Dane County has received national recognition for its first-in-the-state efforts to fuel county vehicles with cheaper, cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG), Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.
The county and partners in the effort accepted the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Project of the Year Award for the Rodefeld Landfill BioCNG Vehicle Fuel Project as part of the agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP).
“Dane County has led the way on a national level for its important work to protect the environment and save taxpayer dollars,” said Parisi. “This award is a testament to those efforts. I want to thank the EPA for this honor, and our project partners for making this historic project possible.”
Last April, the county partnered with several private companies that specialize in turning landfill gas into CNG, including Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC, ANGI Energy Systems, Unison Solutions LLC, and Madison Area Technical College. Together they implemented the BioCNG system, enabling the county to fuel converted parks and public works trucks with CNG fuel that costs a mere 20 cents per gallon.
“The BioCNG process allows for the first time ever the ability to make vehicle fuel at a cost less than pipeline CNG. It is a wonderful showpiece for all the project partners and it is now being implemented nationwide at numerous landfills, waste water treatment plants and anaerobic digesters,” said Richard A. Peluso, PE, president of Cornerstone.
The change also benefits the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG reduces carbon monoxide by 90 percent, ground-level ozone emissions by 75 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. It produces little or no fine particle pollution - - the pollutant that’s triggered several Clear Air Action Days and Air Quality Watches in Dane County in the past year.
Because CNG burns so cleanly, natural gas vehicles cost less to maintain. CNG vehicles show significantly less engine wear, spark plugs last longer, and oil changes are needed less frequently.
The BioCNG system is currently operating at a capacity of 100 gallons of gasoline equivalent (GGE) per day, but will soon be upgraded to operate at a capacity of 250 GGE. The landfill’s BioCNG vehicle fueling station operates in conjunction with an existing system the county created to convert landfill gas into electricity. Those electricity sales earn taxpayers over $4.3 million annually.
Cornerstone contributed design, permitting and site implementation services. More information about the BioCNG process is available at www.biocng.us. ANGI Energy Systems, Inc. was responsible for the CNG fueling station refurbishment. Unison Solutions, LLC provided fabrication of the gas conditioning system and the Madison Area Technical College donated a trailer-mounted CNG fueling station.
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