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Asheville's First Public Natural Gas Filling Station

Asheville's First Public Compressed Natural Gas Station Now Open

The City of Asheville hosted the grand opening of the community’s first public compressed natural gas station on Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. at the station located at 45 McCormick Place (across the street from McCormick Field). The public was invited to join the city’s celebration for an opening ceremony, refreshments, filling demonstrations and a chance to see Asheville’s first compressed natural gas vehicles.

About five years ago, the City of Asheville joined with Mission Hospitals, Buncombe County, Progress Energy, PSNC Energy and the WNC Regional Air Quality Agency to promote the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) for alternative fuel vehicles through the construction of a public, fast-fill CNG station and the purchase of CNG vehicles. In 2003, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR) awarded the city a grant through its Mobile Source Emissions Reduction program to fund $400,000 of the station’s construction.

The station opened for public use in January. Fuel is provided to CNG vehicles throughout the Interstate 40 corridor. Citizens will be able to travel in a CNG vehicle from the North Carolina coast to Asheville and further west to Knoxville, Tennessee. The Asheville station fills a CNG gap between Hickory and Knoxville. The station will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning alternative fuels available and offers a number of advantages over gasoline. In light-duty applications, air exhaust emissions from natural gas vehicles are much lower than those from gasoline-powered vehicles.

In addition, smog-producing gases, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, are reduced by more than 90 percent and 60 percent, respectively - and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced by 30 to 40 percent.

For heavy-duty and medium-duty applications, natural gas engines have demonstrated more than 90 percent reduction of CO and particulate matter and more than 50 percent reduction of NOx relative to commercial diesel engines.

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