, , ,

A recap of Hydrogen @ Scale in Utah

Hydrogen @ Scale Event Overview

Hydrogen @ Scale in Utah is a turning point for Utah’s energy sector by highlighting various renewable hydrogen related projects. Our statewide partnerships are truly leading the way in implementing clean transportation options that make sense for both our urban and rural communities.  We are excited to be a part of this opportunity to highlight the innovation and high profile projects currently energizing our state. Utah Clean Cities, Lancer Energy and our close working network of energy sector partners and clean air advocates are focusing on advanced fuel and energy options to propel Utah into the future of clean transportation.

 

Full Speaker Session

 

 

 

, , , ,

Why Utah aims to be the ‘hydrogen hub for the crossroads of the West’

Posted on October 19, 2021

By Carter Williams with KSL Radio

Article 

SALT LAKE CITY — As a trailer holding a hydrogen-power generator remained open parked next to the steps of the Utah Capitol, an attendee of a Utah event highlighting the future of the alternative fuel sources peered in to see how it worked.

“This is impressive,” he muttered, staring at one of the hydrogen storage devices inside the trailer.

The scene may have looked futuristic to some. The hydrogen-powered generator was hauled in by a truck powered by methane-captured natural gas and the zero-emission device was also being used to power an electric vehicle.

But the scene wasn’t futuristic at all. It was very much in the present — and all three power sources are growing in Utah.

“The future of (advanced) fuels is here … those are all fuels that are here in Utah,” said Scott Brandeberry, the CEO of Lancer Energy, a Utah-based company that focuses on turning hydrogen and methane into energy, referencing the three energy sources of the items parked outside of the building.

Tuesday’s event — hosted by Lancer Energy and the Utah Clean Cities Coalition — showcased how Utah is making massive strides in hydrogen and other advanced fuel sources. Hydrogen, renewable natural gas (methane), and electric vehicles can all drastically improve Utah’s air quality not just in the future but now, the event organizers said.

It brought in dozens of energy investors from all over the country to Utah so they could see firsthand how hydrogen and other advanced fuels can reshape the future of transportation and energy.

As Rep. Melissa Ballard, R-North Salt Lake, put it: “We’re going to be the hydrogen hub for the crossroads of the West.”

“We have the opportunity at utility-scale to produce and distribute from many applications and we have Utah manufacturers who are making these applications for Utahns and also to be distributed across the country,” she continued.

Attendees of an event highlighting the future of the alternative fuel check out a display of renewable natural gas, hydrogen and electric vehicles Tuesday.
Tuesday’s event also highlighted efforts within the renewable natural gas (converting methane into energy) and electric vehicle fields, which can also help reduce vehicle emissions. For instance, Ballard pointed to projects in Utah that have the ability to capture methane from hog farms and wastewater and turn it into energy.

However, hydrogen was the star of the show.

All in on hydrogen

Tammie Bostick, the executive director for Utah Clean Cities Coalition, said the Beehive State is now among the leader of the nation in hydrogen fuel deployment. There are a handful of current and future projects across the state aimed at producing, storing and utilizing hydrogen.

So how did Utah get here and why?

First, hydrogen has actually been classified as an alternative fuel for nearly three decades now. It was included in that category under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Bostick said hydrogen wasn’t exactly a forgotten alternative fuel source all these years but it was certainly underutilized in the energy sector.

“I think we were so heavily dependent on two fuels, gas and diesel, and all of our national interests were invested in that. So hydrogen was just essentially part of the drilling process but wasted or captured and used in a small way,” she said. “But it is a very strong and powerful fuel.”

The Department of Energy points out that a hydrogen fuel cell paired with an electric motor is “two to three times more efficient” than a traditional internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline. It also only emits water vapor and warm air, so it is considered a zero-emission source.

That captured the attention of Utah lawmakers in recent years, especially members of the bipartisan Utah Clean Air Caucus, as they searched for solutions on how to reduce carbon emissions and improve the state’s air quality. Per a report from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute published last year, Utah emitted about 59 tons of carbon dioxide in 2016 and averages about 19.3 metric tons per person annually. Researchers say vehicles account for roughly half of the pollution produced.

There have been a handful of bills proposed and even passed in the Utah Legislature regarding hydrogen in recent years, with a push to increase production and fueling stations in the state. Ballard said Utah will open its first hydrogen fueling station early next year; there are currently just three states that currently have stations.

The $150 million public infrastructure district that the Utah Inland Port Authority passed last week also includes funding for a future hydrogen refueling station. Jack Hedge, the executive director of the Utah Inland Port Authority, spoke briefly on the Utah Inland Port refueling station project. The plan calls for it to include renewable natural gas and electric vehicle stations, in addition to hydrogen.

Hedge referred to trucks as the “lifeblood of the economy” because 90% of all goods are transported by them; however, he pointed out that diesel-fueled trucks produce a heavy amount of carbon emissions among the vehicles on Utah roads. He said it’s why the port authority sought funding for alternative fuels.

In a somewhat similar context, Ballard said there’s a bill in the works for the 2022 legislative session that will “strongly encourage” Utah freight switchers — trains that move goods around railyards — to convert to zero-emission sources beginning in 2025. Some companies are already looking at hydrogen as an alternative for freight trains.

An electric vehicle is charged by a hydrogen power generator during an event outside of the Utah Capitol Tuesday.

In addition to freight, Bostick said she’s thrilled about a future plant in Kane County that will capture methane from wastewater and turn it into hydrogen. The byproduct will then be converted into electricity that will run electric vehicle shuttles at the east entrance of Zion National Park.

Kim Frost, the executive director for Utah Clean Air Partnership, otherwise known as UCAIR, said it’s “exciting” to learn about the potential of hydrogen. That’s because she believes it can aid the key reason that got Utah interested in the first place.

“Using hydrogen along with other alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric and hybrid, for transportation, has the potential to be incredibly beneficial to improving our air here in Utah,” she said.

A ‘promising new future’

Hydrogen has also captured the attention of national leaders for the same reason Utah leaders zeroed in on it. President Joe Biden earlier this year set a target for the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 and hydrogen was listed as one of the ways to do it.

“The United States can address carbon pollution from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture as well as new sources of hydrogen — produced from renewable energy, nuclear energy, or waste — to power industrial facilities,” White House officials wrote in April. “The government can use its procurement power to support early markets for these very low- and zero-carbon industrial goods.”

Producers of hydrogen energy feel also confident about its future. Mauricio Vargas, the CEO of New Mexico-based energy company Bayotech, which manufactures the hydrogen-powered generator that was on display Tuesday and will oversee that future hydrogen refueling station at the Inland Port, said the company’s hydrogen technology is already “at parity” with diesel in cost.

Hydrogen fuel cells, Bostick added, aren’t just a possible solution to emissions challenges; they can also help overcome barriers to other alternative sources. Case in point, it can be paired with solar electricity to help run battery cells at night.

All of these are helping the industry grow. Bayotech, for example, received an investment of up to $157 million earlier this year, allowing it to drastically upscale its business. In addition to Lancer and Bayotech, Big Navajo Energy, Dominion Energy, Renewable Innovations and Stadler Rail are all companies with ties in Utah to produce hydrogen or build products with it, according to Utah Clean Cities.

For Vargas, his business’s growth is proof that energy innovation can be both impactful and lucrative.

“Clean energy products like this provide tens of millions of dollars in direct investment and create high-value jobs,” he said. “It offers opportunities for a state to pivot to a promising new future.”

 

, , ,

A Beginners Guide to Hydrogen Energy in Utah

By Jerad Giottonini

Utah Clean Cities and Lancer Energy is hosting Hydrogen @ Scale in Utah, an Advanced Fuels event focusing on hydrogen projects throughout the state. 

The event is on October 19, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the south steps of the Utah State Capitol. If you are interested in attending, please register here. 

 

A Beginners Guide to Hydrogen Energy in Utah 

Over the last decade, Hydrogen has become a major consideration in the realm of advanced and cleaner energy options, with the Bidens administration prioritizing the enhancement of hydrogen technologies and projects that acknowledge the “role that hydrogen must play, providing an incredible opportunity for innovation, development and market proliferation internationally” (FCHEA, 2021)

What is Hydrogen? 

Hydrogen (H2) is the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. It exists in water, hydrocarbons (such as methane), and organic matter and as an invisible gas, hydrogen can be used in a variety of technologies to harvest its energy. 

Depending on the source, hydrogen fuel may contain low levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Experts say, producing hydrogen from these compounds is one of the challenges of using hydrogen as a fuel.

 

How is Hydrogen Produced?

Hydrogen can be produced from fossil fuels, biomass, and water electrolysis with electricity. The environmental impact and energy efficiency of hydrogen depends on how it is produced. 

Natural Gas Reforming/Gasification: 

  •  Synthesis gas is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a small amount of carbon dioxide. Syn gas is created by reacting natural gas with high-temperature steam. The carbon monoxide is reacted with water to produce additional hydrogen. A synthesis gas can also be created by reacting coal or biomass with high-temperature steam and oxygen in a pressurized gasifier. This converts the coal or biomass into gaseous components—a process called gasification. The resulting synthesis gas contains hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is reacted with steam to separate the hydrogen (AFDC). 

Electrolysis: 

  • An electric current splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity comes from a renewable source like solar or wind, the result will be considered renewable. (AFDC).
  • Renewable Liquid Reforming: Renewable liquid fuels, such as ethanol, are reacted with high-temperature steam to produce hydrogen near the point of end use (AFDC
  • Fermentation (Biomass): Biomass is converted into sugar-rich feedstocks that can be fermented to produce hydrogen (AFDC).

The U.S. The Department of Energy says hydrogen could help the United States transition to a more advanced energy option but the way hydrogen is produced must reduce overall emissions and provide a renewable and cleaner energy option from well-to-wheel. 

Below are projects that are currently underway in Utah to help explain the different types of hydrogen and how its energy is produced. 

Renewable Hydrogen is produced with no harmful greenhouse gases. Green hydrogen is made by using clean electricity from surplus renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power, to electrolyse water. Electrolysers use an electrochemical reaction to split water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, emitting zero-carbon dioxide in the process.

The Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project is located 130 miles south of Salt Lake City. The project is a geological formation called the Salt Dome. The Salt Dome is considered by some to be the largest renewable energy reservoir in the world. 

The project aims to build a storage facility for 1,000 megawatts of clean power, partly by putting hydrogen into underground salt caverns. The owners, Mitsubishi Power say the project is scheduled to be completed by the year 2025 and would combine renewable hydrogen, solid-oxide fuel cells, and compressed air energy storage to produce enough energy to power 150,000 households. There are other forms of hydrogen capture happening across the state.

Carbon Captured Hydrogen is produced by SMR (steam methane reforming) using natural gas. All carbon is captured (99%) then sequestered or used in industrial applications. 

In Utah, AVF Energy is looking at a project that would use Invasive Tree species for a 99% carbon capture.  AVF Energy plans to convert the invasive wood into biochar which has multiple end uses from Green Coal replacement in Steel production to high quality fertiliser and soil amendment. Experts say the renewable hydrogen produced from this technology can be used in transportation applications as a future carbon negative energy source. The Carbon gas captured can be used for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in oil wells in Eastern Utah or in Sequestration projects.  

Low Carbon Hydrogen is produced by SMR  (steam methane reforming) using natural gas. This capture requires a combination of renewable and carbon captured hydrogen.  

Located in the Utah Inland Port territory of Salt Lake City, Lancer Energy is building the state’s first super station. Lancer Energy says the station is going to be an SMR unit taking renewable natural gas to hydrogen and then taking the hydrogen through a fuel cell for DC fast charging. 

Lancer Energy is in negotiations for a second super station to be located in Southern Utah. Lancer Energy says this station would connect the ports in Long Beach, California to the Inland Port in Salt Lake City all on renewable fuels. 

Zero Carbon Hydrogen is produced by electrolyzing water using electricity from nuclear power. In the electrolyser, electric energy is used to split water into Hydrogen and oxygen gases. 

Right now, there are no current projects designated as Zero Carbon. This process consumes massive amounts of water and due to the state’s severe drought conditions has been frowned upon by some at the state level. 

Carbon Negative Hydrogen that uses renewable sources and utilized carbon capture technology to remove more carbon than it produces to make a Green, low cost Hydrogen. 

Although hydrogen is a cleaner, more reliable source of energy that can be produced domestically, its long term impacts on the environment are unclear. The federal government is focusing on hydrogen to help address the impacts of harmful emissions, creating the next generation of workforce opportunity, and reducing our impacts to the changing climate. Utah Clean Cities and its partner Lancer Energy supports clean and renewable hydrogen and advanced fuels projects in Utah. 

To learn more about Hydrogen, visit: 

Department of Energy Hydrogen Program 

Alternative Fuels Data Center – Hydrogen Production and Distribution

EERE – Hydrogen Delivery 

White House Fact Sheet: President Biden sets 2030 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Target Aimed at Creating Good-Paying Untion Jobs and Securing U.S. Leadership on Clean Energy Technologies (April 2021)

 

GREET and AFLEET Model Guide

GREET 2020 Release

The Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center is pleased to announce the 2020 release of the suite of GREET Models. Please read Summary of Expansions and Updates in GREET® 2020 (554KB pdf) for more details on updates in this version.

GREET Excel Model: 

  • Fuel-Cycle Model: To download GREET_1_2020 please use the following link GREET 1 Series
  • Vehicle-Cycle Model: To download GREET_2_2020 please use the following link GREET 2 Series

 

The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program has enlisted the expertise of Argonne to develop a tool to examine both the environmental and economic costs and benefits of alternative fuel and advanced vehicles. Argonne has developed the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) Tool for Clean Cities stakeholders to estimate petroleum use, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutant emissions, and cost of ownership of light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles using simple spreadsheet inputs.

The tool uses data from Argonne’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) fuel-cycle model to generate necessary well-to-wheels petroleum use and GHG emission co-efficients for key fuel production pathways and vehicle types. In addition, Environmental Protection Agency’s MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) and certification data are used to estimate tailpipe air pollutant emissions. Various sources are used to provide default cost data, including the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards.

Download tool and documentation

Salt Lake County Vehicle Repair and Replacement Assistance Program (VRRAP)

Vehicle Emissions Program

Salt Lake County Health Department

REPAIR HELP

Vehicle Repair Assistance Program (VRAP)

Depending on the age and overall condition of a vehicle failing the emissions test, low-income vehicle owners may qualify for vehicle repair assistance. We require a completed application and supporting documentation.

TESTING REQUIREMENTS

Before you may register a motor vehicle (either gasoline or diesel-powered) for operation in Salt Lake County, it must pass an emissions test.

  • Vehicles less than six years old are tested every other year.
  • Vehicles more than six years old must be tested every year.
  • Farm-plated vehicles and vehicles of model year 1967 or older are exempt from testing.

Independent testing facilities located throughout Salt Lake County perform the emissions testing. The  Vehicle Emissions Program licenses and regulates the facilities.

A malfunctioning vehicle can emit one hundred times the amount of pollution that it would if it were working properly.

Every day, the program keeps tons of pollutants out of the Salt Lake Valley’s air:

  • 82 tons of carbon monoxide (CO)
  • 4 tons of hydrocarbons (HC)
  • 4 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx)

FAILING VEHICLES

Motor vehicles are responsible for more than 70% of the air pollution that affects our health. When a vehicle is operating properly, its emissions levels are very low. However, a malfunctioning vehicle can emit one hundred times the amount of pollution that it would if it were working properly. Properly tuned and well-maintained vehicles also provide better performance and fuel economy for the owner.

If your vehicle fails the emissions test:

  • Use a repair facility and technician who is familiar with your vehicle and its emissions system.
  • Secure a written estimate that includes diagnosis and recommended repairs.
  • If you are not satisfied with the estimate or diagnosis, get a second technician’s opinion or contact the Air Quality Bureau.
  • Check your vehicle owner’s manual for information specific to your vehicle. Many emissions systems are covered by warranties, if still applicable.

You cannot register a failing vehicle in Salt Lake County until it is properly repaired, retested, and passes the test.


Waivers

In very rare cases, vehicle owners have made repairs toward the major cause of the high emissions and those repairs have failed to reduce the pollution levels to below the standard. In some of those cases, SLCoHD may issue a repair waiver to allow a failing vehicle to be registered for that year.

A vehicle may qualify for a waiver if it has:

  • failed at least two emissions inspections.
  • received emissions-related repairs from a recognized repair facility.
  • fulfills all other waiver requirements.

Waivers are handled on a case-by-case basis and may or may not be granted. A waiver is a last resort. The vehicle must be inspected by a SLCoHD vehicle emissions technician to review all test data and repair information, and to verify the ineffective repairs. Contact the Air Quality Bureau for more information about waivers.

STATIONS/TECHS

USE ONLY THE FREE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION OR RECERTIFICATION FORM. Some web browser PDF viewers may not properly submit your application or form.

Stations

Note that permits are not transferable; when a change of ownership occurs at a permitted facility, the new owner must apply for a new permit and pay all applicable fees.

Emissions Stations in good standing with SLCoHD may apply to become a Vehicle Repair Assistance Program (VRAP) repair station. For more information, contact the Air Quality Bureau.

Technicians

Utah Foundations Driving Towards a Cleaner Future Report (November 2019)

 

Driving Toward a Cleaner Future: Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Utah examines the incentives and disincentives around electric cars, as well as the policy decisions around preparation for a wide proliferation of electric vehicles in the future. It also examines the incentives and requirements around public and private heavy-duty fleet vehicles.

Key Findings of this Report

  • Electric vehicles – or battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids – accounted for less than 2% of the nation’s new vehicle market share in 2018. In Utah, electric’s market share was about 1.6%.
  • Addressing the fears of consumers is a core challenge in alternative fuel vehicle adoption. Less than a quarter of Americans consider purchasing electric cars because of concerns about running out of power, the availability of charging stations and initial vehicle cost.
  • Utah’s relatively small electric vehicle tax credit was not renewed in 2016, yet electric vehicle market share has continued to increase.
  • The top electric-vehicle-adopting states – all in the West – offer significant incentives. However, the 10 states with the highest market share growth in 2018 offer no incentives (though they all had 2017 market share under one percent).
  • There is evidence that the looming threat of expiring tax credits can encourage short-term market uptake of alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Due to state and local investment, as well as the Volkswagen Settlement and private actors, Utah’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure is poised to quickly expand
  • Large fleet vehicles account for one-third to one-half of Utah’s vehicle emissions, even though they account for only 3% of the vehicle miles traveled.
  • Alternative-fuel, heavy-duty fleet vehicles are more expensive than diesel and have large infrastructure costs, but offer large fuel and maintenance savings.
  • To encourage the market’s embrace of alternative fuel vehicles, state and local governments should continue to explore opportunities to encourage private actors to deploy alternative fuel infrastructure for customers, tenants, employees and visitors.
  • Cities and counties have at least two potential roles to play: adopting building codes that are “future-proof” for the growth in alternative fuel vehicles, and retiring older public-service diesel fuel fleets.
  • Utah may get a substantial air quality return on its tax credit investments by continuing to focus incentives on heavy-duty fleet vehicles and renewing them in 2020.
  • To encourage the market’s embrace of alternative fuel vehicles, public and private sector stakeholders should mount public information campaigns to explain the growing availability of alternative fuel infrastructure and address other consumer fears.

You can download a pdf of the report here

See the comprehensive, 2014, air quality report here.

, , ,

Governor Advances Clean Transportation in Utah

Utah Leaders and organizations gathered on Nov 4, 2019, in celebration of the 11th Year Anniversary and Annual Declaration of the Governor’s Partnership for Advanced Fuels and Infrastructure. This event represents the next step in understanding proven business models for fleets and sustainable strategies for clean transportation in Utah.

Utah Clean Cities organized the event in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, private and public partnerships, communities, and leaders on a common platform to better understand cost effective and measurable impact solutions to emissions. The goal? To boost the overall economy and benefit the transportation sector by offering cleaner transportation alternatives statewide.

Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities Executive Director. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

The Governor’s Declaration includes information regarding the integration of low – and zero-emissions transportation options and calls for continued expansion of infrastructure for Alternative Fuels. The declaration notes the emerging portfolio of advanced fueled vehicles, both public and private, including fuels produced from Utah-sourced agricultural and municipal wastes, electric, propane, compressed natural gas, ethanol and biodiesel. 

“Alternative fuels continue to play a critical role in Utah’s economic and environmental success,” said Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah.  “With my Office of Energy Development and its key partners, we have worked together to realize significant strides in diversifying our fuels and infrastructure to provide greater transportation options to Utahns while also achieving greater air quality, economic opportunity and energy security.”

The Annual Declaration for Alternative Fuels in Utah began in 2008 and has since drawn local and national interest. This year’s Declaration was read by Laura Nelson, the Governor’s energy advisor, and outlined several key successes realized to date, including the ever-growing infrastructure expansion in Utah, the eight-state agreement to advance an electric vehicle corridor across the West, and the creation of an emergency response database and fleet acquisition plan.  In total, 941 stations across Utah offer alternative fuels, including CNG, RNG, LNG, autogas and electric charging, many along its most frequented corridors – I-15, I-80 and I-70. 

Tammy Bostick, center, UCC, listens as Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor, reads the Declaration of Alternative Fuel Awareness Month. During the event Nelson unveiled the iREV Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Emergency Plans report produced in partnership with OED, UCC, and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).  The report examines how alternative fuel vehicles can bolster Utah’s resilience, and be leveraged as an emergency response resource in the event of a disruption to the state’s transportation fuels sector.  Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.“As we continue to deliver on Utah’s Energy Action Plan to 2020, we are proud to unveil the new iREV report, in partnership with UCC and NASEO, to strengthen our state’s energy resilience and emergency planning through greater collaboration, education and adoption of alternative fuels, which remain a vital player in Utah’s overall economic and environmental strategy,” said Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. “Through new online tools and fuller partnerships, we anticipate our strategic planning will realize ever-greater safety, infrastructure, and investment opportunities as we look to meet the demands of the future.” 

Other event speakers included Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities; Carolyn Gonot, UTA, and David Christenson, SELECT. As a key highlight, Utah Clean Cities announced its commitment to advance two DOE cooperative agreements to support advanced vehicle projects, namely the East Zions National Park Electric Vehicle Shuttle System Plan and Supporting a Strong EV Market in the Intermountain West. OED provided support letters for these UCC grants, which will include the development and deployment of a small-scale EV shuttle system at Zions that will increase connectivity across Southern Utah and act as a national model, and the driving of a multi stakeholder engagement project to strengthen the EV market and rural infrastructure across the region.  The projects are expected to generate more than three million in revenue for the state over the next three years. 

Ramiro Floras checks out a trio of Teslas following a press conference during a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

“The entire Intermountain West Region will benefit from this project which supports consumer education, stakeholder engagement, and urban and rural infrastructure development of electric vehicle charging through the expansion of alternative fuel corridors,” said Tammie Bostick, executive director of Utah Clean Cities.

Other transportation stakeholders spoke on their commitment to delivering on Utah’s alternative fuel future, including Dominion Energy on the advancement of H.B. 107 which expands the Sustainable Transportation Plan Act to include a large-scale natural gas utility, and UTA which has reduced its emissions by more than half by diversifying their fleet since 2008, with a long-term goal of evenly providing of CNG, electric and hybrid fuels. 

“Dominion Energy is proud to deliver clean, reliable energy to homes, businesses, industry and alternative-energy automobiles,” said Craig Wagstaff, Dominion Energy Senior Vice President and General Manager – Western Division. “We are excited about our partnerships – which are expanding – with producers of renewable natural gas (RNG) to provide carbon-negative sources of fuel for natural gas vehicles and homes. Dominion Energy’s goal is to become the nation’s leader when it comes to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy.”  

Hal Johnson, manager of project development for the Utah Transit Authority, gives Carolyn Gonot, UTA’s executive director, a rundown of the energy consumption on one of the company’s electric buses following a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

UTA currently operates 54 electric-hybrid buses, 47 CNG buses, and 3 electric buses. With the implementation of new technology, UTA has reduced emissions by more than 75% from our past bus fleet (2008) to our current fleet today (2019),” said Carolyn Gonot, UTA Executive Director. “Those who choose to ride UTA’s bus system save an average of 18.7 grams/trip of air pollution. As UTA continues to incorporate clean technologies and people choose to ride transit the air pollution savings per trip will only continue to increase.”

In recent years, several municipalities have committed to diversifying their fleets, including Salt Lake City, St. George, Sandy City, Park City, and now the gateway community of Kanab.  In 2017, Park City became the first municipality in Utah to operate a zero-emission, all-electric bus system. Additionally, the Salt Lake City International Airport is working to integrate alternative fuels to its fleet, including RNG (renewable natural gas) and electric.  Lastly, adoption among the private-sector continues to rise, with initiatives within companies such as Geneva Rock, a construction business based in Orem, Packsize, a sustainable packaging company, and refuse haulers ACE Recycling and Disposal and Momentum Waste Management. 

“The world of fleet fuels has been very exciting over the last 10 years,” said Matt Stalsberg, general manager of ACE.  “Our consumption needs have forced us to look at alternative fuels, and our ethics have inspired us to choose what fuels we think would benefit our environment.  Fueling technology is the driving force that tells us what we can afford versus what we may want for the environment. Manufacturer’s need incentives, to embrace new technology research, this will help people like me afford a fleet that I can be proud of.”

Lastly, Utah continues to be at the forefront of emerging electriciation opportunities through research conducted at Utah State University’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center (SELECT) — a diverse network of faculty, students, key industry members and stakeholders are pursuing research activities that enable technologies and engineered systems in electrified transportation.

“Our collaboration activities have allowed us to grow from what began as five university partners and a dozen faculty members to 13 core and affiliated university members with more than 40 researchers with globally recognized expertise across sectors in the electric transportation ecosystem,” said David M. Christensen, SELECT Executive Director. “We are proud to have an aggressive and competitive research enterprise at Utah State University, including the Electric Vehicle & Roadway Research and Test Track Facility.”