Fueling Good: Planning Design and Program Management for Alternative Fuels

  • Ben J. Moore AICP, LEED AP O+M, GPC Energy & Sustainability Planner, RS&H, Inc.
Keywords: Fueling Good, Alternative Fuels

Abstract

While petroleum-based fuels are expected to dominate supply in the near future, the use of alternative fuels is projected to grow rapidly over the next 30 years. Highlighted by an abundance of domestic natural gas and greater accessibility of electric drivetrains, alternative fuels are enhancing the financial bottom-line of organizations while improving the environment and public health.

Alternative fuels are diverse and include ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, hydrogen, natural gas and propane. Each has a distinct business case that can be applied successfully. Social and environmental benefits vary and must be considered in context with regional and project-specific drivers. For example, natural gas and biodiesel can yield returns on investment for large fleets of heavy-duty diesel vehicles. For smaller fleets with a greater proportion of light- to medium-duty vehicles, propane improves performance. Electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly and is now well suited for fleets of passenger vehicles.

Businesses, private fleets, municipalities, transit authorities, airports, and federal agencies all benefit from alternative fuels. Strategies to harness the benefits include planning, design and program management. In this article, case studies of each approach are provided to highlight best practices and potential lessons learned. Cases include: 1) a regional planning process involving alternative fuels as a driver for regional economic development; 2) a design process for a utility electric vehicle charging program; and 3) a program management approach for capturing public-private financing for design-build delivery of compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure.

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Author Biography

Ben J. Moore, AICP, LEED AP O+M, GPC Energy & Sustainability Planner, RS&H, Inc.

Ben Moore is a planner with Reynolds, Smith and Hills (RS&H). As a contributor to RS&H’s Energy, Sustainability, Planning and Program Management Service Groups, Mr. Moore manages projects for public and private clients related to sustainability planning, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, climate change adaptation and high performance buildings.

Ben currently serves on the board of directors of the American Planning Association, Florida Chapter, First Coast Section and sits on Community First Credit Union’s Community Advisory Council. He serves on the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s JAXALLIANCE energy committee and the board of Tree Hill Nature Center. He served on the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Chapter from 2009 to 2015.

Ben is a certified planner accredited by the American Planning Association’s professional institute and a LEED Accredited Professional for Building Operations and Maintenance. He is a guiding principles compliance professional, accredited by the Green Building Initiative. He holds a Masters of Environmental Management in environmental economics and policy from Duke University and a graduate certificate in energy and a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College.

References

Energy Information Administration (2013). Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data.

Energy Information Administration (2014). International Energy Statistics.

Energy Information Administration (2013). Annual Energy Outlook 2013.

U.S. Department of Energy (2013). Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Price Report.

California Energy Commission (2007). Full Fuel Cycle Assessment Well to Tank Energy

Inputs, Emissions and Water Impacts.

U.S. Department of Energy (2010). Transportation Energy Data Book, 30th edition.

North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (2014). Alternative Fuels, Vehicle

and Infrastructure Master Plan. http://gis.rsandh.com/Transportation/AFVandI/

AFV&I%20Master%20Plan_Final_020215.pdf.

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Articles