Friday, April 28, 2017

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CAISO Today's Outlook

News and Opportunities

ZNE Residential and Commerical Action Plans
Join the CPUC for an interactive workshop to discuss the ZNE Residential and Commercial Action Plans on Wednesday, May 3rd.

Safeguarding California Plan: 2017 Update - California's Climate Adaptation Strategy
The California Natural Resources Agency wishes to invite you to participate in one of the upcoming 2017 Safeguarding California Workshops.

WebEx Recording - Staff Workshop 2019 Zero Net Energy Residential Standards
The Energy Commission has posted materials from the April 20th Pre-rulemaking workshop on ZNE for the 2019 Building Standards.

Model PV Ordinance and Cost-Effectiveness Study
The Energy Commission has posted the draft model solar ordinance for local governments and the corresponding cost-effectiveness study​

SJV Clean Transportation Center: Mar./Apr. Newsletter

Welcome to the March/April 2017 San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center Newsletter. With funding from the California Energy Commission, CALSTART opened the Center with the goal to accelerate the use of clean vehicles and fuels and help the region more quickly meet air quality targets.

Proterra's Milestone 100th Electric Bus Delivered to San Joaquin RTD in Stockton

Proterra delivered its 100th battery-electric bus earlier in April, destined for San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) in Stockton. Serving more than 687,744 people in San Joaquin County, RTD has added 10 more Proterra Catalyst battery-electric buses to its expanding fleet, bringing their total number of Proterra buses to 12. As the first agency in Northern California to operate all-electric technology, San Joaquin RTD exemplifies the growing trend among transit organizations to transition to zero-emission buses as the cost and performance benefits become clearer.

“Proterra has helped us save funds, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide clean, quiet, electric transit service to residents throughout the San Joaquin Valley, so we couldn’t be prouder to share this milestone with them,” Donna DeMartino, CEO of San Joaquin Regional Transit District, said in a news release issued by Proterra. “At San Joaquin RTD, we see Proterra as an indispensable partner as we seek to improve air quality conditions in the Valley and to ensure that our riders have access to one of the most efficient, reliable mass transportation systems in the country.”

This record deployment marks Proterra’s continued leadership in the North American electric mass transit market. The company is leading the industry with more than 60 percent of sales since the industry’s inception, with 36 different municipal, university and commercial transit agency customers in 20 states. Transit agencies having completed third and fourth orders for Proterra buses include San Joaquin RTD, King County Metro in Seattle and Foothill Transit in Pomona, Calif.

Go to Proterra's website to read the entire news release.

Participants in the Dairy Workshop April 5 at the SCE Energy Education Center in Tulare learned about "Energy Saving Strategies, Tools and Resources," including how to turn methane from dairies into renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be used to produce both electricity and transportation fuel, providing a clean and affordable alternative to diesel.  

Valley Dairies May Become Significant Source of Renewable Natural Gas 

Dairy operators, utility representatives and others gathered April 5 at Southern California Edison's (SCE) Energy Education Center in Tulare for a "Dairy Workshop: Energy Saving Strategies, Tools and Resources." In addition to learning about incentives and rebates from SCE, PG&E and SoCalGas for everything from lighting to fans, information was presented on how California dairies may provide an important source of power and fuel.  

Matt Hendrick, Senior Account Representative for SoCalGas, stated that recently introduced “near-zero” natural gas engines combined with renewable natural gas (RNG) for fuel offer what he called a “game-changing solution for policymakers and fleet operators." By converting waste from dairies, farms and landfills into biogas using anaerobic digestion to extract the methane and put it in the pipeline for future use, it could power 2 to 3 million homes or replace 75 percent of all diesel used by California vehicles, according to one of the slides in his presentation.

Michael Boccadoro of Diary Cares, in his presentation on methane and manure management at California dairies, noted that only 16 dairies in the state currently use anaerobic digesters to capture biogas for uses such as electricity generation, pipeline injection and transportation fuel. Senate Bill 1383 (Short-Lived Climate Pollutants), he pointed out, will require 200 to 300 digesters by 2030 to meet the state's goals. "A digester on a 5,000-cow dairy can reduce NOx by as much as 32,000 pounds per year," he said.

This technology is gaining attention from those outside of California as well. Peter Drasher of Black Bear Environmental Assets, traveled from Vermont to attend the workshop, hoping to gain insight for his work with a Chowchilla dairy installing digesters and producing RNG.

Chad Schlaepfer of ampCNG recently attended the World Ag Expo in Tulare with the goal of expanding his company's business to California. Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana partners with ampCNG to produce its RNG. Using anaerobic digesters, they convert methane from 36,000 cows into energy to power their dairies and other operations in addition to producing RNG to fuel their fleet of 42 tractor trailers. Their fairlife milk products are sold at stores nationwide, and their story has even been featured in Fortune magazine.

Fleets interested in converting to natural gas from diesel and using RNG for fuel can contact Joseph Oldham at the SJVCTC for more information.  

More DC fast chargers and Level 2 chargers, such as these located at Fresno's Fashion Fair Mall, would be funded by Volkswagen as part of its ZEV Investment Commitment in California.   

Volkswagen's Initial Phase of California Settlement Plan Stirs Up Controversy   

Volkswagen presented the first phase of its diesel emission settlement plan for California to the Air Resources Board (ARB) at its March 24 meeting in Riverside. The proposed plan is for VW's 2.0-liter engine violations and includes four phases over 10 years, with the first cycle of funding totaling $200 million over a 30-month period. ARB Board Member Dean Florez, who served in the California Senate representing the San Joaquin Valley, was among the plan's critics for its failure to allocate 35 percent of funds to disadvantaged areas. (Read his article, "VW's Plan Drives by Disadvantaged Communities," for more information.)

The first round of proposals had to be submitted by Jan. 16 to the Electrify America website. Electrify America was formed by VW to implement the California and national plans. Comments on the California plan were due to ARB by April 10, with many others expressing their concern about the plan's lack of funding in disadvantaged communities (DAC), and the San Joaquin Valley in particular, where 23 of the state's 30 identified DACs are located. The ARB Board will need to vote on the plan, but it was not on the agenda for the April 27 meeting.

The California ZEV Investment Plan focuses on four areas: ZEV Charging Infrastructure to be spent on community charging in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego San Francisco and San Jose ($45 million) and a high-speed highway network ($75 million); a Green City Initiative ($44 million) with Sacramento identified as VW's choice for selection; a ZEV Public Education Campaign ($20 million); and ZEV Access Initiatives such as ride-and-drive events (funding level still being evaluated). In addition, approximately $16 million will be used to fund Electrify America's operational expenses.

The initial phase of the national plan now has been released as well and also includes four 30-month cycles, with $300 million allocated initially out of the $1.2 billion to be spent in the other 49 states. (The National ZEV Investment Plan can be downloaded from the Electrify America website.) In all, VW will spend $2 billion to fund zero-emission vehicle infrastructure nationwide through this settlement for its 2.0-liter engine violations. The settlement for its 3.0-liter engines is yet to be announced. The diesel vehicles were within emissions limits during testing but later were found to emit up to 40 times the legal amount of smog-forming NOx (nitrogen oxides) under normal driving conditions.

CALSTART to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, CALSTART set out to create a sustainable transportation future. This October, the company will mark the occasion with a timely gathering of national policymakers and industry leaders targeting solutions and actions to stimulate thinking toward a 2030 vision for a clean transportation economy.

A 25th Anniversary Symposium is planned for Oct. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center. The previous day, tours and a reception will be conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 3 to 7 p.m.

For more information and to register, go to

More than 20 law enforcement agencies in the San Joaquin Valley now are using Zero electric motorcycles in their fleets. First responders gathered March 25 in Tehachapi for an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training, which included hands-on training with the Zero and other electric vehicles. 

Valley Law Enforcement Agencies Adding Zero Electric Motorcycles to Fleets

Personnel from fire and police departments in Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties were in Tehachapi March 15 to attend an Alternative Fuel Vehicle First Responder Training course that also included a new training component on electric motorcycles, developed and taught for the first time nationwide by West Virginia University’s National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC).

A grant from the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District served as the primary funding for developing the new curriculum and pilot training in Tehachapi, which took place at the Tehachapi Police Department.  Project Clean Air, Inc., coordinated the event,

Officers from the McFarland, Tulare and Clovis police departments, where Zero electric motorcycles are being used, provided feedback that will be incorporated into the final curriculum to be released in a few weeks by the NAFTC and used to train first responders nationwide. Other attendees included captains from the Kern County Fire Department and Bakersfield Fire Department. Chris Womock, captain with the Indianapolis Fire Department, served as the course instructor, with assistance from Micheal Smyth, NAFTC’s Assistant Director of Training and Curriculum Development.

“According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one in five motor vehicle accidents now involves some type of alternative fuel vehicle,” Womock told those at the training. More than 20 law enforcement agencies in the Central Valley now have electric motorcycles in their fleets, with their purchase largely funded by grants to promote clean-air vehicles in public fleets. Their quiet operation has been a real advantage, noted those who use the Zeros, particularly in patrolling problem areas, working public events such as parades, and performing traffic control.

”The public loves them, and it is good public relations for us too because people want to talk to us about them,” said Clovis Police Department Lt. Curt Fleming. “It also is a fun bike to ride,” said Officer Brian Cordeniz of the Tulare Police Department, noting their officers have been positive about their use. To learn more, read the article about the training that appeared in the Tehachapi News
Director's Message
By Joseph Oldham

This issue of the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center Newsletter is full of great articles this month, highlighting the rapid advances and developments of cleaner transportation technologies available to Valley residents.

If you are a trucking fleet owner or operator, pay close attention to the article on the development of renewable natural gas (RNG) fuel from dairies. RNG, combined with new ultra-low NOx 12-liter engines from Cummins-Westport that will be available this fall, will make it possible for Class 8 over-the-road trucks to operate with near-zero tailpipe emissions. The engines will be eligible for HVIP incentives that could cover most or all of the cost to upgrade from an existing natural gas engine to the ultra-low NOx natural gas engine – and the natural gas fuel is not subject to the new excise tax recently passed for diesel fuel that takes effect in November of 2017.

Further, if you have a 2009 or older diesel truck, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will soon have Prop 1B incentive money available to help pay the difference between purchasing a new diesel truck and a new natural gas powered truck. If there ever was a time for Valley truck fleets to consider converting to natural gas fuel, it is now!

Now also is the time to consider electric vehicles if you are a transit agency. The article celebrating Proterra’s delivery of their 100th battery electric bus to San Joaquin Regional Transit District in Stockton is well worth reading. San Joaquin RTD is not the only transit agency in the Valley to be receiving electric buses; agencies from Bakersfield to Modesto are investing in electric transit buses to reduce cost, eliminate emissions and help improve our air quality.

Smaller electric vans and cars also are becoming much more noticeable on Valley roadways. The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency just placed in service four Zenith battery-electric vans for demand response transit service in rural cities within Fresno County. The Zenith vans are all wheelchair-lift equipped and have an operational range of 100 miles. FCRTA uses their 13 Envision Solar EV ARC units, one in each of the rural cities in Fresno County, to provide charging support for the Zenith vans and public EVs.

If you are a regular commuter or resident that has thought electric vehicles have a range too limited to suit your needs, consider the Chevrolet Bolt EV currently at dealerships or the new Tesla Model 3, which will go into production later this year. Both cars are capable of traveling 200 to 270 miles on a single charge.

I recently was speaking with a Chevy Bolt EV owner that stopped for lunch at the restaurant in the Fresno Chandler Airport Terminal Building, where our Clean Transportation Center office is located. He told me he consistently gets 270 to 280 miles of range on a charge with his Bolt EV. He had more than 3,200 miles on the car when I spoke with him and took me for a test drive to show off the hi-tech interior, smooth performance, silent ride and shove-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration! And for those concerned about the $100 per year fee for electric cars under the recently enacted SB-1 legislation, that fee only applies starting with model year 2020 electric cars. So, go get your new electric car now and don’t worry about the new fee!

Finally, I continue to be encouraged by the spirit of innovation that I see here in the San Joaquin Valley. We have different challenges than the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and it takes different solutions to work for us here. We are expanding our electric vehicle and natural gas infrastructure, and vehicles now are starting to be available to meet our area's needs. I believe in the next year, we will see cleaner and cleaner vehicles showing up on Valley highways – and that will be very good news for all of us that breath the air!!

“The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is a joint project between CALSTART and the California Energy Commission (CEC). It is funded through a grant from the CEC with the mission to assist residents and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley deploy cleaner transportation options to help improve air quality and promote economic prosperity. For more information about CALSTART, visit”

Look for Us in the City of Huron May 27

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center will be at the inaugural "Huron Green Employment & Technology Fair" on May 27. From 4 to 7 p.m., residents of Huron and surrounding communities will be able to learn about a variety of beneficial programs, including electric vehicles, renewable energy and other up-and-coming technologies.

Information also will be presented about "green" careers and area employers as well as training and educational advancement through colleges, universities and trade schools. Valley LEAP (Latino Environmental Advancement Project), along with the Fresno County Economic Development Corp. and the City of Huron, are among the partners organizing the event.

"We want to expose the community to the new electric vehicles and chargers to demystify such technologies," said Huron Mayor Rey Leon.

Looking for Grant Information?

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District offers a variety of grants and incentive programs for public agencies, residents, businesses and technology. Interested parties should apply early since incentives typically are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A complete list of current incentive programs is available on the Air District website.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) administers grant programs funded through various sources, including the Cap-and-Trade program. A complete list of the various funding programs is available on the
ARB website.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) also administers grant programs for transportation technology. Go to the 
CEC website for information.

Various Federal agencies offer grants and incentives for transportation technology each year. All Federal agencies use the website for submitting and receiving grant applications. 

Copyright © 2017 by CALSTART, All rights reserved.