Success Story: The City of Grand Junction
Since 2010, the City of Grand Junction, Colorado, has been a leader and pioneer in the natural gas vehicle industry when the city began purchasing their first natural gas refuse trucks. The city has since incorporated 37 NGVs into their fleet of 640 vehicles across transit, shuttle, snow plow, and other municipal applications. In addition to building one of the first government natural gas fleets in the state, Grand Junction also installed its own public fueling station to make natural gas fuel available to the surrounding community to encourage others in converting their fleets or personal vehicles to the cleaner-burning fuel.
In April 2015, the city finished a $2.8 million project with BioCNG to convert the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) for their fleet, and they built a six mile pipeline to transport the gas to their existing fueling station. RNG is recognized as the best option for reducing vehicle emissions and improving local air quality, as it has a lifecycle emissions reduction of 90 percent or greater. Also, RNG is better than domestic—it’s local.
The wastewater facility, which only produces 500 DGEs/day of gas, is enough to provide most of the city’s natural gas fuel needs and to provide significant environmental and economic benefits. The facility is expected to displace 146,000 gallons of petroleum fuels and reduce carbon emissions by more than 3 million pounds per year. In 2014 taxpayers saved $200,000 in fuel costs, a number which will grow with the use of renewable natural gas. This was the first small-scale wastewater treatment to RNG project in the country and has paved the way for other municipal fleets to do the same.
“The Persigo BioCNG Project can serve as a model for other communities as part of a strategy to address air quality, climate change, energy efficiency, and energy security and independence,” said Grand Junction Mayor XX Norris.
For its successful NGV program, the City of Grand Junction was a recipient of the 2015 NGV Achievement Awards, which were presented in Denver, Colorado, on September 15 as part of the 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo. To watch the award presentation video for Grand Junction, click here.