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CPS Energy, VIA Metropolitan Transit announce RNG partnership


November 10, 2020
By CPS Energy

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CPS Energy and VIA Metropolitan Transit announce details about a new fuel supply partnership that will provide Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) created by landfill biogas to VIA’s fleet of over 500 buses, beginning in 2021.

The announcement highlights CPS Energy’s partnership with the region’s mobility provider to supply renewable fuel for use in its compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet. VIA has a diversified active fleet portfolio consisting of 502 buses powered primarily by CNG fuel, with some diesel-electric hybrid, electric, diesel and propane vehicles in use. VIA’s conversion to a CNG fleet began in 2017 and is designed to reduce NOx emissions by 97 per cent from the diesel buses they replaced. This unique partnership supports VIA’s efforts to be environmentally responsible by providing a negative- to low-carbon emission product to fuel its vehicles.

“CPS Energy thinks globally and acts locally to bring innovative solutions to our community. We are excited about this new venture with San Antonio’s long-term public transportation company,” said Paula Gold-Williams, president and CEO of CPS Energy. “VIA has been a great leader and partner in many of our community’s endeavours. Now, both CPS Energy and VIA are taking this important step forward together to help improve the environment. Importantly, RNG, a new technology, will help reduce San Antonio’s carbon footprint. For CPS Energy, it is also one more component of our creative Flexible Path strategy, which has been designed to leverage emerging environmental stewardship opportunities, while we keep our customers’ bills affordable and our services reliable.”

Naturally, the landfill decomposition process produces methane, which without intervention is released into the air. Alternatively, RNG uses that methane to create renewable and environmentally sustainable biomethane. RNG can be blended with and is interchangeable with traditional natural gas. The enhanced natural gas is then distributed through San Antonio’s existing gas lines as normal.

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When used as a vehicle fuel, RNG provides a substantial environmental benefit— an 85 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions relative to diesel fuel. The distribution and use of CNG gas emphasizes both CPS Energy’s and VIA’s goal of reducing emissions and preserving the environment and should be available for VIA’s CNG fleet in the fall of next year.

“This is a natural next step in our continued partnership with CPS Energy to provide a cleaner, ‘greener’ future through the use of renewable energy,” VIA president/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Incorporating RNG fuel technology is part of VIA’s ongoing commitment to offer sustainable transit options that keep San Antonio moving.”

VIA operates the nation’s largest CNG fuelling station to power its CNG fleet. The addition of RNG fuel will include use of existing infrastructure while expanding VIA’s collaboration with CPS Energy.

Australian-headquartered EDL, a global producer of sustainable, distributed energy, will design, construct, own, and operate the RNG production plant in Converse, Tex. The RNG will be injected into CPS Energy’s natural gas system. Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected later this year with an anticipated completion timeline of fall 2021.

Globally, changes to reduce emissions and preserve the environment are a significant focus. For their part, CPS Energy stands ready to provide customers with reliable fuel sources to help power their vehicles.