Press-Republican

Business

December 12, 2012

NYSEG wants to expand natural-gas service

ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission seeks public comment on plans to extend natural-gas service along Banker Road in the Town of Plattsburgh.

NYSEG wants to install a 2-inch main for about 700 feet along Banker Road and a 2-inch service line 780 feet along the Nova Bus driveway.

Nova Bus is seeking permission to build and operate a fueling station to prepare its compressed-natural-gas-fueled buses for delivery to purchasers.

The main would provide tenants in the Development Corporation’s Banker Road Industrial Park with access to natural-gas energy. Development Corp. President and CEO Paul Grasso said he supports any infrastructure upgrades in the industrial park, especially one that would provide more affordable energy.

”This would be very helpful for our tenants,” he said.

Grasso said he witnessed a rapid growth in natural-gas vehicles and then fueling stations in Southern California before he came to the North Country. He believes that opportunity will continue to grow here in the future.

MOVING AHEAD

Nova Bus said earlier this year that it plans to produce transit buses that run on compressed natural gas.

”For Nova (Bus) and its employees, it would be a huge thing for them if they can enter the natural-gas market,” Grasso said.

Nova Bus Public Relations Adviser Isabelle Grégoire said the company is working on integrating natural-gas propulsion in its LFS transit buses.

“The project is moving forward, and we are hoping to commercialize sometime next year. At the moment, we are not in production mode,” she said by email. 

TOWN SERVICE

Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the town would like to expand the availability of natural gas to residences as well as businesses. He looks forward to working with NYSEG to make that a reality.

“The possibility we could amend the franchise agreement to enable more natural gas service to to businesses and homeowners is a positive change,” he said. “We hope to make it easier and more cost effective for homeowners and businesses to access natural gas.”

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