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At first glance, drivers across Hardin, Hart and LaRue Counties may not give a second thought when passing a utility vehicle from Louisville Gas and Electric Company on the roadways. However, heads may turn this month when the utility unveils its newest operations truck fueled by compressed natural gas.
“Adding a compressed natural gas-powered truck into our local vehicle fleet is a good fit for our operations,” said John Skaggs, manager of Magnolia Natural Gas Compressor Station. “It allows us to test this technology and use a fuel source that is abundantly available, economical and burns more cleanly than petroleum-based fuels.”
“We also want to be able to help our customers who may be considering these technologies. By testing the fuel source in our day-to-day operations, we’ll be able to better answer customers’ questions and know which resources may be available to them,” said Skaggs.
Natural gas is composed primarily of methane and is used in more than 65 million homes in the United States for heating, cooking and other purposes. Louisville Gas and Electric Company stores, processes and distributes natural gas to 321,000 customers in Kentucky.
Natural gas is becoming a more popular fuel choice for transportation when it’s used in the compressed and liquid forms. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there currently are more than 130,000 natural gas-powered vehicles on the roadways across the nation and more than 15 million vehicles worldwide.
Compressed natural gas fuel is measured in “gasoline gallon equivalent” (GGE). About 125 standard cubic feet of natural gas is a comparable amount of energy to one gallon of gasoline.
LG&E currently is constructing an on-site natural gas fueling station at its Magnolia Compressor Station. The fueling station is for testing purposes and will not be available for public use. There are natural gas fueling stations available to the public in Kentucky, including locations in Louisville and southern Indiana.