On May 31, NPU formally opened its new $1.8 million compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fueling station, a project funded in large part through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Congressman Joe Courtney, Senator Richard Blumenthal and a number of local officials were on hand to participate in a brief ribbon cutting ceremony at the station.

The new fueling station, located adjacent to the Shell Gas station at 168 West Town Street, is in close proximity to I-395, Route 2 and the Stanley Israelite Business Park.

“This success of this project can be attributed to one word: collaboration. Collaboration between the federal, state and local levels of government, and between the public and private sector,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU. “We would like to express our appreciation to all the individuals and organization that made this project possible.”

Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut will utilize NPU’s new station as a backup to their existing CNG station, currently utilized for its fleet of CNG MV-1 and Ford Transit vehicles.

“Easterseals recognizes and appreciates the education and support it has received through its participation with NPU’s Clean Cities Coalition. Easterseals is not just a strong proponent but is also a player in the Compressed Natural Gas field. We continue to look for improvements that are environmentally friendly and result in a benefit to our clients.” said Allen Gouse President & CEO of Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut.

The project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, which awarded a grant for $1,386,000 of the total project cost. NPU funded the remaining $414,000 of the project.

The grant also includes the purchase of six CNG-fueled vehicles by NPU; four service vans, a dump truck and a sewer jet truck, used for servicing NPU’s wastewater system.

CNG is domestically produced and economical than other fuel options. In Connecticut, CNG is approximately 10-75 cents per gallon less than diesel fuel and 20 cents per gallon less than gasoline.