For Immediate Release: December 17, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Funds Approved for CNG Fueling Stations

SACRAMENTO -- The California Energy Commission has approved grants to public agencies totaling $306,000 to help build four fueling stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

CNG fueling stations in Camarillo, Napa, Tehachapi and Fresno will become part of the state's ongoing efforts to establish a CNG fueling infrastructure. The stations will give local agencies experience in handling state-of-the-art CNG technology while reducing air emissions and the cost of operating CNG vehicles.

The joint venture to install a fueling station among the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, GTE California, Inc., the City of Camarillo and Pickens Fuel Corporation will encourage public and private fleets in the Central Coast to purchase more CNG vehicles. The station at the GTE yard in Camarillo will refuel the GTE fleet at night and will provide traditional public motorists access to CNG on a 24-hour basis

Because of the Energy Commission's $100,000 grant to the county air district, Pickens Fuel Corporation has agreed to discount substantially the cost of CNG at the station and will trim the price more as vehicle traffic increases at that location.

Most of the funds for the Napa station at the corner of Redwood Road and Solana Avenue, will be provided by Napa Valley Petroleum, with contributions from the City of Napa and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Although intended primarily for CNG buses belonging to the City of Napa and the Napa Unified School District, the fueling station will be open around-the-clock for public and private CNG vehicles.

The Energy Commission's grant of $100,000 to the city's unified school district will enable Napa Valley Petroleum to trim the cost of CNG at the station by 25 cents per therm for five years.

Energy Commission grants of $56,000 and $50,000 will help develop CNG stations in Tehachapi and Fresno, respectively.

When constructed, the Tehachapi fueling station will service buses of the Tehachapi Unified School District and Kern Regional Transit Authority. A 24-hour card key system will make the station available to drivers of CNG vehicles traveling along the Highway 58 corridor between Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

The Fresno station is a combined effort of the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD), United Parcel Service, PG&E and Pinnacle CNG Corporation. The project, spearheaded by the SJVUAPCD will cost $525,000.

Although hosted by UPS, the facility will be designed for private and public fleets operating on CNG. It will complement the air district's existing Heavy-Duty Motor Vehicle Emission Reduction Program by providing a public access station for current and future users traveling along State Highway 99.

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For further information, contact:
Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director, California Energy Commission (916) 654-4989
Jerry Mason, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, (805) 645-1479
Ralph Knight, Napa Unified School District, (707) 253-3455,
Jim Scott, Tehachapi Unified School District, (805) 822-2115
Dave Knight, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, (805) 497-1075

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