The station is expected to fuel cars in roughly the same amount of time as traditional fueling stations. Also, if storage cylinders run out of pre-compressed gas, vehicles can hook up directly to the compressors for fuel.
Meadows hopes the additional fueling stations in the state trigger folks to think of using natural gas in more ways than just heat and general electricity.
"I think this market will be like many other markets that we've seen emerge in America," Meadows said. It often starts with businesses demonstrating the viability of the model and tangible cost-savings.
Once customers see businesses successfully using the model, more and more customers will follow, Meadows explained.
Meadows sees the stations' advantages as threefold. The energy resource is cheap, abundant and domestic.
"You're talking about a 30 to 50 percent difference over traditional flues," he said. "That's huge for consumers and businesses alike."
In February, the governor's Natural Gas Task Force recommended the state convert 25 percent of its 7,811 fleet vehicles to natural gas in the next four years. The state offers a $7,500 tax credit for compressed natural gas car and light-truck purchases, as well as tax credits of up to $400,000 for companies willing to build new natural gas fueling stations.
The Bridgeport station will be West Virginia's first operating public alternative fueling station. Neighboring Pennsylvania currently has 20 stations while Ohio has 13 and Virginia five.
"People want to use the product they work every day to bring out of the ground," Meadows added.
IGS Energy partnered with Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy and EQT Corporation. Additionally, the West Virginia Division of Highways committed to fuel state-owned compressed natural gas-powered vehicles at stations along I-79.
"You can't move forward on a project like this without moving forward together with other entities," Meadows said. "What you have is a good example of market-driven, public-private partnership that makes something a reality."
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.