Energy Commission Awards More Than $575,000 for Green School Bus Projects

School District Fueling Upgrades Support Cleaner Buses

The California Energy Commission today approved $578,261 to projects that will boost the number of alternative fuel buses in two school districts in Southern California. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118

“This program has assisted more than a dozen school districts across the state to make the important transition to cleaner school buses,” said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. “Today’s awards will help Walnut Valley Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District install and update their natural gas fueling stations to accommodate additional alternative fuel school buses into their fleets.”

For the current fiscal year, the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, to help the state meet its climate change goals.

The state’s investments in these projects are safeguarded by matching fund requirements for awardees, and by making payments on a reimbursement basis, after invoices are reviewed and approved.

The awards approved today will help to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure. Compared to older school buses, new CNG buses can reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The award recipients are:

Los Angeles Unified School District will receive $300,000 to install 30 single compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling units at the newly constructed San Julian Bus Lot. This expansion of the district’s CNG fueling infrastructure will allow the district to fuel its existing CNG school buses and to continue replacing older diesel buses with lower emission CNG buses. As the district’s diesel bus fleet is replaced, it is estimated that it will eliminate emissions of more than 1,400 pounds of particulate matter per year and greenhouse gas emissions of 600 metric tons per year.

With more than 640,000 students the Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest district in the nation. Its boundaries cover more than 720 square miles and include more than 1,000 schools.

Walnut Valley Unified School District (Los Angeles County) will receive $278,261 to update and expand its existing compressed natural gas (CNG) station so that it can fuel 16 buses simultaneously. This will allow the district to refuel existing CNG buses and to continue replacing older diesel buses with lower-emission CNG buses. The district expects the fueling equipment to allow it to replace 11 more outdated buses with new CNG buses in the next two years. It is estimated that replacing the district’s diesel bus fleet will eliminate about 30 pounds of particulate matter and 13 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, as well as saving approximately $49,500 in fuel cost.

The school district is located in the southeast part of the San Gabriel Valley and serves portions of the cities of Walnut, Diamond Bar and West Covina. It serves more than 14,000 students in 15 schools.

The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state’s appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

Source: California Energy Commission

For more information on: California Energy Commission