City of Grand Junction Biogas Project to be Featured on National Geographic Channel October 18

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The highly acclaimed and internationally recognized biogas project at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Facility will receive even more attention in the coming week when it is featured on the National Geographic Channel series “Positive Energy”. The series, which chronicles energy projects in North and South America, begins Wednesday, October 18 at 3:00 p.m. The first episode will include the Grand Junction story. A film crew was onsite last November working with City staff to produce the segment.

In 2006, the City of Grand Junction began researching a biogas project that would allow methane gas produced at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Facility to be used as vehicle fuel. Currently, the facility produces approximately 120,000 cubic feet of gas in the anaerobic digestion process per day. Since plant startup back in 1984, only a small amount of the methane was used to fuel the boilers that heat the digestion process, with the vast majority of the gas being flared off.

In 2011, the City began implementing a plan for the future by beginning to purchase Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet vehicles and planning for construction of a fueling station for them. The first CNG solid waste trucks were delivered within days of the CNG fueling station being completed.

In 2014, the City contracted with BioCNG, LLC to design a system to capture, collect and purify the digester biogas at the wastewater plant to a natural gas quality vehicle fuel. The project included a 5.7-mile pipeline which delivers the fuel to the existing CNG fueling site and is used as the primary source of fuel. The fueling station includes slow-fill stations for fueling City and County vehicles, as well as a public fast-fill station that is operated by a private contractor.

Currently the equivalent of 400 gallons of gasoline is produced on-site daily and has offset the same volume use of diesel fuel resulting in approximately $400,000 in fuel cost savings annually. The project has also resulted in a carbon emission reduction of approximately 3 million pounds per year.

Since the first purchase of CNG vehicles in 2011, the City (and in partnership with the County) have continued to add to the CNG fleet each year as vehicles come up for replacement.  There are currently 62 CNG vehicles between the City and the County ranging from street sweepers to transit busses.

The City has received international attention for the biogas project, which  is believed to be the only one of its kind in the United States.

Contact:  Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager       970-244-1507 or samr@gjcity.org

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