A compressed natural gas fueling station, which will have public access, has opened in Pottsville.
Trillium CNG, a provider of compressed natural gas fueling stations with primary offices in four states, is operating the facility.
The idea to locate the compressed natural gas station in the Highridge Business Park came from Reading’s Penske Truck Leasing, which already had a traditional gas fueling station there.
Wanting to be able to use compressed natural gas fuel for its fleet, Penske officials sought out other businesses with truck fleets in the area to gauge their interest in such a fueling station.
Wegmans Food Markets and logistics provider NFI were among those that joined Penske in seeking a station.
Penske then approached Trillium about locating a fueling station on Penske property, with the promise that Penske, Wegmans and NFI would have natural gas needs for a minimum of two-dozen CNG-fueled tractor-trailers.
Wednesday, in honor of Earth Day, the companies celebrated the opening of the facility.
“Today is an excellent example of how several organizations can work together and create a success story for the transportation industry to transition to alternative fuels,” said Drew Cullen, Penske senior vice president of fuels and facilities services.
Cullen said the replacement of 23 diesel-powered tractors with CNG-powered tractors will result in a 1.25 million-pound annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 150 homes.
Public funding was obtained to help jumpstart the project.
Penske received a grant of $499,997 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s natural gas energy development fund. The money was used to subsidize the purchase of 23 Freightliner Cascadia tractors equipped with Cummins Westport 12-liter engines. NFI is operating 15 of those tractors.
Trillium received an $824,000 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Alternative Clean Energy Program to subsidize the construction of its fueling station.
The fueling station is on 1.6 acres and will be open continuously. It accepts all major credit cards and fleet cards. The separate dual-hose dispenser will allow two trucks to fuel simultaneously and features Trillium CNG’s proprietary fast-fill hydraulic intensifier compressor.