America’s natural gas utilities are working with local governments, automobile manufacturers, fleet operators and natural gas producers to further develop the use of clean, domestic, affordable natural gas as a transportation fuel and create the infrastructure to make refueling more convenient.
Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 1.6 million customers in Georgia. It has announced plans to open as many as nine new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations throughout the state. The first stations could be open by mid-2013.
In November 2011, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved a plan by Atlanta Gas Light to invest $11.57 million from the Company’s Universal Service Fund to install natural gas compression and storage equipment at newly proposed CNG fueling stations. In March 2012 AGL issued a request for proposals for parties interested in developing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations for commercial and passenger vehicles in Georgia. Last week, AGL announced that it has received qualified proposals from the City of Atlanta and seven commercial operators.
The nine proposed CNG fueling stations are to be located in Metro Atlanta, Macon, Savannah and Valdosta. This could more than double public access to natural gas for vehicle fueling in the area.
Over the next 90 days, each potential station owner must finalize contracts with fleet customers to meet minimum annual CNG purchase requirements at each station. Retailers that are successful in fulfilling the post-award requirements are eligible to sign a service agreement with Atlanta Gas Light and obtain CNG service from the utility under a rate approved by the Commission.
The initiative is the first state-sponsored investment program in the Southeast that allows the utility to add infrastructure to its market without rate impacts on current customers. All site development costs as well as any costs to maintain and operate the equipment will be paid by the station owners and their respective CNG customers.
AGL is a pioneer in the field of natural gas vehicles. In addition to this effort, they recently launched a program aimed at helping individual consumers and small businesses conveniently fuel their CNG vehicles from their own premise. Authorized by the Georgia Public Service Commission, the program provides low cost leases of home refueling appliances, known as HRAs, which allow commuters to refill their CNG cars at their own location overnight. Monthly lease payments will typically be $60, with a minimum five-year commitment for a standard unit, including scheduled maintenance and installation.
You can fine more information about AGL’s natural gas vehicle program at www.atlantagaslight.com/cngplan.