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Glenwood Springs ushers in CNG future

David Owens, technician for Trillium CNG, assists Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky fuel up one of the county's compressed natural gas-powered heavy duty pickup trucks Friday during a grand opening for the new CNG fueling station at the West Glenwood Shell.
John Stroud | Post Independent

CNG Fueling Station Facts

• Retail public pricing of $2.29 per GGE (gallon of gasoline equivalent)

• Two 125 HP natural gas compressors provide redundancy and ensure reliable, fast fill at 3,600 psi.

• Two onsite CNG pressurized storage vessels can dispense 160 GGE, equal to 10 pickup truck fill-ups.

• Stainless steel tubing safely encased underground from compressor to dispenser ensures uninterrupted flow of pressurized natural gas.

• One dual-hose dispenser with high-flow CNG nozzles, and vehicle access from two lanes for heavy-duty large trucks and light-duty vehicles.

• SourceGas natural gas service via a new, dedicated pipeline delivering gas at 35 psi.

• Glenwood Springs Electric powers the compressors via 800-amp, 480-volt, 3-phase service.

• Convenient, accessible location on Highway 6, immediately north of I-70 Exit 114.

• Station is open for fueling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

• Trillium service and maintenance staff checks the station weekly and on demand as needed.

• Station cost: $1.24 million, excluding natural gas and electric utility upgrades

• Grants: Garfield County: $90,000; city of Glenwood Springs: $10,000; ALT Fuels Colorado: $442,880

Source: Trillium, Garfield Clean Energy

A new compressed natural gas fueling station in West Glenwood now makes the drive between Denver and Glenwood Springs in a CNG-powered vehicle possible, as Wes Maurer experienced Friday.

Maurer, who is the transportation program manager for the Colorado Energy Office, was one of the invited guests at the grand opening of the new Trillium fast-fill CNG fueling station, located at the Shell West Mart on Mel Ray Road owned by Western Petroleum.

Not only does the addition of another CNG station along the Interstate 70 corridor open up more opportunities for government and private vehicle fleet operators, current state tax credits make it a good time for individuals to consider purchasing a CNG vehicle, Maurer said.



“It took everybody here today to bring this together,” offered Western Petroleum owner Al Butler, who noted that he was first contacted in 2012 by Trillium CNG to locate a natural gas compressor and fueling pump at his Shell station.

“It wasn’t an easy process to get to this point … but, truly, I think all of us here today believe that CNG is where we are headed. And we wanted to be on the front end of that,” Butler said.



Trillium CNG’s Glenwood Springs station is the company’s second to open in Colorado. It was funded by the Energy Office’s ALT Fuels grant program, which comes from Federal Highway Administration dollars. The first opened in August in Pueblo, and a new Trinidad CNG station is slated to open Nov. 17.

The $442,880 grant covered about a third the $1.24 million cost of station equipment and construction. The ALT Fuels program is providing incentives for up to 30 new CNG stations across Colorado during a four-year period concluding in 2017.

On the Western Slope, the nearest stations are in Parachute, 40 miles west of Glenwood Springs on I-70, operated by Encana Natural Gas USA, and in Grand Junction, operated by Monument Clean Fuels. A station is scheduled to be built in Rifle in 2016 by Sparq Natural Gas at the Gilco Petroleum Park.

Funding for the West Glenwood station also came from incentive grants awarded to Trillium CNG by Garfield County ($90,000) and the city of Glenwood Springs ($10,000).

“This is a celebration of collaboration, partnerships and opportunity,” Glenwood Springs City Councilwoman Kathryn Trauger said at the grand opening event. “It’s also an opportunity to put into practice, think globally, act locally. Natural gas is a Garfield County product that supports local jobs and economic diversity.”

The intergovernmental Garfield Clean Energy and its managing nonprofit organization Clean Energy Economy for the Region also assisted by organizing area fleets to purchase CNG vehicles.

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky recalled that the county was on the front end of that movement five years ago when it decided to convert some of its standard gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to use CNG.

In doing so, the county risked losing the warranty on those vehicles, and there was only one area fueling station at the time, located in Rifle.

“Today, we have a whole fleet of CNG vehicles with full warranties,” Jankovsky said.

And, he said it was from a joint meeting between the Garfield and Pitkin county commissioners that the idea was passed along to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority to consider converting its bus fleet to CNG. The newer rapid transit buses are now all CNG-powered.

Trillium also built RFTA’s private CNG fueling station in Glenwood Springs.

“You are leading the way on the Western Slope,” Marc Rowe of Trillium said. “In five years I believe Colorado will be a large leader in this, and today is the beginning of that great partnership.”

Also speaking at the Friday grand opening were state Rep. Bob Rankin, state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, Colorado Department of Local Affairs regional representative Elyse Ackerman, and Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President and CEO Marianne Virgili.

The current retail public pricing for compressed natural gas at the new Glenwood Springs station is $2.29 per gallon of gasoline equivalent.

For information about other CNG fueling stations in Colorado and across the U.S., download the CNGNow app to your smartphone: http://www.cngnow.com, or visit the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fueling Station Locator website at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/.


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