The city of Denver opened in mid-March its first compressed natural gas fueling station. The station has 70 CNG pumps that will be utilized by city vehicles.

Photo courtesy of City of Denver
The citys new CNG fueling station cost $2.5 million to build.

CNG is a cleaner-burning fuel that generates less carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions compared to regular diesel. Denver has already purchased 19 CNG vehicles and is anticipating having 40 vehicles, or about 40% of its trash and recycling fleet, running on CNG before the end of 2014, the city says.

In addition to the environmental benefits, CNG fuel is also less expensive than diesel. The city estimates it will save $2 per gallon-equivalent of liquid fuel or $8,000 per trash truck per year.

The new CNG fueling station, which cost $2.5 million to build, is an integral piece of infrastructure for the expanding CNG fleet. The station was designed by Denver’s RNL and constructed by TruStar Energy. The new station will facilitate up to 68 vehicles via time-fill hoses, while also providing two fast-fill dispensers to allow for immediate fueling.

Denver Environmental Health provided a $2.15-million loan to build the station; the remainder was paid for by Public Works Fleet Management. The city also received a $500,000 donation from Encana Natural Gas to facilitate the purchase of 15 CNG refuse vehicles.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Public Works Executive Director Jose Cornejo and Denver Environmental Health Executive Director Doug Linkhart completed the “first fuel” of a refuse truck at the grand opening.

The CNG fuel station opening supports Hancock’s 2020 Sustainability Initiative, which includes improving air quality. “Denver is very proud of this investment in alternative fuel infrastructure,” Hancock said. “The new CNG station is an important milestone in achieving our sustainability goals and elevating Denver’s reputation as a smart, livable city.”

The city says it will purchase additional CNG vehicles as older trucks are due for replacement.