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Texas Gas Service is Improving CNG Access in the Austin Area

At the National Coordinator Training, Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance received a certificate  for “Greatest Improvement in Petroleum Displacement – CNG in 2016”.  We give a shout-out to all of our fleets using CNG with an especial acknowledgment to longtime LSCFA member, Wayne Snead of Texas Gas Service for his dedicated work with CNG4America (CNG4America.com) and Sunrise Mini Mart to bring a CNG station to the Sunrise Mini Mart location at 907 E. St. Johns Avenue in Austin.  Specifically designed with a wide turning radius, this station easily accommodates medium and heavy-duty vehicles.  The additional CNG usage from this station gave the significant boost to the Coalition’s usage numbers that resulted in our certificate.

In addition to supporting station development, Texas Gas Service offers rebates to qualified TGS customers with certain rate codes for CNG vehicles and refueling units.  More information can be found on the Texas Gas Service website.

Wayne has also served as the Coalition’s Board president.  Thank you, Wayne and Texas Gas Service!

LSCFA has New Leadership

On June 30th, Stacy Neef retired after 16 years as the Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance (formerly Central Texas Clean Cities) Executive Director.  While Stacy will be available to work with LSCFA on special assignments, she  will be spending more time riding her horses in competitions, with her grandchildren and traveling.

The “new”  Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance team consists of Elizabeth Munger, Executive Director and Judy Fort, Financial Manager.

Elizabeth Munger,
Executive Director

Elizabeth began in the Alt Fuels area when she became the first Coordinator of the Laredo Clean Cities Coalition in 1995.  Her career in the Alt Fuels industry continued as she worked on a DOE Clean Corridor project for the CLEAN Air Force, and worked for a nationally known AFV consulting firm in Texas and California.  In 2001, she started The Green Group.  As managing director, she has worked on a variety of projects including a 15 year stint for a major auto manufacturer selling natural gas vehicles to fleet customers as well as marketing electric and hydrogen vehicles. Additionally she has assisted utilities, industry organizations and individual clients with business development and marketing research for a variety of products, services and concepts. She has a BS in business from Roger Williams College and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

Judy Fort,
Financial Manager

Judy signed on as Finance Director with Lone Star Clean Fuels in early 2016. Her role has steadily increased to include not only financial management but budgeting, grant management and reporting, and multiple administrative tasks designed to strengthen and formalize the Coalition. Judy has extensive experience in economic development, business development, nonprofits, financial management, customer service, marketing, training and outreach gained through her career working for the State of Texas. Following her time with the State she has provided financial and business development services to small businesses and nonprofits including QuickBooks setup and website/brochure design and photography. She holds a BBA in International Business and Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and a certificate from the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

With Board of Directors support, both Judy and Elizabeth are getting to know existing members and stakeholders, developing a wider membership and partner base, holding stakeholder meetings and other networking events and identifying potential projects and funding sources for the Coalition.

TCEQ Announces New Round of Grants for Alternative Fuel and/or Natural Gas Fueling Stations

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced today that up to $6 million dollars in grants is being made available to eligible individuals, businesses, and governmental entities to continue the development of a network of natural gas and/or other alternative fuel fueling stations to serve as a foundation for a self-sustaining market for alternative fuel vehicles in Texas.

The Alternative Fueling Facilities Program (AFFP) grants are part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, and are offered to eligible entities that intend to build, own, and operate alternative fuel and/or natural gas fueling stations in the Clean Transportation Zone. Effective September 1, 2017, the Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC) Chapters 393 and 394 were amended to combine the AFFP and the Clean Transportation Triangle (CTT) programs.

AFFP grants offset a portion of the cost of either the construction of new facilities dispensing natural gas and/or alternative fuels, or the expansion of existing facilities to provide new services or capabilities. Eligible fuels for the AFFP include compressed natural gas (CNG) and/or liquefied natural gas (LNG); biodiesel; hydrogen; methanol; propane (LPG); and electricity.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CSTTuesday, January 16, 2018.

The TCEQ has scheduled eight AFFP grant application workshops to review the grant requirements and the application process. Please RSVP to Camen Gupta, Program Coordinator, at camen.gupta@tceq.texas.gov.

EL PASO:

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Rio Grande Council of Governments (Main Conference Room)
8037 Lockheed Drive, Suite 100
El Paso, Texas 79925

• TYLER:

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8, 2017
9:00 a.m.
TCEQ Region 5 Office, Large Conference Room
2916 Teague Dr.
Tyler, Texas 75701

ARLINGTON:

THURSDAY, NOV. 9, 2017
9 a.m.
North Central Texas Council of Governments
616 Six Flags Drive
Arlington, TX 76011

LAREDO:

TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 2017
9 a.m.
Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Boardroom
2310 San Bernardo Ave.
Laredo, Texas 78040

CORPUS CHRISTI:

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15, 2017
9 a.m.
Coastal Bend COG, Large Conference Room
2910 Leopard Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78408

SAN ANTONIO:

MONDAY, NOV. 20, 2017
9 a.m.
8700 Tesoro Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78217

AUSTIN:

TUESDAY, NOV. 21, 2017
9 a.m.
TCEQ’s Austin Office
Building E, 2nd Floor, Room 254S
12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753

HOUSTON:

TUESDAY, NOV. 28, 2017
9 a.m.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Conference Room A
3555 Timmons, Suite 120
Houston, TX 77027

For more information on the grant programs and to access up-to-date information on the application criteria and process, specific geographic eligibility requirements, and copies of the application form, visit www.terpgrants.org or call 800-919-TERP (8377).

Fuels Fix Summer 2017 Issue is Available

What’s the Difference between Installed Capacity and Electricity Generation?

by DARON CHRISTOPHER

What’s the difference between the installed capacity and electricity generation of energy sources?

It’s a good question and one that’s commonly misunderstood.

In the energy world, these two terms are often used to describe the growth of energy resources in the United States.

Take wind or solar, for example.

There might be an article about wind making up 8% of all new installed capacity. Or, that solar will make up 1% of electricity generation in a specific year.

So what’s the difference? Let’s break it down for you.

What is Capacity?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) refers to capacity as the maximum output of electricity that a generator can produce under ideal conditions. Capacity levels are normally determined as a result of performance tests and allow utilities to project the maximum electricity load that a generator can support. Capacity is generally measured in megawatts or kilowatts.

Let’s look at an example.

According to EIA, wind turbines accounted for 8% of U.S. installed electricity generation “capacity,” as of December 2016. This means under ideal conditions, utilities would be able to supply 8% of the country’s electricity needs with wind power, but this won’t necessarily be the actual amount of electricity produced.

What is Generation?

Electricity generation, on the other hand, refers to the amount of electricity that IS produced over a specific period of time. This is usually measured in kilowatt-hours, megawatt-hours, or terawatt-hours (1 terawatt equals 1 million megawatts). To understand the unit of megawatt-hours (MWh), consider a wind turbine with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts that is running at its maximum capacity for 2 hours. In this scenario, at the end of the second hour, the turbine would have generated 3 megawatt-hours of energy (i.e. 1.5 megawatts X 2 hours).

If the wind was not blowing strongly enough for the turbine to operate at its maximum capacity, and the same turbine was only producing 1 megawatt of power for 2 hours, the total energy generation would be 2 megawatt-hours (i.e. 1 megawatt X 2 hours). This simple thought exercise demonstrates how calculations of generation take into account the fact that not all generation sources are operating at their maximum capacity at all times, such as when the sun isn’t shining or when the wind isn’t blowing.

Where Can I Learn More?

The EIA has a roster of Frequently Asked Questions on electricity usage and every other energy topic under the sun.

Learn more about recent advancements in wind energy and solar energy.

What’s the Right Electric-Car Charger for Your Home?

From consumerreports.org

Customizing your electric-vehicle-charging habits can help save you plenty of time and money

By Nick Kurczewski
August 04, 2017
Now that the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 are on U.S. roads, car shoppers have a choice of more affordable electric vehicles that can go more than 200 miles without a recharge.

These cars will need to be charged, however, and given their longer-than-typical range, that can take some serious time. So when does it make financial sense for an owner to get a high-speed at-home charger installed? It’s not a cheap decision, as they can run from hundreds of dollars to more than $1,000. Key is to choose based on your real needs, not just the potential use outlined in marketing materials. Many electric-vehicle owners will likely find that they on a daily basis, they don’t deplete more of the battery than can be replenished overnight using a basic 120V connection.
Intelligently customizing your EV charging routine can save you cash in the long run and can help you avoid hours wasted waiting to get back on the road once your car battery runs down.

MORE ON ELECTRIC CARS
Tesla Model 3: Everything You Want to Know
Volvo Is Going Electric: Does That Mean Its Cars Will Cost More?
Tale of the Tape: Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt EV
Electric and Hybrid Car Guide
There are several key considerations: Your car’s overall driving range, your personal driving habits, your daily routine, the availability of charging stations along your commute, and whether adding a high-speed charger at home would add real value to your home’s potential resale value.

A chart at the end of this report offers suggestions about which level charger consumers might consider, based on driving needs, including commute times.

There are three types of chargers, but only the first two are really meant for your home:
Level 1: This is a normal 120-volt connection, which uses any standard household outlet; there are no extra costs here. The downside is that charging times can be painfully slow.

Level 2: This uses a higher-output 240-volt power source, much like one that you’d plug your oven or AC unit into. Charging times are much faster than Level 1. Excluding installation costs, fitting a Level 2 outlet in your home garage typically runs from as low as $300, to approximately $1,200, depending on the make and model of the charger.

Level 3: These fast-charging devices use very high voltage and can add 90 miles of range to an EV in just 30 minutes in some cases. These chargers, however, are extremely expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars, and routinely using a Level 3 charger can ultimately hurt your car’s battery, so we wouldn’t consider one for home installation. Besides, they are cost prohibitive for most consumers.

Gil Tal, a researcher of transportation and travel behavior at the University of California at Davis, says EV and plug-in hybrid owners should experience their EV vehicles first before making the decision about installing a charger at home.

“Buy it and drive it,” he says. “Drive your car and see what makes the most sense for you.”

Although that might sound obvious, Tal’s research involving 26,000 EV owners in California and his studies in 14 other states showed early adopter EV owners rushed in and installed Level 2 chargers, whether they truly needed them or not.

When it comes to owning an EV, Tal says simple charging solutions are found only at the extremes of daily driving routines. For example, Level 1 home charging simply won’t work for anyone who drives longer distances and has no time, or opportunity, to recharge their car during the day. Upgrading to a Level 2 charger for that owner becomes a necessity, especially if the car is fully electric and there aren’t any public charging stations at the workplace or nearby.

For that owner, adding a dedicated 240-volt power source in your garage could be a quick and easy installation, Tal said, and it could appeal to future EV-owning house hunters.

Do your homework and be aware of all your charging options, especially around your daily commute. That’s the advice of Gabe Shenhar, program manager of vehicle dynamics at Consumer Reports. “If you live in a community that has public charging, say at the train station, and your car is going to be parked there most of the day, you might as well take advantage of that, and that might eliminate the need to invest in a Level 2 connector in your garage.” Otherwise, he says, “For a true EV, Level 2 is just about essential” if it’s the only source for power.

Also, explore the energy options with your local utility. Lower, off-peak rates are common, though they may vary depending on whether you are using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger.

Shenhar stresses the importance of knowing exactly how fast your electric or plug-in hybrid can accept a charge, using either a Level 1 or a Level 2 charger. He points out that it took CR 10 hours to recharge the electric-powered Chevrolet Bolt using a 240-volt power source. If you use a standard 120-volt power source, he says, be ready to wait longer than 24 hours for your Bolt to fully recharge.

One advantage of these new higher-range cars is that they should seldom use all their charge in a single day’s commute. With ranges that top 200 miles and average daily commutes of less than 50 miles, it should only be a matter of topping off the battery at night and not starting from zero.

An important consideration may be your vehicle’s “acceptance rate,” an often overlooked technical aspect that has a major effect on an EV’s charge time. Generally speaking, higher acceptance rates (6.6 kWh vs. 3.3 kWh) mean less time will be spent plugged into an outlet because the vehicle is able to more quickly convert incoming power to onboard battery storage.

On the other hand, a typical plug-in hybrid might have more limited electric range but also takes less time to recharge. “If you buy a plug-in hybrid, there is almost zero chance you won’t fill it up overnight with a Level 1 charger,” says Tal at UC Davis. A plug-in hybrid also has the fallback option of operating using its gas-powered engine once its electric power has been depleted.

As for going all in on a DC fast-charging system (or Level 3), forget it. Their prohibitive cost and high power levels make them unsuitable for home installation, Tal said. It would be the equivalent of building your own gasoline station to keep your car or truck fueled up.

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