CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Workers broke ground on Charleston's first compressed natural gas fueling station Tuesday morning.
Contractors for IGS Energy will remove grass and add dirt before leveling the land to begin site preparation for two 250-horsepower natural gas compressor stations that will fuel the state's second alternative energy fueling station.
Located next to Foodland on Spring Street, Charleston's station is the second compressed natural gas fueling station project for IGS Energy. In January, the company announced a $10 million Interstate 79 Corridor project that would build four alternative fueling stations.
"We want to build in our home state," said TJ Meadows, business manager for IGS Energy's CNG Services. "We're looking all over the state and really have a desire to put these anywhere we can find that makes strategic sense."
By Sept. 1, IGS's Bridgeport compressed natural gas station should be up and running. Charleston's station is set to finish by Sept. 1 and the Jane Lew station by late October or early November, Meadows said.
Charleston's station will tap into a Mountaineer Gas line running alongside Spring Street. The station will house what is known as a "dyer package" that will transform the gas into a viable fuel source and from wet to dry gas.
"We'll first dry it and get all the moisture and water content out of it," Meadows said.
Then the natural gas will be compressed by one of two on-site compressor stations. Having two compressors onsite will allow for a backup compressor if one malfunctions, Meadows added.
After the gas is compressed, its last stop before fueling a vehicle will be one of two long-storage cylinders that will house compressed natural gas on site.
An average compressor station may cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million. Because of that cost, there is no available inventory for purchase and much of the construction is timed around the delivery of the compressors, Meadows explained. The entire fueling station cost roughly $2 to $3 million.