CPS Energy, a public power, natural gas and electric company, and VIA Metropolitan Transit, the mass transit agency serving San Antonio, Texas, have unveiled details about a new fuel supply partnership that will provide renewable natural gas (RNG) to VIA’s fleet of over 500 buses, beginning in 2021.
The announcement highlights CPS Energy’s partnership with the region’s mobility provider to supply renewable fuel for use in its compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet. VIA has a diversified active fleet portfolio consisting of 502 buses powered primarily by CNG fuel, with some diesel-electric hybrid, electric, diesel and propane vehicles in use. VIA’s conversion to a CNG fleet began in 2017 and is designed to reduce NOx emissions by 97% from the diesel buses they replaced. The partnership supports VIA’s efforts to be environmentally responsible by providing a negative- to low-carbon emission product to fuel its vehicles.
“CPS Energy is excited about this new venture with San Antonio’s long-term public transportation company,” says Paula Gold-Williams, president and CEO of CPS Energy. “RNG will help reduce San Antonio’s carbon footprint. For CPS Energy, it is also one more component of our creative Flexible PathSM strategy, which has been designed to leverage emerging environmental stewardship opportunities – while we keep our customers’ bills affordable and our services reliable.”
Naturally, the landfill decomposition process produces methane, which without intervention is released into the air. Alternatively, RNG uses that methane to create renewable and environmentally sustainable biomethane. RNG can be blended with and is interchangeable with traditional natural gas. The enhanced natural gas is then distributed through San Antonio’s existing gas lines as normal.
When used as a vehicle fuel, RNG provides a substantial environmental benefit – an 85% reduction of CO2 emissions relative to diesel fuel. The distribution and use of CNG gas emphasizes both CPS Energy’s and VIA’s goal of reducing emissions and preserving the environment and should be available for VIA’s CNG fleet in the fall of next year.
Australian-headquartered EDL, a global producer of sustainable, distributed energy, will design, construct, own and operate the RNG production plant in Converse, Texas. The RNG will be injected into CPS Energy’s natural gas system. Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected later this year with an anticipated completion timeline of fall 2021.