CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston's new natural gas fueling station had a low-key opening last month and is now providing 24/7 access to fill up vehicles that run on compressed natural gas.
"We are fully functional," said IGS Energy CNG Services General Manager T.J. Meadows. "Everything has been fully permitted, signed off on and we are now open to the public."
The Charleston location, in front of the Foodland along Spring Street, is the second of three compressed natural gas filling stations to be built by the company along the Interstate 79 corridor this year. The first, in Bridgeport, opened in October with the third site in Jane Lew expected to be operational by the end of the month.
Contractors with Charlotte, N.C.-based energy infrastructure firm Jones & Frank began work on the $2.5 million project in Charleston in August. The facility was built by the beginning of November, with final equipment testing and state approvals occurring in the middle of the month.
Meadows said the company has been trying to set up a grand opening ceremony to mark the station's opening in a public fashion. But he said the holiday season has made it difficult to coordinate the schedules of all the executives and public officials who would like to attend.
That hasn't stopped the company from bringing the station online though.
"We officially soft opened the station on Tuesday, November 19th," Meadows said.
County and state vehicles, as well as fleet vehicles from the company's partners, including Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Nova Rubber and EQT Corp., have all been using the filling station since that time.
The station is the larger of the two facilities the company has opened so far this year.
The Bridgeport station features one 150-horsepower compressor feeding compressed natural gas to one dispenser with two pump hoses.
The Charleston station has two 250-horsepower compressors feeding two dispensers that have two pump hoses each. That allows the Charleston station to fill up four vehicles at one time, whereas the Bridgeport location can only handle two.