Clean Energy Fuels, the natural gas vehicle distributor founded by former oil baron T. Boone Pickens, has been on an acquisition and deal-making spree over the past few months. This morning it’s got another deal to build and operate a compressed natural gas station South of Seattle downtown that will supply fuel for 40 new garbage-hauling trucks for innovative trash collector CleanScapes. CleanScapes is an official Seattle waste contractor (which is a contract estimated to be worth nearly $80 million) and its deal with Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) is for 10 years, though no financial terms were released.
CleanScapes was founded over a decade ago by entrepreneur Chris Martin, who says in the release this morning that the new natural gas powered garbage trucks will be used mostly for residential collections, which will reduce both emissions and noise in populated areas. CleanScapes collects trash several times a day, picking up its color-coded bags for garbage, recycling and compost. The company also advocates trash reduction and is expanding into Portland and San Francisco.
It might not be a massive win for Clean Energy Fuels, but cozying up with city contractors is a solid way to get a natural gas pump built. San Francisco and San Jose’s mayors have both pushed for greener city fleets as a way to provide business for new cleantech companies. And while there are only about 1,100 natural-gas fueling stations in the U.S., according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, the more pumps the better for Clean Energy Fuels to get natural gas into more fuel tanks.
Recently, Clean Energy Fuels has also taken a very aggressive approach to building out its business across the natural gas vehicle world. Earlier this month the company said it plans to acquire FuelMaker, makers of the home consumer natural gas refueller “The Phill,” from American Honda Corp. and the FuelMaker Trust for $17 million in cash. Previously the company said it had purchased Dallas Clean Energy (DCE), owner of the McCommas Bluff landfill gas processing plant, which the firms claim is the third largest landfill gas operation in the U.S, for $19.1 million. And earlier Clean Energy Fuels said it had joined with investment group Perseus and T. Boone Pickens to support the creation of a natural gas vehicle with investment to the tune of $160 million.