The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) and the Atlantic City Jitney Association are ready to roll out the first natural gas vehicles as they move forward with plans to transition their fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG) in order to reduce emissions and save money. On Thursday, May 20, at 1:30 pm, these new vehicles will be unveiled at ACUA’s Haneman Environmental Park in Egg Harbor Township where a temporary filling station has been installed to allow the vehicles to fill up until the permanent stations come on line later this summer.
The ACUA plans to replace 15 trash trucks with CNG vehicles and the Atlantic City Jitney Association will be replacing its entire fleet of 190 vehicles with natural gas buses.
“This project is significant to Atlantic County and the State because it advances a simple public policy goal: To reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil while consuming a fuel source that is cleaner, cheaper, and domestically produced. CNG is a viable alternative fuel in terms of fuel savings and environmental efficiencies,” said Tom Woodruff, President of the Atlantic City Jitney Association.
ACUA and the Atlantic City Jitney Association are part of the Clean Cities Program, a government-industry partnership with the mission of reducing petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by expanding the markets for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. In 2009, the Clean Cities program awarded almost $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 25 projects across the country. The NJ Clean Cities Coalition is the only non-profit entity in NJ that is focused exclusively on the development and deployment of alternative transportation fuels and related infrastructure. Other New Jersey partners include Central Jersey Waste of Trenton, Waste Management of Camden and the City of Newark.
The New Jersey project will deploy 277 heavy duty natural gas garbage trucks and shuttle buses and four new CNG fueling stations throughout Newark, Camden, Trenton, Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City, and displacing 1.8 million gallons of petroleum annually.
As a natural gas utility, South Jersey Gas, of Folsom, NJ, is working to identify other potential partnership opportunities with companies or organizations across the lower portion of the State that could benefit from CNG. "The timing is right for natural gas vehicles," stated Bob Fatzinger, Vice President of Customer & Distribution Operations for South Jersey Gas. "We commend the ACUA for their leadership in developing this exciting project, and we look forward to partnering with them to develop and promote this clean, energy efficient technology throughout South Jersey."
These projects will accelerate the transformation of fleets, putting efficient, alternative fueled vehicles on the road, and helping to build the infrastructure to support them.
“This is a great example of how public and private partnerships can create opportunities that have a far-reaching benefit” said County Executive Dennis Levinson. “Natural gas vehicles offer clear environmental and economic benefits to fleets and it’s exciting to see these first vehicles head out onto Atlantic County’s roadways.”
CNG offers many advantages to vehicle owners and operators. Natural gas is a domestic product, and its use will displace petroleum with a cleaner and less expensive alternative. Using CNG reduces particulate matter emissions by 94%, carbon monoxide emissions by 75%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 49%, and Carbon dioxide emissions by 25%. These environmental benefits are coupled with significant savings for fleet operators. Current prices for CNG provide a savings of $0.50 per gallon equivalent compared to diesel. An additional benefit; CNG trucks run 50% quieter than diesel trucks. Fleets across the county, including Waste Management, UPS, AT&T and the US Postal Service are moving to this clean, inexpensive alternative to diesel.
The ACUA’s CNG fueling station, which will be located at the ACUA’s Environmental Park in Egg Harbor Township, will be available for other fleets to utilize. The station will initially offer “fast fill” dispensers, which can fuel a CNG truck in the same time it takes to fill a regular diesel truck, and will serve both the ACUA and third party fleets. The station is designed with the capacity for future expansion which may include a “time fill” option for fueling ACUA vehicles overnight. The ACUA’s fueling station will be designed and built by Clean Energy and will be constructed during the summer of 2010.
The funding will enable the ACUA to replace 15 diesel collection trucks with CNG trucks over a three year period (five vehicles per year). The approximate cost for each vehicle is $291,500, about $42,000 higher than a comparable diesel model. Grant money will be used to cover the incremental cost of purchasing the CNG models.
For additional information, contact the ACUA at 609-272-6950 or go to www.acua.com.
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