Grant to fuel construction of compressed natural gas fueling station in Centre County

As more public vehicles make the conversion to compressed natural gas in the county, the need for more fueling stations is growing.

A planned CNG fueling station to be constructed at the the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority got a funding boost Thursday, according to news releases from state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, and state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township.

The $642,894 grant was awarded to Clean Energy Inc., a California-based natural gas fueling company that will build the fueling station, the release said. It was awarded as part of the Alternative and Clean Energy Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Agency.

“This project will combine public funds with private investment to create an energy asset in our area,” Benninghoff said.

Recycling and Refuse Authority Executive Director Ted Onufrak said the authority has one collection vehicle that runs on CNG. Several borough vehicles already use the compressed fuel, and a Centre Region trash and recycling contract will require all vehicles to run on CNG in the near future.

“Any funding that can help expedite (the construction) is welcomed and appreciated,” Onufrak said.

The station will also be open to residents, he said. It won’t be a staffed station, but residents can sign up for a card that will allow them 24/7 access to the fuel.

A land-development plan is being prepared by Clean Energy to be presented to College Township, he said. The station could be up by June, and Clean Energy is projecting a price of $2.40 a “gallon.”

“We’ve seen the incredible benefits of using natural gas,” Benninghoff said, “including cleaner air, lower home heating costs, and now residents will also benefit from lower costs at the pump.”