The City of Asheville, Land-of-Sky Regional Council, and Mission Health today celebrated their revamped compressed-natural-gas filling station across from McCormick Field.
Built in 2005 to service the then-small number of city-owned CNG vehicles, the station needed an update in the compressors used to make the CNG from the low-pressure supply lines just like the ones that supply natural gas to local homes. “The new compressors are much faster and have better service life. We have also doubled the amount of storage we have for the compressed gas.” says Mark Stevens, COA fleet manager.
|“This is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to make our city the greenest in the South,” said Mayor Terry Bellamy. “These are the steps we need to take to make us a more healthy and environmentally sound city.”|
Ronald Paulus, President and CEO of Mission Health cites the use of “cleaner fuels, which reduce our carbon footprint and emissions, which is vital to the health of the people of Western North Carolina” as a way of “doing good and doing well at the same time.”
The station was funded in part by a $12 million dollar grant through the “Carolina Blue Skies and Green Jobs Initiative” from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The savings for a fleet of vehicles is substantial. Over the past six years, Mission Health alone has been able to reduce 276,000 pounds of carbon emission, according to Paulus.
Today, several of the new vehicles were on display — new Ford pickup trucks for the fire and street departments, and several new vans for Mission Health to transport patients, staff and equipment as needed around the area between their hospitals.
Bill Eaker of Land-of Sky-Regional Council’s clean vehicles coalition ticked off a number of advantages to CNG over gasoline or diesel saying, “It is cheaper than gas or diesel. It is domestically produced. And it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 23 percent.”
The new-and-improved station is now open 24/7 for anyone with a CNG vehicle.