Friday, 29 July 2016 11:35
Compressed Natural Gas Station Opens in Saratoga
SARATOGA SPRINGS — American Natural Gas (ANG) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, July 27, to celebrate the opening of the only compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station between Albany and Montreal. The station is located in the W.J. Grande Industrial Park, 24 Cady Hill Blvd, Saratoga Springs. The construction of the new filling station means that trucking companies, distribution companies, and other transportation services in the upstate region can begin to reduce their carbon footprint while also cutting energy costs. Locally, Try-it Distributing – parent company of Saratoga Eagle beverage distribution company – is partnering with ANG to refit its fleet and supply them with CNG. Julia Ingersoll, spokesperson for ANG, said that CNG is changing the conversation about fuel consumption, cost savings and health issues in the community. “This is a new topic in our region,” she said, “and the environmental and cost impact CNG can have on the upstate region is a significant step in the direction of reduced gasoline and diesel consumption.” Ingersoll added that any new technology, specifically technology dealing with fuel consumption and energy, requires significant overhauls to existing infrastructure. The new station in Grande Industrial Park provides an important mid-point for haulers traveling north – something that has not been available, preventing companies from making the change to CNG. On a local level, the presence of the Saratoga Springs station will facilitate a steadier flow of CNG-equipped haulers delivering between Albany and Saratoga. Andrew West, CEO of ANG, agreed. Through the introduction of CNG, “we are committed to bringing a new type of industry and conversation to our community,” he said. West called the new station opening a “pivotal moment for our community.” He added that “We launched the company in 2011 with a big idea: if we brought CNG infrastructure to…fleets, then alternative fuel conversions would be easier, more realistic and more sustainable because they would have a partner by their side.” He added that, five years later, ANG has more than 16 stations and, by the end of the year will have six in New York State alone. West, 36 years old, is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, who started his first business while still in high school. A recent recipient of Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40 award, West said that he created ANG in order to “make a serious difference” in the region. In addition to West, those on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony included NYS Assemblywoman, Carrie Woerner, LoAnn Sanders, Legislative Aide to NYS Senator Kathy Marchione, Joanne Yepsen, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Casella Waste System fleet and facilities energy director, Peter Vanderhoof, and Jeff Gicewicz, vice president of corporate holdings for Try-it Distribution. In her remarks, Yepsen stated, “This project is consistent with the goals of our Climate Smart Task Force, which is working with businesses and residents to identify actions that our community can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy-saving strategies and sustainability practices.” Vanderhoof noted that the new fueling station would “invigorate the CNG alternative discussion for businesses and the public…making available a cleaner and cheaper alternative to gasoline and diesel that is first and foremost domestically produced.” Gicewicz said that his company’s corporate sustainability initiative “was redefined with the 2014 conversion of our 43 delivery tractors and the construction of our public-access filling station in Lancaster, NY.” Since then, Gicewicz said his company has been able to align themselves with the “green culture of current and future business partners, while reducing our impact on the environment we share with our families and neighbors.” He added that the ANG team was “a tremendous resource in the endeavor.” Rounding out the ribbon-cutting and remarks by attendees was a fueling demonstration by Casella Waste Systems and Try-It Distributing. According to ANG’s website, “Natural gas is the cleanest burning commercially available alternative fuel today and its use as a transportation fuel is improving the air quality and the health of communities across the country.” ANG statistics cite significant reductions in overall operating costs for companies who have converted their fleets. Regional companies, such as Casella Waste Systems of Rutland, VT and Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo have already worked with ANG to successfully convert their fleets to CNG. For more information about ANG and compressed natural gas, visit www.americannaturalgas.com.