Piedmont Natural Gas hosted the only South Carolina stop on a coast-to-coast tour of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) when the 2017 “From Sea to Shining Sea” NGV Road Rally passes through Spartanburg on June 13.
The second-annual event, nationally organized by NGVAmerica, the American Public Gas Association and The American Gas Association, showcases the growing use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and draws attention to the VW settlement program, educating state officials on why NGVs are the most cost-effective use of funds for clean transportation projects outlined in the $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund.
Vehicles participating in the relay-style tour filled up at Piedmont’s public compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station located at 501 West Blackstock Road in Spartanburg. A press conference featured remarks from Piedmont Natural Gas and Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition officials, a display of NGVs, and an awards ceremony to recognize notable CNG users from the region, including AT&T, UPS, Waste Management, and Gaffney-based Randolph Trucking.
“As part of our commitment to sustainable business practices, Piedmont Natural Gas has been a longtime proponent of using cleaner, low-cost CNG as a transportation fuel, and we are proud to host the NGV Road Rally,” said Karl Newlin, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for natural gas operations for Piedmont’s parent company, Duke Energy. “Demand for CNG has increased significantly in recent years, and we believe it will continue to grow as we help build out the nation’s network of refueling stations.”
Piedmont’s partners for the event included the Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition, an initiative of South Carolina Energy Office that is focused on building an alternative fuels market in South Carolina. In addition to hosting the event, one of Piedmont’s own fleet vehicles fueled by CNG drove a leg of the tour from Spartanburg to Salisbury, N.C.
The Spartanburg refueling station is one of 10 public CNG stations Piedmont operates throughout its service territory of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Piedmont will open its 11th station this summer in Hickory, N.C., near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321.
In addition to promoting the use of CNG, Piedmont also has converted more than 38% percent of its own corporate fleet vehicles to run on CNG and expects that percentage to grow to nearly 42% percent by the end of 2017. The commitment to reducing its carbon emissions in its fleet and company facilities helped Piedmont earn the distinction of being one of the nation’s top utility environmental champions in a recent survey of customers served by the nation’s largest residential gas and electric utilities.