Nearly 474,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of fuel have been replaced by vehicles using compressed natural gas during 2011, according to Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) officials. The ACUA opened the area’s first publically accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Egg Harbor Township in October 2010.
“During this same period, fuel dispensed at the ACUA’s station has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 1,145 metric tons of CO2e, and saved the ACUA more than $105,000 in fuel costs,” said ACUA President Richard S. Dovey.
The ACUA began using CNG trucks to collect trash and recycling across the County and region in 2010 and currently has 15 trucks on the road. Eventually, the ACUA plans to convert its entire fleet of collection vehicles to CNG.
CNG is cleaner than diesel because it reduces particulate matter emissions by 94 percent, carbon monoxide emissions by 75 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 49 percent, and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent. These environmental benefits are coupled with significant savings for fleet operators. Current prices for CNG provide a savings of $1.00 per gallon equivalent compared to diesel. An additional benefit: CNG trucks run 50 percent quieter than diesel trucks. Fleets across the country, including Waste Management, UPS, AT&T, Verizon and the US Postal Service are moving to this clean, less expensive alternative to diesel.
CNG engines are available for light, medium and heavy-duty engines, and many resources are available to any fleet owner thinking of making the switch.
“Compressed natural gas makes a lot of sense for service and delivery vehicles and other businesses who send trucks out and back each day. We hope that other fleet owners will look to the ACUA’s experience and consider switching to this greener, cheaper fuel source when replacing or upgrading vehicles,” Dovey noted.
The fueling infrastructure for natural gas continues to grow throughout the region. South Jersey Gas is scheduled to open its first natural gas fueling station in Glassboro, Gloucester County in January. Once complete, this will be the third fast fill natural gas fueling station in New Jersey, including the ACUA's station and Waste Management’s Camden, NJ station. The Jitney Association’s fueling station, which is expected to be operational in early 2012 will become the second CNG station in Atlantic County. In addition to these four, two more fast fill stations are development: one in Atlantic City and one in Newark.
The ACUA’s CNG fueling station, located at the ACUA’s Environmental Park in Egg Harbor Township, utilizes “fast fill” dispensers, which can fuel a CNG truck in the same time it takes to fill a regular diesel truck. The ACUA’s fueling station was designed and built by Clean Energy.
Funding assistance for the station was awarded to the ACUA and other New Jersey entities through the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition (NJCCC) which aims to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by expanding the markets for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Other NJCCC partners include Central Jersey Waste of Trenton, Waste Management of Camden and the Atlantic City Jitney Association, which switched its entire fleet of 190 jitneys to CNG, and currently fills up at the ACUA until their own filling station comes on line.
Statewide, the New Jersey Clean Cities Project will deploy 277 heavy duty natural gas garbage trucks and shuttle buses and aid in the construction of four new CNG fueling stations throughout Newark, Camden, Trenton, Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City. These initiatives are anticipated to displace 1.8 million gallons of petroleum annually, and to accelerate the transformation of fleets, putting efficient, alternative fueled vehicles on the road, and helping to build the infrastructure to support them.
For additional information, contact the ACUA at 609-272-6950 or go to www.acua.com.