Piedmont Natural Gas says it is experiencing growing demand for CNG from commercial vehicle fleets, and it highlighted several initiatives that will give more companies greater access to the cleaner, lower-cost fuel option.
In the Charlotte region, Piedmont has contracted with the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services to install a CNG station for refuse trucks at their existing facility near uptown. In addition, Piedmont’s 11th public CNG refueling station has started construction and is expected to open later this year at a location near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321 in Hickory.
Earlier this year, Piedmont received approval from state regulators in North Carolina and South Carolina to temporarily reduce the price of CNG by 50 cents per GGE—passing through to customers the federal tax credit. Piedmont also passed the savings from the tax credit along to customers in Tennessee, where public CNG prices are unregulated.
“Piedmont Natural Gas has more than doubled its sales of compressed natural gas over the past two years because more businesses are recognizing the economic and environmental advantages of CNG,” said Karl Newlin, Duke Energy’s senior vice president and chief commercial officer, natural gas. “To encourage continued growth, we are helping our customers save money and providing greater access to this superior transportation fuel.”
Other initiatives to accommodate the increase in demand for CNG throughout Piedmont’s three-state service area of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee include: working with municipalities and other local agencies in Charlotte, Nashville, Wilmington and Anderson, S.C., to expand their use of CNG in airport parking shuttles and public transit buses; providing natural gas to private refueling stations for two large corporate fleets in Spartanburg, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C. The facilities are included in a network of CNG refueling stations Piedmont serves for both companies; and adding a third dispenser island at Piedmont’s two-year-old public CNG refueling station in Nashville, Tennessee, to serve a rapidly growing customer base that includes shuttle buses serving nearby Nashville International Airport, a mail-delivery contractor and regional haulers taking advantage of the station’s proximity to I-40.
In the past year, Piedmont Natural Gas has sold, delivered or used approximately 5 million GGEs and expects that volume to grow. About one-third of Piedmont’s own corporate fleet now runs on CNG.