for the MultiCharge San Diego initiative.

Also through this funding round, Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers destined specifically for fleet use will be installed at the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, UC San Diego, the state garage in Sacramento and in a few other locations. Money has also been directed to various projects related to DC fast chargers, which hold a lot of promise for fleets' EV charging needs.

Funding of the projects is not assured until the CEC gives final approval during a public business meeting and a grant agreement among the parties is completed.

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