Monday, September 8, 2008

New Glendale CNG Station?

First a new bike lane, now this!

If you are unfamiliar with CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as a vehicle fuel, please read my earlier post here.

From the Glendale News-Press:
Two years after Glendale prematurely lost its compressed natural gas fueling station, the City Council on Tuesday is poised to bring it back — and at a relative bargain.

The city benefits laid out in the proposal are in exchange for allowing Clean Energy, the nation’s largest natural gas vehicle fuel provider, to build and operate the station for at least 10 years, and comes with a $211,000 investment from the city to pay for utility connections, piping and landscape improvements.

The proposal is a departure from original plans to build a city-owned and operated $1.8 million compressed natural gas fueling station, with an additional $60,000 annually for maintenance.

“So it seems like a very good deal for the city and residents,” Councilman Ara Najarian said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

It would also end two years of 31 city buses refueling at compressed natural gas facilities in Burbank and downtown Los Angeles, resulting in what could be tens of thousands of dollars in savings, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

The cost savings should be even more pronounced after the city takes delivery of an additional six compressed natural gas-powered refuse trucks and a street sweeper in 2009, he added.

The station would be built at the southeast corner of the Glendale Amtrak/Transportation Center parking lot on Gardena Avenue, which Zurn said was “generally underutilized.”
could be open this spring!

Currently the closest CNG stations are in Burbank (near Victory & Burbank Blvd.) and Downtown L.A. (on Alameda, next to Philippe's). The CNG station in Burbank after 8pm is always packed...with Glendale's Beeline buses! It's absurd that Glendale's buses (31 of them!) should have to make a 14 mile round-trip for a tank of CNG. It's time we built a station in our own backyard.

Here is the full report (PDF) that was prepared by Public Works for the City Council. The City Council will take up the proposal during this Tuesday's meeting. I plan on attending. If approved, the station could be open this spring.

Burbank's very busy CNG filling station.


Jeff Lowe said...

good news. lobby the city to offer the cheap cheap prices of the san fernando station.

Anonymous said...

First of all, why did Glendale 'lose' its station. That location is now under construction, but what is it going to be?

Second, Glendale should 'bite the bullet' and build their own station, like San Fernando recently did. Clean Energy isn't doing this for free. Glendale and especially every retail consumer will be paying by the gallon for that station forever.

Scott said...

The San Fernando Road station went offline just before I bought my first CNG car, so I never had a chance to fill up there. But from what I've read, they had a major part failure that would be extremely expensive to fix. I assume the reason it wasn't fixed is because that site was already probably slated for demolition as part of the Fairmont Avenue extension project, which is currently under construction there.

While Clean Energy certainly isn't doing this for free, they made the city the proverbial offer they couldn't refuse. The city is cutting budgets. The city-owned CNG station plan would've cost the city $1.8 million, plus 60k a year in maintenance. With the plan approved by the Council, the City will spend 210k in infrastructure upgrades for the station, and Clean Energy pays for construction and maintenance.

And yes, we drivers of CNG powered vehicles ultimately pay for that at the pump. But as far as the city is concerned, it's not a bad deal. And ultimately the new station will save me a lot of money, since I won't have to make a 16 mile round trip to Burbank or Downtown LA for a tank.