The Ohio State University (OSU) issued a request for qualifications on March 17, 2015, to design and construct a $2.5 million compressed natural gas (CNG) station.
Ohio State is in the process of evaluating potential locations near the Kenny Road area for this CNG fueling station, which will be the first of its kind for The University. OSU is looking to begin construction in February 2016, with the project's completion targeted for November 2016.
OSU is further considering whether this station, which would offer fast-fill fueling to light and heavy vehicles, would be open to the public and how many vehicles it would serve annually.
OSU has a need for a CNG fueling station because it currently has four new buses that are powered by CNG, and The University has stated that there are benefits to converting more of its vehicles to alternative fuels. Specifically, an OSU spokesperson stated that "The University has a commitment to sustainability, and the benefits of a CNG fueling station are both sustainable and cost-effective." CNG is typically less expensive than diesel and gasoline fuel and produces lower emissions.
Multiple energy companies in Ohio and the City of Columbus have invested in CNG stations due to the lower prices of natural gas taken from eastern Ohio's Utica shale play and elsewhere in Appalachia. CNG stations are being constructed across Ohio as a fuel option for heavy-duty vehicles and fleets. The City of Columbus has already started to convert a portion of its heavy-vehicle fleet from diesel fuel to CNG by building CNG fueling stations in different areas of the city.