In the US State of Georgia, Atlanta Gas Light Company has received qualified proposals from the City of Atlanta and seven commercial operators to open as many as nine new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations throughout the State. The Georgia Public Service Commission-approved program could more than double the public’s access to natural gas for vehicle fueling. The first stations could be open by mid-2013.
“The response we received indicates strong support for natural gas to fuel vehicles in Georgia and has the potential to make CNG much easier for many Georgians to access,” said Steve Lindsey, President, Atlanta Gas Light. “The domestically abundant supply of natural gas makes it a great time to invest in CNG vehicles to save money, decrease dependence on foreign oil and reduce emissions.”
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.
“We are very pleased by the response to our request for CNG fueling station proposals,” said Ian Skelton, Director of Atlanta Gas Light’s natural gas vehicle program. “While additional work remains for the station owners before these proposals can be turned into service contracts, fleet customers now have more certainty regarding the location of new CNG stations in order to make plans to invest in more natural gas-fueled vehicles.”
The nine proposed CNG fueling stations are to be located in Metro Atlanta, Macon, Savannah and Valdosta.
In November 2011, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved a plan submitted by Atlanta Gas Light to invest $11.57 million from the Company’s Universal Service Fund (USF) thereby authorizing the utility to install natural gas compression and storage equipment at newly proposed CNG fueling stations. The Atlanta Gas Light CNG Program is intended to help make Georgia a hub of CNG investment in the Southeast; it will run for five years or until the fund is depleted, whichever comes first.
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.
In addition to this effort, Atlanta Gas Light recently launched a program aimed at helping individual consumers and small businesses conveniently fuel their CNG vehicles from their own premise. Authorized by the 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 premise overnight. Monthly lease payments will typically be $60, with a minimum five-year commitment for a standard unit, including scheduled maintenance and installation.
Atlanta Gas Light, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources, provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 1.6 million customers in Georgia.
(This article compiled using information from an Atlanta Gas Light Company press release)