The Grand Rapids City Commission approved an agreement between the City and the Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid) for the purchase of CNG. Under the agreement, the City will refuel its CNG vehicle fleet at The Rapid’s recently completed CNG bus station. The fuel being dispensed from this location represents a three-way partnership between The Rapid, the City and DTE Energy (DTE).
The City will pump pipeline grade renewable natural gas, in the form of CNG, from the Environmental Services Department’s biodigester into DTE’s pipeline, which will transport the biomethane to The Rapid’s fueling station. Some of the biofuel will come full circle in that it is produced by the City, sold to The Rapid station and then purchased by the City to power its vehicles.
The unique environmental partnership between the City, DTE and The Rapid is possible following construction of the City’s biodigester at its Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF), which accommodates the growing amount of waste being generated by the community and sent to the WRRF for processing. The biodigester is a less expensive alternative to expanding the existing WRRF, while also allows the City to produce renewable natural gas, which is a valuable market commodity.
In addition to the delivery of biomethane to DTE and The Rapid station, the biodigester project will also produce bio-CNG to be used to fuel DTE-owned CNG stations within the state.
“This project is an excellent example of the innovative ways local governments can work with regional and commercial partners to benefit our communities,” Mark Washington, Grand Rapids city manager, said. “We’re able to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to disposal sites, fuel our fleet as well as other fleets with low carbon and healthier renewable natural gas, and the City is saving money on the purchase of CNG. This also will support the City’s goal to reduce our carbon emissions footprint by 85% by 2030.”
“We are proud to be working on this transformative project contributing to the waste and emission reduction goals of DTE, the City and The Rapid,” Joi Harris, president of DTE Gas, said. “DTE is committed to a clean Michigan future, and projects such as these play an important role in our journey toward that aspiration. This renewable natural gas will supply DTE’s natural gas stations as well as powering The Rapid’s buses and the City’s fleet.”
The Rapid’s fleet currently consists of 161 buses, 98 of which will run on biomethane. “This partnership is a win-win-win for The Rapid, the City of Grand Rapids, and the region,” Deb Prato, CEO of The Rapid, said. “We’re fueling a cleaner fleet and keeping more waste out of landfills.”
Source: Grand Rapids City