For the first time, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will begin offering renewable natural gas (RNG) at its fueling stations.
The Sempra Energy utility, which is based out of Los Angeles, will soon use RNG at its 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six stations in the San Diego area.
Last month, SoCalGas received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for a pilot program to purchase the renewable fuel and capture the additional environmental credits generated. Today, it published a request for offers and expects to complete gas purchase agreements in the near future.
“Using renewable natural gas at our natural gas fueling stations will help clean the air for Southern California communities and support the state’s clean energy future,” comments Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas’ vice president of customer solutions and strategy. “SoCalGas will continue to work to increase the use and production of renewable natural gas, meeting consumer preferences and helping to achieve state’s climate and air quality goals while efficiently using existing infrastructure.”
“Using renewable natural gas to fuel near-zero-emission heavy-duty trucks in Southern California will help solve our air quality problems while lowering climate impacts,” adds Dr. Joseph Lyou, president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board. “It’s good to see SoCalGas taking the lead on this renewable natural gas project.”
RNG is produced from the methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and dairies and, depending on its source, can be low-carbon or, in some cases, even carbon-negative, the utility explains.
Because RNG can be stored and delivered through the existing natural gas infrastructure, SoCalGas says it can help California reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and meet the state’s renewable energy and air quality goals in a cost-effective way. In addition, the utility points out, RNG is available when needed – day or night.
“Natural gas trucks can reduce smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent compared to diesel trucks – which can help create cleaner and healthier communities,” says Anabella Bastida, executive director of the Council of Mexican Federations in North America. “Our WECAN effort is focused on educating our southeast Los Angeles community members to address the public health crisis caused by air pollution. We need technology that is available and reliable that will help us clean the air now. Renewable natural gas is an immediate solution. We hope that the increased availability of this renewable fuel will encourage more trucking fleets to switch to natural gas to create a cleaner air for our families in California.”