Drought relief program offers training for impacted workers

CA ETP Brochure Covers

The California Drought Employment Training Program provides 12 different training opportunities, each requiring roughly 250 hours for completion, to workers, employers and students impacted by the drought.

Training programs include Irrigation Technicians, Logistics Technicians, Industrial Maintenance Technicians, Water Treatment Operators, Forklift and Warehouse Technicians, Food Safety Technicians, Qualified Applicators License, and Manufacturing Production Technologists.

The program is funded through an interagency agreement between the Employment Training Panel (ETP) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), using General Funds made available by the State Legislature. The project was developed based on recommendations by the ETP Drought Subcommittee.

Training programs will be provided to a variety of individuals who certify that their employment has been affected by the drought, such as those who are unemployed, laid off, under-employed, incumbent, or from low-socioeconomic groups.

Training programs have begun and will run through Spring 2016. Details online here.

The brochures (pictured above) are available on this page.


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Secretary Ross Delivers Commencement Address at UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources

California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross was honored to deliver the commencement address for the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources on May 16, 2015. Her remarks:

Dean, faculty members and staff, families, and—of course—students and graduates.  What a great night for a college graduation.  Congratulations to you for your achievement!

You will leave here tonight holding a degree from one of the finest universities in our country – and the greatest public university in the world.  This university – whose roots are in agriculture – is steeped in tradition and blessed with the very best minds in the world studying, teaching, mentoring – being leaders in their disciplines.

Given the outstanding academic experience you have had, I hope you feel ready to find your life purpose and pursue your passion.  Our world needs you – your intellect, your energy and your commitment to serve.

When I reflect on the pathway my life has taken, I laugh to think that I spent my first 25 years wanting to get away from agriculture.  I grew up on a farm in western Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska as an English major of all things!  I earned my degree while I worked full time and attended seven and a half years in night classes.

But then I got into politics and experienced the powerful connection of public policy to food access, farming and the environment.  That’s how I discovered my passion!  Little could I imagine that my life’s work would bring me to this special place – California.

Many of you are Californians by birth. The rest of you are Californians because you chose to study in one of the most innovative and dynamic places in the world.  California is a place like no other – a land of dreamers and visionaries.  I hope you choose to stay here.

What makes California so special are the individuals that brought it to life:

  • Students and scholars came here because this is where the “next thing” would happen.  Today, our universities grace the list of places the rest of the world watches with admiration and anticipation.
  • Farm workers came here because this is where they could support their families and build for a better future.  It is a legacy that still lives today.
  • Entrepreneurs, inventors and investors came here because we offer unmatched resources.   A talented work force; research capacity; infrastructure; and, raw materials.  California is still that destination.
  • Visitors and vacationers came here because… well, I really don’t even have to explain it. It’s California!  Today more visitors come to California than ever before.

This place is just that special. At its best, California is a mirror that shows each of us what we hope to become.  And your university – now, your “alma mater” – has put you in the envious position of advancing along that line, toward turning hope into accomplishment.

You find yourselves at a starting point that has no prescribed ending and no defined path forward.  Yet, the future with all the challenges it holds is exciting and the opportunities are indescribable!

Our state’s history is fraught with challenges, some of which seemed downright intractable.  Economic downturns and fitful recoveries. Natural disasters. And, of course, droughts that teach us the critical importance of water that makes all the things we love about California work – our economy; our bountiful production of nutritious food; our treasured environment; our very quality of life.

Governor Brown said it best in December:  “I think this drought will test our imagination and our science, our technology and our political capacity to collaborate.”

And it is testing us as we debate everything from which crops we should grow to the value of lawns and golf courses, the use of gray water and desalination and how much water should be dedicated to the environment.   Each of these is part of the equation, but individually these arguments all miss the point.

The point is that California’s diversity is its strength.  We know we have the range of viewpoints, the depth of combined experience, and the finely-honed innovative spirit to overcome, to evolve, to become better together.  When we collectively realize this and embrace that strength, we’ll work together rather than trying to solve problems by pointing fingers and pretending that changing just one thing will fix it.

We understand that droughts and extreme weather events will be a prevalent aspect of our future because of climate change.  And, with Governor Brown’s leadership we are embracing our collective power to address it.

I know that climate change has been a topic in your academic experience, and with good reason.   The rate at which the global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is rising creates a sense of urgency to how we address such a complex problem. Reaching 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history is not the right milestone!  How my generation – and yours – defines and responds to this challenge will have an enormous impact on the quality of life, the opportunities and the limitations that future generations will face, for better or worse.

In similar fashion, we are dealing with a global epidemic of poor nutrition.  Scarcity.  Obesity.  Malnutrition.   Making sure all citizens have access to a reliable supply of nutritious food seems like such a basic step, but in too many places – here and around the world – it remains an elusive goal rather than an achievement. More than 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger. 1.9 billion are overweight, including 600 million who are obese.

According to a recent report from the Chicago Global Affairs Council, nutrition is essential to global food security. “Malnutrition – from undernourishment to obesity – is a global challenge affecting every country on earth and placing more than a quarter of the world’s people at serious health risk.” That places a burden of rising costs on the health care system and lost productivity on the economy.

Despite this challenge, I look at California agriculture and I see a future distinguished by our continued leadership as we work to provide better nutrition to an expanding world population and doing it with less arable land, less available water, and a changing climate. The nutrition piece is essential, and I hope you will be a part of the solution. Under the umbrella of “Natural Resources,” there may be no more demanding – or more rewarding – professional path that you might choose.

In a very real way, California will have even more global influence than it does today. We may not be able to grow enough healthy, nutritious food here in our fertile valleys to feed the whole world… but we can show the world how it can be done.

Research, like the work done at the University of California, will provide the answers. The creativity and innovation of our people in Silicon Valley and all across this state will turn those discoveries into inventions and solutions, even transformational solutions to nourish the world and care for our environment.

Despite drought and climate change. Despite challenges to our global food supply. Despite the uncertainty an unsettled economy can bring, I look at you and I see reason to be hopeful, positive, and inspired. Your generation stands ready – better prepared than any – to embrace challenges like these.

One thing I think we teach here in California is that it’s okay to walk away from the status quo. That’s what farmers do every day. It’s the purpose they have dedicated their lives to.  They are mankind’s original innovators, solving whatever problem presents itself that day and that growing season. They are working within a biological system of plants and animals, pests and disease; not enough water or too much, freezes and extreme heat; ever more complicated equipment; and, fast-changing markets. Whatever it is, they figure it out!

Just like that farmer, you are well-positioned to help us fix these grand problems. You have a world-class education. You have learned patience, and process. And you have passion, not just for success, but also for service to your community’s well-being.

I challenge you to put these talents and qualities to good use. I sincerely hope some of you (or all of you) will find your life purpose related to food and agriculture and the stewardship of our precious natural resources.   Whatever your life’s work, measure your own success not just in dollars and dividends, but in what you do to take care of this world.

Do it for yourselves and your children – but do it also for generations you will never know, for a time you may never see.

Bring diverse peoples, diverse viewpoints, and diverse expertise together.  Help us sustain California as the special place that it is.   A California willing to change; willing to step up to the challenge; and always innovating.

The pursuit of your life’s purpose and passion, your contribution to the well-being of your community is what will change the fabric of our landscapes and our tomorrows.  Class of 2015, the world is in your hands.  I know you’ll take good care of it.


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USDA to Expand Investment in Water Conservation, Resilience across Drought-Stricken States

Targeted drought funding builds on substantial drought relief efforts

From the USDA:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest approximately $21 million in additional Farm Bill dollars to help farmers and ranchers apply science-based solutions to mitigate the short and long term effects of drought.  These investments will focus financial and technical assistance in the most severely drought-stricken areas in eight states to help crop and livestock producers apply conservation practices that increase irrigation efficiency, improve soil health and productivity, and ensure reliable water sources for livestock operations.

“Since the historic drought of 2012, dry conditions have persisted in many parts of the country, particularly in the West,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Every day, NRCS conservationists work side-by-side with agricultural producers and help them conserve water and increase resilience in their operations. Today’s investment will provide additional resources in drought-stricken areas to help farmers and ranchers implement solutions to mitigate the impacts of sustained drought.”

This announcement expands on the substantial efforts already underway to help producers conserve water, improve soil health and build long term agricultural resilience into their operations.  Already this year, NRCS state offices have targeted significant portions of their fiscal year Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) allocations to address water conservation, soil health, and resilience.  In California, for example, more than $27 million of fiscal year 2015 EQIP funding is directed towards beneficial drought management practices.

With this announcement, NRCS will provide an additional $21 million in technical and financial assistance through EQIP to target areas that are experiencing either exceptional or extreme drought conditions as of the May 5, 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor, which includes parts of California, Kansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.  The EQIP funding will allow NRCS to help producers apply selected conservation practices to better deal with the effects of drought in their operations, including prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities, cover crops, nutrient management, irrigation systems, and other water conservation practices.   On average, farmers and ranchers contribute half the cost of implementing conservation practices.

View the original news release on USDA’s site here.

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Another example of how Ag is always looking for ways to save water: “hullsplit strategic deficit irrigation” in almonds

California almond blossoms at leaf break.

California almond blossoms at leaf break.

Tucked away in the Almond Board of California’s Outlook newsletter for growers last week was a gem of an article about something called “hullsplit strategic deficit irrigation.” The upshot of the piece is: “A five-year study found that well-timed deficit irrigation can significantly reduce hull rot and potentially result in seasonal water savings of 10 to 15 percent without long-term impacts on yields.”

For those of us who don’t grow almonds, we don’t need to dig into the details – “maintaining tree stress levels of -14 to -18 bars” and so forth. The takeaway for the rest of us is the fact that this work is going on in the first place, and that the almond industry is just one of many examples.

Growers across the state, across many crops and regions and watersheds, are finding ways to save water. They’re investing in five-year studies that started before the drought. They’re inventing and creating and imagining and innovating. And they’ve been doing it all along.

This drought is serious – in many ways, it’s unprecedented. We’re in this together, California. And our farmers and ranchers are part of the solution.

See the full article online here.


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Water Wisdom – from the Growing California video series

The latest segment in the Growing California video series, a partnership with California Grown, is “Water Wisdom,” a profile of Central California farmer Don Cameron and his innovative water management to lessen the pain of the drought.


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Study: California dairy industry contributes $21 billion to state’s economy, stimulates ripple effect of $65 billion

From the California Milk Advisory Board:

New study conducted by University of California Agricultural Issues Center shows significant impact of state’s leading agricultural commodity

2015_EIR Infographic_Revised Draft_051115.pdf

Click Image to View Larger Version

Cementing its place as California’s most important agricultural commodity by farm revenue, California farms sold about $9.4 billion worth of milk while the dairy industry contributed approximately $21 billion in value added to the gross state product in 2014, according to a California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) study conducted by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). Including sales of inputs to dairy farms and milk processors along with raw milk and wholesale milk product sales, the dairy industry contributed $65 billion in total sales to the California economy in 2014. The growing demand for dairy products like cheese and yogurt as well as strong dairy exports accounted for 189,000 jobs that are dependent on the state’s milk production and processing.

“The dairy industry’s contributions are vital to California’s economy, from creating jobs to stimulating local and regional economies to providing nutritious and enjoyable products to consumers everywhere,” said John Talbot, CEO at the California Milk Advisory Board. “A large number of California residents depend on the dairy industry for employment and these jobs would not exist without it.”

The $21 billion to California’s gross state product included $7.4 billion as income to industry workers and owners and $13.4 billion through related, outside industries such as feed, veterinary and accounting services used for dairy production and electricity, packaging, equipment and trucking services used by processors. The tax revenue generated from these jobs supported important statewide initiatives to improve education, healthcare, roads, community services and the environment.

Overall, 189,000 jobs in California are associated with the dairy industry. Of this amount, approximately 30,000 jobs are on the farm and 20,000 jobs represent dairy processing. For every dairy farm job, there are several more jobs that are tied to the business and create a linked chain of economic impacts.

Additionally, the induced effect of the dairy industry also creates jobs in the community to support the area’s dairy workers and their families, such as school teachers and local bus drivers.

California Holds Rank as Nation’s Dairy Leader

California leads the nation in dairy production and dairy continues as the top commodity in the country’s top agricultural state. It has been the nation’s largest milk producer since 1993 and is also the country’s leading producer of butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate. California is also the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt.

Farm milk sales generated $9.4 billion gross revenue in 2014. Wholesale dairy product (cheese, fluid milk, ice cream, butter and other dairy) sales hit $25 billion in 2014.

Dairy Farmers Improve Business Performance

As an essential part of California’s farming heritage, dairy farmers understand the importance of protecting the land, water and air for their families, their communities and future generations. In 2014, California dairy farmers produced more milk with fewer resources. Talbot credits “improved dairy practices and management adopted by farmers” for the increased business efficiencies. The pounds of milk produced per cow increased to 24,000 pounds in 2014 from 15,000 in 1984. Farmers are applying 23 percent less water to their fields than they did in the early 1980s and have seen their average crop yields increase by more than 40 percent despite using less water.

Beyond the economic impacts calculated in the report, California dairy farmers and employees are active participants in their communities and contribute to social, environmental and other broad public goals.

 Study Leaders and Methodology

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). Daniel A. Sumner, the director of AIC who holds the Frank H. Buck, Jr. Chair Professorship in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis, led the study. Josué Medellín-Azuara, a project scientist at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, and Eric Coughlin, a junior research specialist at AIC, were part of the research team. They measured myriad impacts using dairy-specific data for 2012 and projections for 2014 and a database and model of economic linkages (IMPLAN).

About the California Milk Advisory Board                                                  

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s more than 1450 dairy families. With headquarters in South San Francisco and Modesto, the CMAB is one of the largest U.S. commodity boards. It executes advertising, public relations, research and promotions on behalf of California dairy products, including Real California Milk and Real California Cheese. For more, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com.

See the original press release on CMAB’s site here.

A summary and links to the full report are available here.

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Food hubs a valuable tool for farmers and consumers – from the Sacramento Bee


By Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee

When employees at technology giant Oracle sit down to lunch, they often eat produce grown in Yolo County’s Capay Valley.

The fruits and veggies come from the Capay Valley Farm Shop, which buys from more than 40 farmers in the valley and delivers to chefs that work in restaurants and institutional cafeterias, primarily in the Bay Area.

The Farm Shop is one of a growing number of food hubs that are giving farmers a new avenue to sell their wares – and allowing stores, restaurants and institutions to buy locally grown, fresh produce in bulk.

Farmer participation in food hubs is skyrocketing. U.S. Department of Agriculture data show the number of hubs in the United States has risen 288 percent since 2006 – to 302.

That increase outpaced the growth of farmers markets, which saw dramatic increases between 1996 and 2012. From 2013 to 2014, the number of farmers markets only grew 1.5 percent. In 2012-13, the increase rate was 3.6 percent.

So many farmers markets have been added, they may have reached a saturation point, said David Shabazian, project manager at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Shabazian recently co-authored a SACOG feasibility study for a larger regional food hub.

Food hubs appeal to farmers because they offer the opportunity to sell much larger quantities compared with farmers markets. That’s because food hubs typically sell to corporations and institutions, not consumers. Large food-distribution companies typically don’t buy from individual farmers, so food hubs present a new opportunity to crack the commercial market.

Schools, for example, are increasingly embracing the idea of buying locally grown produce. In 2014, trustees for the California State University system approved a policy that at least 20 percent of all campus food spending by 2020 will go to local farms and businesses. The University of California system last year announced the UC Global Food Initiative, which will explore ways to allow local growers to become campus suppliers.

Shabazian said he believes the food hub is a good vehicle to make sales to such entities possible.

Thomas Nelson agrees. He is the president and co-founder of the Capay Valley Farm Shop. “Getting product to market five days a week can be a challenge for most farms,” said Nelson, whose trucks travel daily to the Bay Area and weekly to Sacramento.

Participation in the Capay food hub has proved a market expander for the 350-acre Full Belly Farm in Guinda, said co-owner Judith Redmond. Full Belly employs 70 people and operates year-round, growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs and meat.

Each day the farm accepts orders from 30 to 40 restaurants, stores and wholesale distributors, and delivers them through the food hub. Full Belly products have ended up at institutions like Oracle and the food-delivery website Good Eggs.

To reach such customers on its own, Full Belly would have to drive trucks into San Francisco, which would be costly and time-consuming, Redmond said.

At Cafe 300, which is located in Oracle’s large campus in Redwood City, chef Armando Maes has been making good use of Full Belly products.

“The Capay Valley Food Hub is great because it allows me to buy unique ethnic items that you would not be able to get otherwise, such as as okra, hops, rare heirloom vegetables native to those areas that dot the Capay Valley,” Maes said.

In Sacramento, the Capay Valley food hub delivers to restaurants like Mulvaney’s B&L and also to institutions like the California Department of Public Health.

At the moment, there is no established food hub in Sacramento. But SACOG’s feasibility study concluded the idea could work here.

“This is not a leap of faith. The analysis found a food hub will be a profitable venture, but it will take some time to get there,” Shabazian said. “In 10 years, it should be making about $2 million a year,”

He said he thinks the region is well positioned for a hub given that there is a port, rail and four major highways that traverse the region.

SACOG envisions an operation that would be much larger than the one in the Capay Valley and would cost $6.9 million to build. The regional government body is working to line up financing.

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Governor’s May Revise budget doubles-down on CDFA drought and climate change programs

Governor Brown’s revised budget for May, released today, makes great strides in helping agriculture adapt to the ongoing drought and climate change. The Governor proposes to provide substantial assistance to farmers to increase their water efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, build dairy digesters and increase soil resilience.

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) would receive $40 million in the Governor’s plan. The program has already made $20 million available in grants to financially assist farmers who want to invest in water distribution and irrigation systems that save water and greenhouse gases. So far, 156 projects have been funded, drawing additional matching funds of $7 million. The projected water savings from those projects is 317,000 acre-feet, and the estimated greenhouse gas reduction is 2.1 million metric tons. We’ll be able to leverage that success impressively with this new funding.

CDFA’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program would receive $20 million in the revised budget. This is an increase of $8 million from the January budget proposal and is in addition to $12 million allocated to the program last year.  This program provides grants to assist with the installation of dairy digesters in California. It’s a great start to what I hope will eventually become a much larger effort to invest in agriculture’s integration with the environment while maintaining or increasing productivity.

The Healthy Soils Initiative, assigned to CDFA in the Governor’s January budget, is appropriated $20 million in the May Revise. This will fund demonstration projects and incentives for growers using practices that can decrease the CO2 in the atmosphere by increasing soil’s ability to sequester carbon.  These practices also increase water retention in soils.

These proposals demonstrate the Governor’s understanding of the important role agriculture plays in our efforts to adapt to drought and climate change, and they also stress the need to invest in and partner with our farmers and ranchers to make sure California continues to be a leading worldwide agricultural producer into the 21st Century and beyond.


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CDFA’s Drought Resources web page a useful tool for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers


CDFA’s Drought Resources web page stands as a valuable tool for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers seeking information about the drought in California and assistance programs.

The page features links to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, the Farm Services Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development. There is also a link to the US Small Business Administration. All of these groups have programs that could be of help to farmers and ranchers harmed by the drought.

Additionally, there is a link to the California Department of Community Services and Development, which partners with private, non-profit, government and community-based organizations working to help low-income individuals and families. The partners include four regional migrant and seasonal farmworker agencies that can help with rental assistance, employment services, and food and nutrition services.

Information will be added and updated as it becomes available.


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Agriculture to benefit from new water and energy-saving research programs – from the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission has approved more than $16 million in grants to demonstrate water and energy-saving technologies that promise to make the water, industrial, and agricultural sectors more efficient.

“In response to the drought and the Governor’s Executive Order, the Energy Commission today has invested in water-saving innovative technologies,” said California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “These projects will increase energy efficiency at water-related facilities and enable the use of recycled water to provide better management in sectors that are typically large water users.”

The Energy Commission approved five Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grants which lay a foundation for the Water Energy Technology (WET) program—one of the four Energy Commission responsibilities in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s April 1 drought-related Executive Order. The approved grants are:

  • University of California, Riverside to provide more efficient information sharing between water systems. Most equipment at water and wastewater systems in California does not easily integrate with other systems. The $3 million grant will deploy a system consisting of hardware sensors and customized software that will be overlaid onto an existing energy management system without disrupting treatment plant operations in three water districts in Southern California.
  • Porifera, Inc. for wastewater treatment in San Diego, Sonoma, and Fresno counties. The $3 million grant will demonstrate wastewater treatment in industrial facilities with Porifera’s Forward Osmosis Recycle technology. The technology uses an innovative membrane system to concentrate wastewater and generate pure water for onsite reuse. The project will determine emission reductions, energy and maintenance savings, and amount of water generated for reuse.
  • Porifera, Inc. for water and energy savings in making food and beverage concentrates in Fresno, Solano, and Alameda counties. The more than $2 million grant will demonstrate the energy savings, reliability and commercial viability of Porifera’s Forward Osmosis Concentrator. The system can also provide high quality water for on-site reuse.
  • Wexus Technologies, Inc. for commercialization of a cloud-based software platform in the agricultural industry. Wexus reports farmers can spend up to 50 percent more on energy than needed. The $4 million grant will demonstrate software that leverages existing utility meter data and helps growers access on-farm electricity and water information from any mobile device. Based on this information, growers can quickly adjust equipment to reduce energy costs.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Inc. to increase the removal of organic materials through a cloth filtration system at wastewater treatment plants. This filtration method can streamline the treatment process and reduce electricity costs. Kennedy/Jenks estimates this process accounts for 40 percent to 60 percent of total electricity use in these facilities. The use of cloth filtration removes more organic material from wastewater than the conventional processes. The $3.5 million grant will demonstrate this technology at three wastewater treatment plants.

“Water conservation and reuse play important roles in helping farmers and ranchers adapt to the drought,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross. “Public and private partnerships move innovation and agricultural diversity forward. Funding these projects allows farmers and ranchers to save water through efficiency without sacrificing their livelihoods.”

The Energy Commission also approved Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) projects, which must demonstrate the viability of bringing advanced fuels technology to the marketplace. As part of the Energy Commission’s continuing diversity and outreach policy, scoring preferences were provided to fuels and transportation projects located or demonstrated in disadvantaged communities in the state. The approved alternative fuels and transportation grants include:

  • North American Repower LLC to demonstrate the efficiency and viability of six armored security trucks converted from diesel fuel to plug-in hybrid electric-renewable natural gas. Security protocols typically require armored vehicles to leave their engines running during each scheduled stop, which burns fuel and emits pollutants. The demonstration vehicles, which have near-zero emissions, will operate in an all-electric mode during stop-and-go usage and in hybrid-mode during continuous vehicle operation. North American Repower received $3 million and will operate in Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
  • Transportation Power, Inc., for three separate projects totaling nearly $9 million: a heavy-duty electric garbage truck in the Sacramento region; an advanced batter-electric truck in San Diego County; and a heavy-duty electric yard tractor in the Central Valley.
  • Motiv Power Systems, Inc., to demonstrate an electric refuse and loader truck. Motiv Power Systems received nearly $3 million and will operate in the Sacramento region.


Link to news release

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