Compressed biogas fuel station opens in Wisconsin
A new BioCNG filling station located at the Dane County, Wis.-based Rodefeld Landfill is turning even more trash into gas, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi recently announced. The station is an important component of the County Executive’s “CNG by 2023” effort to expand the county’s use of the cheaper, cleaner, homegrown fuel over the next 10 years.
Parisi, flanked by several of the county’s CNG fleet vehicles, unveiled the new filling station, which will more than double the CNG generation of the county’s existing facilities at the landfill from 100 gallons of gasoline equivalent (GGE) per day up to a capacity of 250 GGE per day. The new station will also increase fuel storage more than six-fold.
The BioCNG generated at the landfill costs the county the gasoline equivalent of $1.25 a gallon to fill up its fleet. The roughly $500,000 station was funded in part by a State of Wisconsin Office of Energy grant totaling $150,000.
“The last time gas was a little over a buck a gallon was 30 years ago,” said Parisi. “Those good times are here again with the county’s new CNG filling station. It will help us greatly expand the county’s conversion to a cheaper, cleaner, home-grown fuel, and increase the use of CNG vehicles in our fleet. It’s another example of how the hardest working landfill in the State of Wisconsin continues to innovate – saving taxpayer dollars, and protecting our environment.”
The county’s switch to CNG has offset the use of approximately 25,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline, saving county taxpayers roughly $50,000 annually. These savings continue to grow as more CNG vehicles are added to the fleet.
An additional $28,800 was recently awarded to the county from the SEO to cover half the cost of five new CNG vehicles for the county, bringing the total CNG fleet to 30.
To further increase CNG use in the fleet, the county ordered four snow plows that would run on CNG generated at the county landfill. Dane County would be the first to use this innovative equipment on large snow plows that could hit the roads as soon as this winter.
Because CNG burns so cleanly, natural gas vehicles cost less to maintain as well. CNG vehicles show significantly less engine wear, spark plugs last longer, and oil changes are needed less frequently.
At the direction of the County Executive, staff will also begin work with a planning firm to explore the possibility of completely converting the entire county vehicle fleet within the next 10 years. The strategic plan will look at all aspects of this opportunity, including vehicles, infrastructure, fueling stations, maintenance, training, and costs.
The fuel is better for the environment as well. According to the U.S. EPA, CNG reduces carbon monoxide by 90 percent, ground-level ozone emissions by 75 percent, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent. It produces little or no fine particle pollution.
The BioCNG that the Rodefeld filling station produces has the lowest GHG emissions of any vehicle fuel being sold today – even lower greenhouse gas emissions than regular CNG because there is no need to drill for natural gas.
The landfill’s BioCNG vehicle fueling station operates in conjunction with an existing system the county created to convert landfill gas into electricity. Those electricity sales earn taxpayers over $4.3 million annually.