Grand Blanc Township (WJRT) (12/8/17) Compressed natural gas is a growing way to power vehicles.
By next November customers will have a new place in Mid-Michigan to buy it. The MTA has teamed up with Consumers Energy to build and operate a large compressed natural gas facility in Grand Blanc Township. It will be used to fuel several MTA buses and it will be open to the public.
40 new CNG buses will be arriving by next November and will join the ones the MTA already has. There's a small CNG fueling station here but the new one will be much bigger and efficient.
"It will have the capacity to fuel all or our new compressed natural gas buses and be able to do it in a fast-fill mode," said Ed Benning, MTA general manager.
In the future there will be 100 CNG buses in the MTA fleet.
"This is our way to be environmentally friendly to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels," said Benning.
Eventually diesel powered buses will be phased out. The MTA already operates propane powered and hybrid powered buses. Before the new station can be built, Consumers Energy has some work to do.
"They have to run a large gas line to our facility here," said Benning.
Other vehicles that use CNG will be able to fuel up 24 hours a day.
"The public will be able to pull in and fuel. You have these truckers today using natural gas," said Benning.
Among those thinking of adding CNG to the fleet is the Genesee County Road Commission.
"We are looking at compressed natural gas for some of our light pickup operations," said John Daly, Genesee County Road Commission engineer-manager.
One advantage CNG has over diesel is a steadier cost. It doesn't fluctuate like diesel can.
"With Consumers building this station, this is a real boost to the MTA. This is really great for this community," said Benning.