The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has selected a team led by Trillium CNG team, for the department’s $84.5-million Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transit fueling station Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement.
Stations will be constructed over the next five years and the firm will also make CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities. When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state.
According to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Alternative Fuels Data Center, Pennsylvania currently has 61 CNG facilities, 35 of which are open to the public.
As part of Trillium’s proposal, CNG fueling will be accessible to the public at seven transit agency sites, with the option to add to additional sites in the future. PennDOT will receive a 15% royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public, which will be used to support the cost of the project. The team has guaranteed at least $2.1 million in royalties over the term of the agreement.
PennDOT also expects transit agencies and the department to see significant savings due to the project. Based on current CNG, diesel and gasoline prices as well as fuel usage, agencies can save a total of more than $10 million annually.
Due to these expected savings, transit agencies’ financial sustainability is increased and dependency on state operational subsidies is reduced. After 10 years, the department estimates that the project will pay for itself with the estimated $100 million in savings.
With Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources, this project will not only bring efficiencies for transit agencies and the state, but we’re also helping establish a foothold for the CNG transportation market in areas that may not have seen this opportunity for some time.—PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards
Using the P3 procurement mechanism allows PennDOT to install the fueling stations faster than if a traditional procurement mechanism was used for each site, resulting in significant estimated capital cost savings of more than $46 million, according to the department.
In February 2016, Love’s Travel Stops (Love’s) entered into an agreement to purchase Trillium CNG, a provider of compressed natural gas (CNG). The agreement added 37 public-access CNG locations to the Love’s network, bringing the number of Love’s-operated public CNG facilities to 65.
Trillium CNG provides fuel for thousands of natural gas vehicles daily and delivers more than 55 million gallons of CNG per year.
Trillium is also a single-source provider of CNG fueling facility design, construction, operational and maintenance services.