At Ross & Baruzzini we pride ourselves on both the relationships we build and on the engineering technology that we bring to the table.
The recent ribbon cutting for the suburban St. Louis Parkway School District’s grant-funded project to build a fueling station and introduce 30 buses operating on compressed natural gas (CNO) into its fleet received local television coverage. But the bigger story lie in the possibilities Parkway represents expanding America’s search for energy independence and greener fuel alternatives.
Ross & Baruzzini’s role in this project came as a result of a long term relationship. And Parkway looks like it may be just the beginning.
Parkway received a $1.53 million federal highway funding grant to purchase the 30 CNG buses and build a fueling station. The project will save Parkway an estimated $100,000 per year in fuel costs, as well as, reducing the amount of emissions emitted into the environment. Total cost of the Parkway program is $4.3 million.
NGFS (Natural Gas Fueling Solutions), the local company that managed the Parkway fueling station project had its beginnings in the construction depression that is just now ending. NGFS, a national company based in St. Peters, was founded in 2011 by principals in the firms of Cissell Mueller Company, LLC, a commercial real estate developer and contractor and Wiegmann Associates, a mechanical contractor. Ross & Baruzzini has enjoyed a long, successful relationship with Cissell Mueller.
Lead Parkway consultant James Dong of Raymundo Engineering, Inc., a Walnut Creek, CA firm with two decades of experience in alternative fueling station programs, said that the expertise of our team members and the willingness of Parkway’s facilities team to pull the trigger on ordering long-lead items such as compressors enabled the complex project to be completed on a fast track.
While the footprint of the CNG station is small, the project was extraordinarily complex. It is located at the rear of the sprawling Parkway School District site. Requirements for gas separation from overhead power lines precluded slow-fueling operations. A quick-fill station was built with an infrastructure of valves and compressors, and pumps that resemble filling station pumps with snap fitting pressure hoses instead of gasoline nozzles. Ross & Baruzzini served as the electrical engineer on the Parkway project.
Parkway’s CNG station is emblematic of growing alternative fuel construction opportunities across the country, including in this areas,” Herb Tschannen, CEO of NFGS said. Tschannen said NGFS has been experiencing extremely rapid growth. The company has built CNG and LNG/LCNG (liquefied gas/liquefied compressed natural gas) fueling stations for fleet operations, public fueling centers, and public entities like Parkway, in addition to the fueling stations themselves,
Herb Tschannen said NFGS serves as a consultant on fleet conversions and on the code, safety and other issues involved in maintenance facilities servicing CNG/LNG vehicles. And NFGS plans to work with Ross & Baruzzini in pursuing these opportunities. “Ross & Baruzzini is our strategic partner for design build facilities,“ he said.
About the Author:
Bob Wilson is a Senior Project Manager with Ross & Baruzzini and has over 39 years of experience in controls, instrumentation, security, standby generation, and power distribution. He has served as Project Manager and Lead Engineer on the majority of the utilities infrastructure work undertaken by Ross & Baruzzini.