A compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station scheduled to open in the City of Santa Ana, Calif., in the spring will serve as a back-up plan for city vehicles.
Construction of the CNG facility by station developer Timco began in December and is expected to be completed in April. Municipal vehicles currently fuel at an existing city CNG station.
"The city's station is semi-public access, but we have grant funds to expand the station for larger public access," said Rick Longobart, the facilities, fleet and central stores manager for the City of Santa Ana.
Longobart helped contractor Timco seek private companies looking to convert their vehicles to CNG in order to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions. The contractor chose to build its station in Santa Ana on vacant city land that was close to a heavily trafficked freeway.
There are two existing CNG fueling stations located in Santa Ana. City fleet vehicles have access to the other CNG fueling stations, but this new station is far closer and more accessible as a contingency should the city’s station go down.
Longobart, in answering why a public-access CNG station is a good idea for Santa Ana, said, "It's good stewardship to the community, allowing both public and private agencies to embrace alternative energy. Now they can just buy their CNG vehicles and have access to the fuel."
The city’s fleet consists of about 15 CNG and 15 other alternative-fuel vehicles out of 670 vehicles, and it has a plan to convert its fleet to 85% alternative-energy by the year 2016. Longobart said he plans to transition 530 additional vehicles to various types of alternative energy including biodiesel, ethanol-blend gasoline, propane autogas, hydrogen, plug-in electric, hybrid, and CNG.
By Kelsey Nolan