Oxford County Public Works in the province of Ontario, Canada, has introduced what they claim to be the country’s first snow plows powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The two CNG vehicles are ready to begin clearing roads as soon as first significant snows fall. The County is confident they will assist to reach its planned annual CO2 emission reduction objectives.
“Anytime you can introduce a Canadian-first, especially something as iconic as a snow plow, it is really a special achievement. Our roads crews are excited to begin using this new technology to see how it performs under the harsh winter conditions. These vehicles receive heavy use and that’s why it is so important to try and mitigate the environmental impact of our fleet.”
Waste Collection Vehicle Conversion
Oxford County has also just approved a pilot conversion of a curbside collection vehicle to dual-fuel diesel/CNG. The project will be used to quantify the benefits of a potential full scale fleet conversion.
Staff is proposing to fund the capital costs ($35,000) for the conversion for one of HGC Management’s diesel curbside collection vehicles in order to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10-15%. This capital cost will be partially offset by fuel cost operational savings anticipated over the remaining term of the current seven year contract through an agreement with HGC.
The pilot scale project will confirm actual fuel consumption rates and associated cost savings, as well as reduction rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through partial substitution of diesel fuel with CNG. This demonstration will provide further valuable information on the role CNG can play in future waste and recycling contracts and the related specifications for same.
HGC is also considering a 100% CNG conversion for one of their fleet supervisory vehicles, at their own cost. Both vehicles would subsequently create additional demand for the CNG fuelling station in Woodstock during their municipal use across the County.
For the pilot case study, staff and HGC personnel consulted with Rural Green Energy and Davidson Protruck Inc. who have completed other CNG conversions for County owned fleet vehicles. Under normal operating conditions, staff have been advised that potential savings up to $6000/year in fuel costs would be typical based on a 50% substitution rate from diesel fuel to CNG.
This initiative supports the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and, specifically, the objective to move away from fossil fuels and enhance low carbon transportation. As renewable natural gas, or biogas, is developed it will help advance the County’s goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Source: Oxford County
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