Company puts renewable gas made from organic waste on the market
Fill it up regular, premium… or “Redeem?”
Some drivers in California have a new option at the pump – a renewable fuel made from organic waste taken from landfills, sewage plants and large dairies. Methane is a natural byproduct of waste when it starts to decompose and now, a company called Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has figured out how to get it on the market.
Clean Energy announced this week that it’s selling Redeem at 35 stations in its home state of California. The company, which describes itself as “North America’s largest provider of natural gas for transportation,” also plans to sell the renewable gas to transportation fleets around the country, according to a press release on its website.
It’s the same company that is working with Allentown-based Lehigh Gas Partners to develop a number of compressed natural gas fueling stations.
More from the New York Times:
The company expects to sell 15 million gallons of the fuel in California this year, more than double the amount of similar fuels the Environmental Protection Agency projected would be produced nationwide.
Its customers include companies like AT&T, Verizon, Mattel and Williams-Sonoma as well as large fleet operators like SuperShuttle and Hertz.
To many in the industry, the pace of the fuel’s development has been something of a surprise.
“Though California and others have been investing in the development of this fuel, I don’t think people were expecting there to be a significant public supply or access this soon — maybe not even this decade,” said Tim Carmichael, who leads the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, a trade group.
A big factor in methane’s rise is the surge in natural gas production from shale drilling, which had already nudged the transportation industry to begin shifting to vehicles that can run on the cleaner-burning fuel, making it easier to meet emissions standards.
As StateImpact Pennsylvania has reported, the glut of natural gas being produced in the Marcellus Shale has caused prices to drop, motivating the industry to find ways to sell that gas as transportation fuel.
As part of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 law regulating gas drilling, $20 million in grants are available over the next three years to encourage the use of alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas or CNG. The grants are distributed through the state Department of Environmental Protection. They’re targeted at smaller vehicle fleets for businesses, municipal governments and state agencies.