CHESAPEAKE – City Manager William E. Harrell announced today that Chesapeake will convert its fleet of solid waste collection trucks from diesel fuel to cleaner burning compressed natural gas (CNG). As part of the conversion, the City will construct a CNG refueling station for use by the solid waste fleet and the public.
Based on current fuel prices, the conversion is expected to save the City approximately $1.75 per gallon, or $14,000 per year, per truck. When the entire fleet is converted, the savings could amount to more than $740,000 in annual fuel costs. Replacement of the 53-truck fleet is expected to take six years, following the City’s normal truck replacement schedule.
“This conversion is just one of many steps the City is taking based on City Council’s Sustainability Initiatives to enhance our environmental stewardship,” said City Manager Harrell. “We recognize that our resources, natural and economic, are finite, so when we find a project like this which enables us to extend both, we naturally want to make the most of the opportunity.”
Chesapeake has received inquiries from other Hampton Roads cities planning similar conversions and seeking to use the Chesapeake CNG station as a refuel point. Additionally, state vehicles are being converted to CNG under a plan outlined by Governor Bob McDonnell. Sales of CNG fuel to other agencies, as well as to private individuals with appropriate vehicles, will help offset the costs to construct the CNG station.
“I am thrilled that Chesapeake has decided to take a leadership position in Hampton Roads,” said Chelsea Jenkins, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities. “Given that they can save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce emissions, and provide value to the community through public access to the CNG station, it’s a model that every City should strive to achieve.”
Municipalities or other fleet operators interested in accessing the Chesapeake CNG facility are asked to contact Chesapeake’s Fleet Manager, George Hrichak, as soon as possible. “As we start the design process for the CNG station be want to ensure the station is expandable and has the capacity to meet our present and future fueling needs,” Hrichak commented. “Taking into consideration the future fueling needs of the local public and private fleets is crucial to the success of the station.”
Hrichak may be reached at 757-382-3375, which is also where the public can call if they have questions about Compressed Natural Gas use for Chesapeake vehicles.