Advancing the Alternative Fuels Market
Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) funded grant to address and assist in reducing multiple barriers to alternative fuel vehicle adoption. Tulsa Area Clean Cities was awarded $750,000 for 11 different projects.
Currently many municipalities do not have updated codes for the construction of alternative fuel stations. The lack of clear guidelines creates barriers and adds additional expense for entities interested in building alternative fuel stations. We hired a nationally-recognized land use firm to develop a useful guide for towns and cities to consult when considering applications for alternative fueling infrastructure.
Currently information for developers looking to build alternative fuel stations in Oklahoma is fragmented. Using information gathered from the “Developing Building Codes” project done by the City of Tulsa, Tulsa Area Clean Cities will write a step by step guide to building CNG/LNG, LPG, and EV stations. The guide will provide straightforward, detailed information along with relevant contacts for station developers on: location assessment, obtaining permits, designing and planning, working with inspectors to comply with building codes and regulations, etc. Additionally, a template version of this guide will be made available for adaptation by other entities.
Many consumers are not aware of the difference between EPA certified CNG conversions, and those that are not certified. INCOG will submit a request for proposal to hire a contractor to produce a video highlighting the differences between a certified and non-certified conversion kits. This will highlight some of our stakeholders and provide a neutral source of information to consumers so that they make informed decisions about their vehicles.
Fire Safety Training
Many station developers face obstacles getting their facilities to meet fire code. Often fire inspectors are enforcing codes for gasoline fueling stations that are erroneously applied to alternative fueling stations. Tulsa Area Clean Cities has contracted FS Circle Solutions, a training firm established by Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeremy Moore, to develop a training curriculum for fire inspectors on existing alternative fueling station codes and standards. Mr. Moore adapted existing curriculum to local regulations, create new materials based on his expertise as Chief of the Broken Arrow Fire Department, and provides many training sessions around Oklahoma to local fire marshals/inspectors.
Alternative Fuels Mechanics Licensure Outreach
Oklahoma has a great licensure program, but more people need to learn about it. Tulsa Area Clean Cities has contracted with the Oklahoma Division of Capital Assets Management (DCAM) to perform training for fleet and industry trade groups. The will include information about: The best practices and regulations governing the alternative fuel conversion industry in Oklahoma Equipment safety inspections and inspectors and alternative fuel station inspections and inspectors.
Case Study of Oklahoma CNG Mechanics Licensure
Oklahoma’s Division of Capital Assets Management has led the way in certification of alternative fuel mechanics. This grant will document how that process occurred, and in doing so provide a case study for other states to use as a resource when creating their programs.
Pulaski Tech Alternative Fuels Mechanic Training Program
Arkansas is in need of more alternative fuels mechanics. Tulsa Area Clean Cities partnered with Pulaski Technical College (PTC) in Little Rock, AR to provide support to their alternative fuels programs. PTC developed and enhanced programs for fleet mechanics and vehicle maintenance technicians.
Revolving Loan Fund
The upfront costs associated with converting a fleet to alternative fuels is a barrier that keeps many smaller fleets from doing so. The City of Tulsa will write a feasibility study for creating a revolving loan fund using Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds to fund a loan program for private fleets looking to convert over to alternative fuels vehicles. It would be the intent of this program that money saved from the use of alternative fuels would be used to repay these loans.