Aqua America to convert larger vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas

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Aqua America to convert larger vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas

By Greentech Lead America: Aqua America, a
publicly-traded water utility, is planning to convert its larger vehicle fleet
to compressed natural gas (CNG). Aqua Pennsylvania, the company’s largest
subsidiary, has been piloting CNG vehicles for more than a year and has already
planned for a slow-fill station at its Springfield Operations Center in
Delaware County.

Slow-fill stations fuel vehicles over a longer time
period, which the company can accommodate because many vehicles are housed at
the facility overnight and have longer periods of inactivity during which they
can be refueled.

“CNG makes sense economically because of it is less
expensive than fossil fuels and environmentally because it is a clean-burning
fuel and thereby reduces carbon emissions,” said Nicholas DeBenedictis,
chairman and CEO Aqua America.  

Aqua Pennsylvania plans to begin the transition with its
20 dump trucks and 60 vans initially, as it begins to turn over its vehicles,
those that have original equipment manufacturer (OEM) CNG alternatives, will be
transitioned to CNG vehicles.  

CNG is
one of the cleanest and most socially responsible alternative fuels available
today. CNG produces 29 percent less carbon dioxide than oil and is 90 percent
cleaner than diesel in its natural state, thus reducing the trucks’ overall
operating impact on the environment.

“The relatively small, required up-front investment has a
quick payback, which accrues to benefit ratepayers through reduced expenses.
With anticipated cost of about $2 per gallon, it can be nearly half the cost of
fossil fuel with gasoline currently priced at about $3.65 per gallon and diesel
fuel being about $4 per gallon. Further, the operating costs are 30-to-50
percent less expensive,” added DeBenedictis.

Aqua Pennsylvania to dedicate 1.5 MW solar farm

Recently, Aqua Pennsylvania announced it will
dedicate its 1.5 MW solar farm at Pickering water treatment plant. The $6.5
million solar farm will provide clean energy to the water treatment plant.
Pickering water treatment plant is the company’s largest plant, serving nearly
500,000 residents of 27 municipalities in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery
counties.

editor@greentechlead.com