Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) plans to fund a $600,000 field demonstration of adsorbed natural gas bifuel vehicles, powered by a compressed natural gas (CNG) system developed by Adsorbed Natural Gas Products Inc. and Ingevity.

SoCalGas wants to demonstrate that the adsorbed natural gas (ANG) technology can provide a lower cost fuel option for large, light-duty natural gas vehicles (NGV), such as sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and service vans.

Some early applications for ANG were first adopted in the West more than three years ago. Fueling is done at pressures as low as 900 psi, instead of the usual 3,600 psi.

"This reduces energy consumption by more than 50% and lowers fueling time by more than 60%," said SoCalGas spokesperson Irene Nguyen. "Additionally, these vehicles can travel long distances on ANG before switching to gasoline."

The SoCalGas project began last year and will conclude later this year, Nguyen told NGI. Four 2019 Ford F-150 bi-fuel pickup trucks will be tested as part of the demonstration.

In other news, Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is pursuing an alternative to adding gas-fired peaking capacity, with plans to develop 850 MW of battery storage by 2025. It has contracts with Virginia-based AES Corp. for an initial 100 MW and with Chicago-based Invenergy LLC for another 50 MW battery storage plant.

APS wants added battery storage to extend its solar power generation into peak-load hours, and the first 200 MW of batteries will be installed at eight existing solar plants, rather than gas-fired peakers.

Meanwhile, NGVAmerica joined the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association at recent briefings on Capitol Hill regarding expired federal tax extenders dealing with alternative fuels and infrastructure investment. Small business railroads and the alternative fuel vehicle sector have relied on the Short Line Tax Credit (45G) since 2005 to increase investments in rehabilitation efforts. "It ensures an economic boost for small towns and rural America," an NGVAmerica spokesperson said.

The extenders also include the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit for certain alternative transportation fuels, including natural gas. NGVAmerica is urging that the credit be extended retroactively for 2018 and 2019.