Larson Design Group (LDG) is currently designing a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in conjunction with the City of Williamsport. The station will be located at the River Valley Transit (RVT) garage on West Third Street in Williamsport and will be open to the public.
Why Natural Gas?
The price of CNG fluctuates between a half and a third of the price of gasoline. Maintenance costs for natural gas-powered vehicles (NGVs) are equal to or less than those of gas or diesel. Combined with government grants, significant savings can be an expected result of CNG-powered fleets. In fact, RVT has already received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a $400,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to help fund both the fueling station and the purchase of four CNG buses. RVT expects an annual savings of over $400,000 once the natural gas station is completed.
There are three types of CNG fueling stations. The first is the time-fill dispensing capability. While this station requires the lowest financial investment, it has the longest fueling time. Vehicles that fuel at a time-fill station are typically fueled as they sit idle overnight. The second type of fueling station is the fast-fill station. These pumps disperse gas as quickly as conventional gasoline stations, but they are more expensive. The third type of CNG fueling station is a combo-fill station, which has both types of pumps, and which is a good option for NGV fleets that are able to operate on time-fill but might need occasional quick top-offs.
The Williamsport fueling station will be a fast-fill station that will accept credit and debit cards.
Larson Design Group is a leader in developing CNG usage in Pennsylvania. In April 2011, LDG founded the CNG Focus Group, whose mission is to “foster learning, collaboration and action on CNG fueling & infrastructure as it relates to the Marcellus Shale region”. Members include industry leaders, concerned citizens, legislators, local stakeholders and business owners. The Focus Group meets quarterly and, since its inception in April 2011, has grown from 100 members to over 250.