San Antonio's VIA Announces RNG Partnership
San Antonio's VIA Announces RNG Partnership

CPS Energy and San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit announced details about a new fuel supply partnership, which will provide Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) created by landfill biogas to VIA’s fleet of over 500 buses, beginning in 2021.

The announcement highlights CPS Energy's partnership with the region’s mobility provider to supply renewable fuel for use in its CNG fleet. VIA has a diversified active fleet portfolio consisting of 502 buses powered primarily by CNG fuel, with some diesel-electric hybrid, electric, diesel, and propane vehicles in use. VIA’s conversion to a CNG fleet began in 2017 and is designed to reduce NOx emissions by 97% from the diesel buses they replaced.

The unique partnership supports VIA’s efforts to be environmentally responsible by providing a negative- to low-carbon emission product to fuel its vehicles.

Naturally, the landfill decomposition process produces methane, which without intervention is released into the air. Alternatively, RNG uses that methane to create renewable and environmentally sustainable biomethane. RNG can be blended with and is interchangeable with traditional natural gas. The enhanced natural gas is then distributed through San Antonio’s existing gas lines as normal.

When used as a vehicle fuel, RNG provides a substantial environmental benefit — an 85% reduction of CO2 emissions relative to diesel fuel. The distribution and use of CNG gas emphasizes both CPS Energy’s and VIA’s goal of reducing emissions and preserving the environment and should be available for VIA’s CNG fleet in the fall of next year.

“This is a natural next step in our continued partnership with CPS Energy to provide a cleaner, ‘greener’ future through the use of renewable energy,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Incorporating RNG fuel technology is part of VIA’s ongoing commitment to offer sustainable transit options that keep San Antonio moving.”

VIA operates the nation’s largest CNG fueling station to power its CNG fleet. The addition of RNG fuel will include use of existing infrastructure while expanding VIA’s collaboration with CPS Energy.