Increasing biomethane availability at California refueling stations
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will soon begin using renewable natural gas for the first time at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. In August, the utility received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a pilot program to purchase the renewable fuel and capture the additional environmental credits generated. Now, it published a Request for Offer (RFO), and expects to complete gas purchase agreements in the near future. Because renewable natural gas can be stored and delivered through the existing natural gas infrastructure, SoCalGas can help California reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the state’s renewable energy and air quality goals in a cost-effective way. “We 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,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas’ vice president of customer solutions and strategy. “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,” said 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. Biomethane is an important tool for reducing emissions from California’s transportation sector, which is responsible for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80% of its smog-forming (NOx) emissions. The latest generation of natural gas engines for heavy duty vehicles can reduce smog-forming emissions by more than 90% compared to the cleanest heavy-duty diesel trucks. When these ultra-low emissions natural gas trucks are fueled with renewable natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by at least 80%.