ENERGY VISION PRESENTS “ENERGY VISION AWARDS” AT ITS SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
NEW YORK, November 22, 2013 — Energy Vision, a national non-profit organization that promotes clean, renewable, petroleum-free transportation fuels, presented its 2013 Energy Vision Leadership Awards, at an event in New York City. “The awards”, said Energy Vision President, Joanna Underwood “went to the public and private sector pioneers who are making a true waste-to-fuel revolution in this country a reality.”
The Awards went to The City of Sacramento, the first city in the U.S. to put in place a fully closed-loop system, turning organic wastes, long considered just “garbage,” into fuel – fuel which is now used to power the trucks collecting the waste. The second award went to the Fair Oaks Dairy for its manure-to-fuel initiative producing fuel for its milk distribution trucks. The actor, Blythe Danner, received a Lifetime Leadership Award for her passionate promotion of recycling and pollution prevention throughout her remarkable 40-year career.
The awards were presented at the organization’s November 21st Seventh Anniversary Celebration in Manhattan. The “all green” affair was co-chaired by Energy Vision Board members Brendan Sexton, former Commissioner of Sanitation for New York City; photographer and lecturer Joan Pearlman; Energy Vision’s President Joanna Underwood, and film producer Tom Fontana.
According to Energy Vision’s President Joanna Underwood, who set the stage for the immense importance of the innovative projects being honored, “Only with the pioneering spirit of business leaders such as those honored this evening by Energy Vision, who envision how their skills can help create a sustainable future and who devote the resources needed to this task – and only with the willingness of government leaders such as The Mayor of the City of Sacramento, to embrace innovation, will our country move toward a sustainable future.”
Introducing the Awardees, Sexton told the close to 100 guests, which included government, business and municipal leaders, “Our awardees are true ‘Energy Visionaries.’ Their work exemplifies the power of vision combined with commitment and action. All have helped achieve progress in weaning this country from its dangerous dependence on foreign oil. They are showing that there is now a fully commercial sustainable fuel. It is ready to go. This fuel is chemically similar to the natural gas used to heat millions of homes and to generate power, but it is much better: It is made from a renewable resource – the organic wastes thrown out by households, businesses, food processors and agricultural operations that we have long just treated as “garbage.” We have now discovered that these materials are a valuable energy and fuels feedstock, because, as organics breakdown, they generate biogases that can be captured and refined into what we call renewable natural gas or “RNG.” There is a huge flow of organic wastes from coast to coast in the U.S. enough to power all the urban bus and truck fleets in the country.”
The City of Sacramento, was honored as host to the first municipal initiative in the U.S. creating a closed-loop, waste-to-fuel system. Keith Leech, Sacramento Fleet Manager and recipient of this award on behalf of the City, said, “Sacramento is no newcomer to natural gas vehicles – we’ve been all-in for many years. But now, by turning our waste into a renewable form of natural gas, we’re achieving a 90% or more reduction in greenhouse gases, at no extra cost to the city or taxpayers.”
Leech also read a statement from Sacramento’s Mayor, Kevin Johnson: “On behalf of the citizens and the City of Sacramento, thank you to Energy Vision for this award. As Mayor, I have a vision to transform my region into the greenest in the country and a hub for clean energy technology. One of the signature projects in Sacramento is to convert organic waste, specifically food waste, to build a biofuels industry in our region.”
Sharing the honors for the Sacramento project were the private sector entrepreneurs in this new fuel arena whose collaboration led to success:
CleanWorld, a Sacramento based company, built a groundbreaking anaerobic digestion technology system – the largest system of its kind in North America – into which the organic wastes from households, businesses, food processors, restaurants and commercial establishments go to decompose and generate methane “biogases.”
BioCNG, LLC, a Wisconsin-based company that designed the system for refining the biogases into a fuel, which is nearly chemically identical to the fossil-based pipeline natural gas that the country has traditionally used. The refinement involves removal from the biogases of the CO2, impurities such as siloxanes, and water so what remains is 97-98% methane.
Atlas ReFuel, also based in Sacramento, whose trucks collect these wastes and take them to the digester and are now powered by the fuel produced, and
Clean Energy Fuels, which built the natural gas refueling station through which the fuel is delivered to the trucks.
Richard A. Peluso, P.E., Board Chairman for BioCNG, LLC, said, “I want to recognize and applaud all the partners and the City of Sacramento for the vision and investment needed to make this project a reality. The project has been called ‘farm to fork to fuel’ – which is a great way to express the growing understanding that our resources are precious and touch all aspects of society. We are especially proud that this is California’s first commercially available carbon-negative fuel.”
Finally, Brian Perone, from Clean Energy received the award for his California-based company, which is the largest producer of natural gas refueling infrastructure in the country. “Clean Energy is honored to receive this recognition from Energy Vision, a pioneer in promoting clean fuels in the United States. We were pleased to be part of the City of Sacramento’s success in deploying a 100% renewable fuel, and we hope that its leadership is emulated across the nation.” (Clean Energy recently announced that it will offer renewable natural gas fuel, as a product called Redeem, at over 35 public refueling stations throughout California.)
The Fair Oaks Dairy project was honored for its manure-to-fuel initiative. Mark Maloney, co-founder of the Chicago-based company, AMP Americas, which partnered with Fair Oaks Dairy to implement this project, received this award on behalf of his company and of the other technology partners involved:
Greenlane Biogas which built the equipment to refine the “biogas” from the manure produced by the dairy’s 11,500 cows, into renewable natural gas, and
Cummins Westport whose natural gas engines power the 42 long haul tanker trucks that deliver the dairy’s milk (300,000 gallons a day) to processing facilities in three nearby states.
According to Fair Oaks’ Award statement: “By using one cow product previously regarded as a costly waste burden (manure) to create renewable natural gas, Fair Oaks is able to transport its primary cow product (milk) to processing facilities in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee in the most environmentally sustainable way. Moreover, the use of RNG will result in close to $2.5 million in annual fuel savings and CO2 emissions reductions of more than 16,500 tons.”
Energy Vision’s final Award was made to actor Blythe Danner, for her “Lifetime Leadership.” “Throughout her remarkable career,” Energy Vision wrote, “Blythe Danner has passionately advocated for environmental and health concerns from promoting the first waste recycling programs in New York City and Santa Monica, California, to driving one of the first electric vehicles (GM’s EV 1), to serving on many boards, including those of the Environmental Media Association (EMA) in California, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Environmental Advocates of New York. She was also a founding board member of Energy Vision.
Blythe Danner could not attend the event in person, as it was “opening night” for a new play, “The Commons of Pensacola” in which she has a starring role.
Energy Vision (EV) is a national non-profit organization, founded in 2006, that analyzes and promotes ways to make the swiftest possible transition to pollution-free, renewable energy sources and to the clean, petroleum-free transportation fuels of the future. For more information, visit www.energy-vision.org.
You can find the original press release here.