SoCalGas, OPAL Fuels, and Young’s Commercial Transfer (YCT) joined forces for a cleaner future by showcasing YCT’s renewable natural gas (RNG) fueled truck at the World AG Expo this week. These ultra low-emissions trucks are fueled at stations built, owned, and operated by OPAL Fuels across the San Joaquin Valley and the RNG is delivered via SoCalGas’ pipeline network.
YCT currently has 80 natural gas trucks and plans to increase that to 110 by the end of March. Additionally, YCT hopes to convert 75 percent of its fleet to RNG by the end of 2023. The trucks are equipped with Cummins Westport 12-liter engines and automatic transmissions and have a driving range of up to 600 miles.
RNG is not a fossil fuel, but a lower-carbon fuel, and is produced by capturing methane emissions from organic waste, including landfill sites and dairy farms. When used in transportation end-uses in place of diesel fuel, RNG can provide significant annual operating cost savings with certain credits and help reduce the carbon footprint of heavy-duty fleets.
"As a Kern County Supervisor and member of the Valley Air Board, I get the chance to study and make decisions regarding energy and air pollution priorities,” said David Couch. “I have always advocated for the 'all of the above' approach that utilizes gas and incorporates renewables into a healthy and efficient energy and air quality portfolio. As such, natural gas is an important part of our transportation system for Ag and needs to be part of the solution."
"Being able to represent the AG show as a Tulare County Supervisor and member of the Valley Air Board, I see firsthand how RNG can help reduce emissions,” said Amy Shuklian. “Improving public health and creating jobs are also positive outcomes.”
As part of its efforts to reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2045, SoCalGas is focused on solutions to help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, including heavy duty transportation. Clean fuels such as RNG and hydrogen are important components of any solution to decarbonize hard-to-electrify parts of the California economy. As part of that net zero goal, SoCalGas established benchmarks including delivering 20 percent renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030.
A new economy-wide technical analysis, released by SoCalGas, describes how repurposing existing gas infrastructure to deliver clean fuels like RNG and managing carbon can help the state reach carbon neutrality more affordably and with less risk than other pathways.
“RNG is rapidly becoming mainstream in the San Joaquin Valley, and it’s being adopted by organizations of all sizes,” said Gillian Wright, senior vice president and chief customer officer at SoCalGas. “California companies like YCT working towards carbon neutrality will help accelerate the state’s climate goals.”
In California, RNG used as transportation fuel has increased 177 percent over the last five years and in 2020 alone 1.83 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) was displaced as reported by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas.
Transportation accounts for more than 41 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of smog-forming pollution in California, with heavy-duty trucks among the largest polluters, according to California Air Resources Board data.
“Our trucks run over 18 million miles every year, which makes us uniquely positioned to affect the air quality problem in California,” said Scott Daniel, president of YCT. “As the first link in the California food chain, we look forward to leading our ag partners into a new sustainable future.”
“We are proud to help enable YCT’s effort to decarbonize their fleet while simultaneously driving cost savings through adoption of ultra-low carbon renewable natural gas,” said Scott Edelbach, executive vice president of sustainable transportation fuels at OPAL Fuels. “While the U.S. transportation sector is one of the largest emitters of CO2, RNG is proof that there does not have to be a tradeoff between doing what’s best for your business and doing what’s best for the planet.”
Learn more about the YCT’s truck here.