Landscape of CNG in Oregon

The only 24-hour commercial fueling station dispensing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in our service area was opened in 2014 in Eugene. The state of Oregon allows the public to fuel at its compressor in Salem during state business hours only, Monday through Friday. Otherwise CNG fueling is currently limited to privately operated dispensers in and around the region. There are currently no CNG retail locations in the city of Portland.

We also have two working LNG stations in Oregon. One in Portland is by appointment only and the other is in Hermiston. Both stations are owned by BLU Trans Fuels, LLC and co-operated with Space Age Fuel. Fleets utilizing LNG include Kroger and Interstate Distributors.

Fleets utilizing CNG include Waste Management, Gresham Sanitary, Heiberg Garbage and Recycling, Republic Services, Salem-Keizer Transit, the Port of Portland, City of St. Helens, City of Wilsonville and the State of Oregon. In 2012, the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) introduced the Energy Incentive Program (EIP) for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure. ODOE has approved fourteen projects for CNG infrastructure, however only one of those projects has committed to public fueling.

Daimler Trucks North America is exploring a small scale CNG station at their Swan Island facility in Portland. They have added a couple of CNG trucks to their test fleet and need a reliable fueling location. The CWCCC has assisted DTNA in the past by providing them with fuel from our stakeholders’ private stations in the Portland Metro area. DTNA feels that building their own small scale station will give them a greater opportunity to carry more natural gas trucks in their test fleet. The CWCCC has helped facilitate meetings between natural gas station developers and DTNA.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) developed a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funding opportunity and awarded eight to entities for CNG fueling equipment installation projects. The awardees are still awaiting funding to be released by ODOT to complete their projects. Only four of the original eight awardees are left, and two more were added because of extra funds, bringing the current total to six awardees. ODOT commented that the CWCCC ONGVC report was essential in providing information for the development of a CMAQ program for incenting natural gas infrastructure. NW Natural also used information in the CWCCC Information Paper in filing a request with the Oregon Public Utility Commission to add a high pressure tariff for its commercial customers which the OPUC approved.

State of Oregon and CWCCC Work in this Area:

The Oregon Department of Energy has developed the Oregon Energy Incentive Program (EIP). This incentive program provides a tax credit to support alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicles. The program has a biennium budget of $20 million and will sunset in 2018. Since inception this program has received 22 applications for CNG fueling stations. Additionally the 2013 Oregon Legislature passed SB 583, a bill that creates a revolving loan fund for alternative vehicles for public agencies and tribes. In 2014, the legislature passed HB 4107 that allows private entities in the Medford and Portland regions to participate in the revolving loan fund. CWCCC held workshops and participated in conferences with a strong focus on CNG content to increase awareness. CWCCC plans on continuing to emphasize CNG and promote the new incentive programs the state has implemented.

Obstacles

Oregon DEQ is in a position to adopt portions of CARB/GREET 2.0 Fuel Pathways. There are regional differences in how Carbon Intensity (CI) is calculated for these pathways to either raise or lower published values. CWCCC is in a position to act as a clearinghouse for information. As part of the NGV working group we propose to actively seek expertise on Pathway construction and modeling, determine a budget for this work and raise funds for this effort through our members, trade allies and interested parties. The end result is to generate models on GREET that more accurately depict CI’s for selected fuels in Oregon and deliver a white paper on the effort. Once the report is complete, pathway modification proposals can be made to the DEQ for consideration. Potential policy issues to consider include the appropriate diesel gallon equivalent for CNG and how particulate matter may be affecting de-glaciation independently of calculated global warming potential.

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