What is the City CNG project?
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Improving efficiency and protecting our environment
CNG can provide the perfect solution to decarbonising transport in the UK, and make a huge step towards meeting our 2050 Climate Change Act commitments. It also presents an opportunity to reduce business operating costs as well as emissions, and improve air quality as well as public health.
But while private companies are keen to invest in CNG filling stations, the cost of connecting a station to a high pressure (HP) gas network has proved a hurdle without an established market. And although drivers and businesses are eager to go green, the lack of CNG infrastructure and filling stations means CNG vehicles are in short supply.
To tackle this chicken-and-egg situation, Northern Gas Networks and Leeds City Council are working together to create City CNG, Leeds’ first CNG filling station.
Thanks to an Ofgem Network Innovation Competition grant of £700,000, Northern Gas Networks will connect its 17-Bar high pressure pipeline to feed the station while the council will supply land for the site and convert over its refuse fleet to run on CNG.
A successful project will provide the following:
- A proof-of-concept business case for city-based CNG fuelling stations;
- A test case for ongoing justification for the use of our novel commercial arrangement for city-based CNG fuelling stations. The project may prove that this commercial incentive is not required as the conversion rate of vehicles is significant enough to remove the risk of the upfront investment;
- A case study for the UK gas industry to understand the technical complexities associated with design and build of a HP connection to a customer where the scale of operation is currently unknown;
- Information of multi-vector energy usage (CNG/Hydrogen/LPG);
- A case study to understand the regulatory and commercial barriers to gas network connections which are unable to be funded under the normal ‘up-front’ mechanism. This will highlight how more flexible network connection agreements could encourage new enterprise opportunities.
Leeds City Council have identified a brownfield site located just outside the city centre inside the Leeds Enterprise Zone. Construction of the connection to NGN’s high pressure pipeline is expected to begin in 2019.
Ofgem, the regulator for the gas and electricity markets has awarded the City CNG project a £700,000 grant to support the construction of the high pressure gas connection. Leeds City Council are investing £1.58million over the next five years to provide the land and vehicle conversion.
The City CNG station provides not only a valuable opportunity for Leeds City Council’s fleet of lorries and trucks to refuel with CNG, but any ‘back-to-depot’ vehicles including taxis and commercial fleet such as that of NGN, drastically reducing pollution in the city.
It’s a chance for one of the North’s biggest cities to lead the way on decarbonising transport and proactively encourage other urban centres to make the switch.